There’s a good chance you own a car. Most of us do. The cost to buy and maintain a car is one of the highest household expenses for most people. One method to lower overall car costs is to decrease the amount you spend on gas. Here are our favorite gas-saving tips:
Your driving habits are the key to gas savings. Habits like accelerating rapidly, speeding, or braking hard are quick ways to consume gas, potentially lowering your gas mileage by around 30%. Driving moderately instead of aggressively is not only safer but will significantly affect how much you spend on gas.
Plan trips to the pump
Avoid going to gas pump on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The best times to fill up your gas tank are Wednesday and early Thursday morning. This is because gas prices are usually raised on Thursdays to account for the increased number of people on the road on weekends.
Take advantage of apps
Use apps like Google Maps or Maps on iPhone to get an idea of traffic before you head out. Avoid the busiest traffic times when possible, this saves you from wasting gas idling and accelerating in traffic. Additional gas savings can be gained by using apps like GasBuddy to locate the cheapest gas around you.
Don’t let your tank get to almost empty
If you’re near empty of gas, you’ll not have many options of places to fill up. You’ll have to fill up wherever you can nearby, instead of finding the gas stations with the best deals on gas.
Get gas rewards
Consider a gas rewards credit card
If you’re a frequent driver, a credit card that gives gas rewards may be a great idea. Be careful if you’re not paying off the balance each month because many of these rewards cards have higher than usual interest rates.
Keep up with maintenance
Some basic maintenance to keep your car in tune can save you in the long run. Things like keeping tires properly inflated, regular oil changes, and air filter replacement can reduce your car’s gas consumption.
Don’t purchase premium
Unless stated in the owner’s manual as required, there isn’t much advantage to purchasing premium gas. Because of government regulations to cut down on emissions, all grades of gasoline have enough additives and detergents to keep your car’s engine clean.
Turn the engine off
If you’re in the car waiting, turn the engine off. Besides contributing to air pollution, idling can be a massive waste of gas. Starting your car uses about ten seconds of gas while idling can use up to a half-gallon of gas per hour.
Driving less is the quickest way to save on gas expenses. While avoiding driving might be out of the question for you, you can try walking or biking instead of driving whenever you have the chance.
Because of the volatility of gas prices, consumers need to know how to reduce gas expenses best. Fortunately, there are simple steps that can be followed to reduce gas consumption and increase savings significantly.