Being a car owner can be expensive. Between car payments, insurance, maintenance, parking, and gas, you could be spending hundreds, or even thousands, on your vehicle each month! Let’s discuss ways to save on gas to minimize this as much as possible, shall we?
1) Drive a fuel efficient car. Driving a gas guzzling car is the quickest way to burn through money filling up at the pump. By switching to a fuel efficient vehicle, you will not only save money, you will also save the environment. Okay, so you’ll help save the environment. Drive that Prius with pride!
Good rules of thumb: The smaller the car, the better the gas mileage. Hybrids are always a good fuel-efficient option. Even a diesel might be a good option, as some diesel cars offer mileage similar to that of hybrids. However, diesel prices can be higher or lower than traditional fuel at different times.
2) Check the air in your tires regularly. You should keep your tires inflated appropriately at all times. In fact, keeping your tires inflated to your car’s maximum reduces rolling friction between the road and your tires. This will improve your mileage, allowing you to fill up less.
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3) Stop speeding. Speeding reduces your fuel efficiency. It can also cost you in tickets. Slow down for the sake of your wallet and the safety of yourself and others on the road.
4) Roll your windows down. When driving in the city, roll your windows down instead of cranking the A/C to improve your fuel efficiency. Sweating is good for you, suck it up.
5) Roll the windows up! When driving on the highway, roll your windows up and use the air conditioner instead. Why? Wind resistance will work against you at high speeds. So remember — in town, roll them down, [insert clever but dorky rhyme about highway driving and air conditioning].
6) Avoid multiple trips. Bundle your errands to minimize your gas usage. Chances are you will have to go to the grocery store, pharmacy, bank, library, and mall during any given week. Do all of these things during one trip to cut back on green spent at the pump.
It’s a great idea to make these trips after work provided the errands are between work and home (or closer to work than home). Besides saving money on gas, you’ll probably be exhausted from work and less likely to linger and spend more time and money on your errands.
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7) Empty your trunk. Excess weight in your car kills your fuel efficiency because your car will need more fuel to accelerate. Remove all of the extra crap from your car to save money and keep your car less cluttered while you’re at it.
What about the spare tire? I wouldn’t ditch it on your next cross-country trek, but you might take it out for small in-town trips. If you don’t want to, no problem! It’s just an idea.
8) Get out of your car. Drive through windows are for lazy money wasters. Park your car and walk into your fast food establishment of choice. As I am not completely heartless, I grant an exception to any parent with 3 or more children in the car or 2 or more children under the age of 4. Those are my rules, obey them!
9) Walk, bike, or take public transportation. It’s cheaper, and in the case of walking or biking it’s also healthier. Burn calories without burning cash, amiright?
For public transportation, consider buying a monthly pass if you’ll use it regularly (to and from work or school). Then ride that bus, train, or subway everywhere you can to maximize your investment.
10) Carpool. If you live near a coworker you can stand, suggest taking turns on driving to work. You’ll save cash, it’s green, and many cities have an awesome carpool lane that will get you to work faster.
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11) Get the cheapest gas in the area. DO NOT drive 20 miles to save 5 cents, just go to the cheapest station in town. Not sure where the cheapest gas is? There’s an app for that! Actually, there are several apps. Try GasBuddy for Android or iPhone.
12) Keep your speed consistent. Acceleration and braking will absolutely kill your gas mileage. Cruise control can help with this, but avoid using it on hills. Why? Cruise has a hard time anticipating hills and will have to quickly accelerate — exactly what you don’t want! Cruise on flat roads, keep a steady pace on hills.
13) Embrace your GPS. The GPS is one of the greatest inventions ever. I’d even go so far as to say it is better than sliced bread. It can save you gas money by giving you the fastest and shortest route to your destination.
14) Keep up with maintenance. By taking care of your car, it will run better and give you better mileage. Get regular oil changes, make sure your fluid levels are adequate, and fix anything that isn’t working correctly.
The pros suggest getting a maintenance check every six months. Oil changes should be every 3,000 to 5,000 miles (depending on how new your car is) and fluids will be checked when you get your oil changed.
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15) Turn your car in for a motorcycle or scooter. Bikes get much better gas mileage (think 70 MPG) than cars do and they are much cheaper to purchase. Plus they are cool, provided you don’t live in a place with high levels of precipitation.
It’s really easy to reduce your spending on gas! Just try a few of the methods above to save cash while also being environmentally friendly.
How do you save money on gas? Would you consider switching to a scooter or motorcycle?