Commuting and traveling are now apart of our everyday routines. But, overspending on gas doesn’t have to be. Here are nine tips to save gas and save you money.
1. Slow Down
It’s the simplest tip we have—just slow down. Driving fast increases drag, which increases fuel consumption. Instead of going 5-10 mph over, go the speed limit.
Can’t be trusted to stop cruising in the left lane? Set your cruise control. In fact, keeping a consistent speed saves your gas and wallet.
2. Drive Smooth
Aggressive driving will cost you. Sure, it’s tempting to peel away at the green light, but that sudden acceleration burns through the gas. And, same goes for aggressive braking.
How much will driving like Grandma save you? A test done by Edmunds.com found that accelerating and braking gradually saved a Land Rover 35% in gas consumption and a Mustang 27%.
It’s worth it.
3. Keep Your Tires Inflated
Not only does it reduce wear on your tires, but it also saves you money. Proper inflation reduces “rolling resistance,” which reduces friction and fuel consumption. With many gas stations offering free air, it’s worth the 10 minutes.
4. Reduce Drag
Have a bike rack you don’t use? Or maybe you like cruising around with the windows down? These things create drag, which increases fuel use.
It is true that the A/C unit consumes gas. However, this is only true in stop-and-go traffic. Everywhere else, roll the windows up.
5. Clean Out Your Car
If you’re the type to keep the trunk full of things are all times, you’re also the person to pay more in gas money. Extra weight equals higher gas consumption. While a few pounds may not be worth the hassle, an entire trunk’s worth of stuff is.
6. Regular Maintenace
It’s time to schedule that oil change, filter replacement or just a general tune-up. Cars with recently replaced air filters, correct grades of motor oil and fresh oil, and a tune-up boost their gas mileage by almost 4%.
While 4% may not be anything to write home about, that coupled with an adequately maintained and functioning car should be enough to get you into the shop.
7. Go Idle-Free
It’s pretty simple: don’t run your car when you aren’t driving. Not only is this better for the environment, but it’s also better for your bank account.
Instead of idling outside of a friends house, turn it off. Don’t sit in your parking spot playing on your phone, turn it off. If it isn’t moving, it isn’t on.
8. Get Discounted Gas Cards or a Rewards Card
Getting a gas card for Christmas is great. But, getting yourself one? Seems odd. Except, when you can find discounted gas cards. Look for coupons at the grocery store, Target, or Walmart who sometimes offer discounts on gift cards.
Why not fill up with $100 worth of gas, but only pay $95?
If you drive a lot or find yourself at the gas station frequently, look into getting a rewards card. Not sure where to start? Nerd Wallet compiles all the top cards and lets you compare and contrast, finding which card works for you.
9. Shop Smarter to Save Gas Money
Guess what?! There’s an app for that. Apps like AAA and GasBuddy allow you to search gas prices in your area. Shop around and find the lowest price!
Don’t fill up on the weekends. Gas stations often raise prices slightly Friday thru Sunday, capitalizing on weekend travel plans. Also, fill up sooner rather than later. When you don’t need gas right that second, you can shop around for a better price.
Drive slower, shop smarter, maintain your vehicle, save gas, and save money. It’s doesn’t have to be hard. These nine tips will get you started.