NIXA, Mo.– High prices at the gas pump have people rethinking driving around in a larger ride.

Local car dealerships said right now some people are on the hunt for something smaller and more fuel-efficient.

Owner of the American Auto Outlet in Nixa, Joel Carleton, said fuel efficiency is mentioned in almost every customer conversation they’re having lately. He said high gas prices are causing car buyers to switch from pursuing things they want in a vehicle to things they need.

“I’m finding that we’re getting a lot of phone calls lately that are starting with I’ve got this big truck, or you know I’ve got this big SUV,” said Carleton. “I’m looking to trade out of it, get into something smaller.”

The demand has Carleton trying to change how he stocks his lot.

“Rather than stock those big third-row SUVs that get terrible gas mileage, we might be looking more towards the mid-size SUVs, second-row seaters, or something like a minivan,” said Carleton. “Something that fits the budget and also brings a little bit more fuel economy.”

However, those fuel-efficient cars are also getting even more difficult to come by.

“Around the beginning of the gas price increase, we had probably four or five hybrids and several very small cars,” said Carleton. “Those all sold out within two days.”

Many times, he said, it’s families or commuters who are looking for more fuel-efficient vehicles. 

He recommends customers come by ready with their questions.