According to a monthly report by Michael Sivak and Brandon Schoettle from the University of Michigan, the average fuel economy of newly purchased vehicles rose to a record high during the month of March.

The average fuel economy (window-sticker value) of new vehicles sold in the U.S. in March was 25.4 mpg--up 0.3 mpg from the revised value for February. This improvement likely reflects, in part, the recent increase in the price of gasoline. Vehicle fuel economy is up 5.3 mpg since October 2007 (the first month of our monitoring). For a description of the calculations and the recent mpg values, click here.

The University of Michigan Eco-Driving Index (EDI)--an index that estimates the average monthly emissions of greenhouse gases generated by an individual U.S. driver--stood at 0.80 in January (the lower the value the better). This value indicates that the average new-vehicle buyer produced 20% lower emissions in January 2014 than in October 2007. The EDI takes into account both vehicle fuel economy and distance driven (the latter relying on data that are published with a two-month lag). Please click here for a brief description of what the EDI is, how it is calculated, and the current and recent values of the EDI.

According to GasBuddy, the national average currently stands at $3.55 per gallon, 16 cents higher than a month ago, when gas prices averaged $3.39 per gallon. With gasoline prices rising in areas of the country, it is possible that next month's reading shows another record high.