(updated from the original post on June 9, 2014)
High Gas Prices
No matter what state you live in, you’re seeing the highest gas prices this year since 2014. Analysts had already predicted 2017 to see surges in fuel prices, but then the effects of Hurricane Harvey on refineries along the Texas Gulf Coast in September pushed the national average up $.25 in just one week.
There’s not much the average driver can do ebbing fuel costs, unless you are planning to buy a hybrid or electric vehicle, or opt for public transportation. That doesn’t mean we can’t control how we use our fuel, where we buy it, and how efficiently we run our vehicles. For those willing to make some adjustments, several fuel-saving tips can help increase motoring efficiency and reduce pain at the pump.
Leave race-car driving to the likes of Jeff Gordon and Dale Jr. Avoid quick acceleration and hard breaking, and try to maintain a constant speed on highways by using your car’s cruise control. According to Edmunds.com, “calm driving,” improves fuel economy by 35 percent — this is by far, Edmunds says, the best way to save on fuel (and stay safe on the roads).
Hopping in the car every time you need something may be convenient, but it’s certainly not the best way to save on gas. Avoid wasteful fuel consumption by combining several short trips into one longer one, and be sure to travel the most direct route possible. Also consider carpooling for work, or avoiding the car altogether if public transportation, biking, or getting there on foot is an option.
Remove Dead Weight.
Keeping unnecessary items in your car not only looks unsightly, but weighing down your car can also weigh down your wallet. According to the Consumer Federation of America, for every 100 pounds you unload, you’ll save the equivalent of six cents per gallon. So lighten your load and get rid of that costly cargo!
Keep the Pressure On.
In addition to affecting tread wear and road safety, neglecting to keep your tires inflated to the correct pressure can have consequences when it comes to fuel efficiency. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, gas mileage decreases by .3 percent for every 1-psi drop in pressure for all four tires. Follow your vehicle’s recommended tire pressure, usually found in the glove box or on a placard in the driver’s side doorjamb; or refer to your car’s owner’s manual.
Gas Deal Apps.
Your smartphone can be a powerful tool in the search for petrol savings. Apps like Cheap Gas! or Gas Buddy enable users to shop smart and find the best deals in their area. Why pay more when just a few screen taps could lead to lower gas prices?
While these are among the more effective methods, there are numerous ways to save on gas. Of course, one of the best ways is to drive a fuel-efficient car. And with a recent study showing that new cars now average more than 25 mpg — a near-record high — there are plenty of options for economy-conscious consumers looking for a new set of wheels.