How to Save Money on Gas: 10 Tips (Updated in 2023)
This year gas prices hit a staggering all-time high and are up to $5 as of this summer. While they may have lowered a bit, they are still exceedingly high, and drivers are definitely feeling this on the road. A tank that may have cost $30 to fill now costs over $60, and some consumers are paying close to $100 for large SUVs.
So how can you save money on gas today? There are a number of different ways that you can reduce the pain that you feel at the pump. Here are some of the most common ones that we found to be useful.
The 10 tips to Save Money on Gas
1. Slow Down
It’s best to maintain the recommended driving speed on any roads or highways. However, quickly accelerating or braking can definitely take a toll on your engine, causing it to increase your gas usage by anywhere from five to 22%. So, when you’re on the road, try to drive as sensibly as possible while obeying the rules of the road. It’s best to maintain a constant, steady speed, and if you’re driving in the city, try not to follow other cars too closely to reduce constantly breaking in slow traffic.
2. Use The Right Fuel for Your Vehicle
Every vehicle comes with a recommended fuel type given by the manufacturer. On average, using the right fuel can result in up to 2% savings on gas according to the EPA. In addition to this, you also want to ensure that your gas cap isn’t missing or damaged, as this can cause gas to vaporize–which means you’ll be losing gas even when you’re not driving.
3. Replace the Filter When Needed
Some filters can be replaced by you, the car owner, while others will need to be taken to the dealership or to a mechanic. Replacing a clogged filter can increase your vehicle’s gas mileage by up to 8-10%. A clogged air filter can reduce the flow of air to the engine, which can lead to poor performance and economic loss. It is easy to change air filters in most cases.
Simply unscrew the top of the filter casing, remove the filter, and replace it with a new one. If you can access your car’s filter without tools, you can also go to AutoZone and O’Reilly’s and they’ll do this for you.
4. Reduce Vehicle Weight
Taking some of the weight out of your vehicle can result in significant gas savings. For example, about every 100 lb. results in an increase in about 2% of gas usage. So, lowering the weight by removing any extra tools or equipment that aren’t in use during your trip can be very helpful in lowering your price at the pump.
Note that this estimate is based on how much weight you have added relative to the vehicle’s total. Smaller cars will benefit more than large vehicles, as larger cars such as pickup trucks and SUVs are heavier and accustomed to carrying heavy loads.
5. Keep Your Tires Properly Inflated
You may be surprised to find that your tires can also play a part in how much gas you use–it’s minimal but definitely worth noting. Properly inflating your tires can increase your gas mileage by about 2-3%. Regardless of the type of vehicle that you have or its age, you should check your tire pressure frequently, especially after a sudden drop in temperature.
6. Plan Your Trips
The easiest and most practical way that you can lessen the pain felt at the pump is to simply plan out all of your daily and weekly trips. This includes planning your trips to the grocery store, mall, or dry cleaners so that you don’t waste time retracting your route or taking longer routes.
Try to make a list of everything you need to ensure you don’t forget anything and that you don’t have to return home. Before you go, do a quick check to see if there are any items that you can get while you’re out to prevent having to make another run in the same direction. Remember, sometimes it’s the little things.
7. Consider Carpooling
Another thing that you can consider is good old-fashioned carpooling. Whether you’re going to work or carpooling with neighbors and children’s playdate buddies, it’s definitely a way to save at the pump every week. There are even online apps to help you find people in your neighborhood to carpool with. It’s worth trying if you live in a rural area and travel a long way to work or to take your kids to school.
8. Keep to the Speed Limit
Gas mileage usually drops rapidly when you travel over 55 mph. By keeping to the speed limit and using cruise control when driving on flat, wide-open roads will improve fuel efficiency in your vehicle. Fuel consumption will be increased by 10-20% if you increase your cruising speed from 55 to 65 mph. So, taking it slow can definitely help in terms of lessening your weekly gas budget.
9. Avoid Long Idles
Allowing your vehicle to sit idle for more than a minute so chip away at your gas tank. This is why many vehicles come with a semi-shut-off valve that automatically turns off idling when you’re sitting at a stoplight after a minute. You will hear and feel the vehicle start up again once you press the gas pedal.
10. Use Gas Apps
And lastly, you have gas apps at your disposal. If you’re looking to save money on your weekly gas bill, you should definitely be using some sort of gas app. It’s free to sign up for most of them and they also come with super-cool perks that you can use in other areas of your life such as the grocery stores and clothing retailers.
Some of the most popular gas apps include Gas Guru, GasBuddy, and Waze. These gaps can also tell you where to find the cheapest gas available in your local area, to prevent you from having to burn through additional gas trying to find the right price.
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Wrapping Things Up
The type of vehicle that you own will be the biggest determinant of how much gas you use every week, there are ways that you can help reduce this ongoing cost. This includes being more mindful of the way that you drive, using the right type of gas, keeping your filter changed, and making sure that your tires and the overall vehicle are in good condition. Things that you may want to consider as well include carpooling or possibly using gas apps to save every penny at the pump and receive rebates.
Featured Image Credit: IADE-Michoko, Pixabay