US auto maker Chrysler has launched its response to major rivals Ford and GM's price cutting promotions. However, instead of following the crowd and cutting prices, the number three US car maker has decided to tap into driver's fears of high fuel prices by offering free gas.

While GM and Ford have slashed prices, Chrysler, the fifth largest auto company in the world, has launched a scheme which pays for motorists’ gas for two years. The Detroit based car maker will issue US customers who buy selected Chrysler vehicles a debit card credited with $2,400 to cover fuel expanses. The deal runs until January 2, ending a day before Ford and GM are due to end their promotions.

The deal applies to all Chrysler, Dodge and Jeep vehicles with the exception of the Dodge Viper, Magnum, Charger, Sprinter, Chrysler 300 and the high-performance SRT8 models. Chrysler is also providing five year warranties on most of its models.

The new strategy comes as winter hits the US and Europe and oil prices have started to increase from a five month low. The cost of a barrel of US light, sweet crude rose 26 cents to $56.60 in Asian trading on Thursday, according to the BBC. Analysts believe that the development indicates the start of a further spell of increased oil prices around the world.