Purchasing a car can be quite the financial endeavor – and sorting out the associated costs of ownership takes careful planning, too. But what would you do if someone asked you to choose between a lifetime of free gas and the keys to your dream car?

We asked over 1,000 Americans this exact question. Their clear preference may surprise you at first, especially when you look at the Chicago Tribune’s list of top dream cars and their price tags. But the results make more sense when you consider that the typical American household spent about $4,155 – 8.4 percent of their income – at the pump in 2011, according to The Blaze.

Would you rather have a lifetime of free gas or your dream car? How have you coped with rising gas prices?

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