As gas prices soar to record highs this summer, many Americans are feeling the pain at the pump when it’s time to refuel. Consumer websites are brimming with suggestions about how to save money on gas, but only a few of those tips can make a substantial difference in your bill. We’ve sorted through a wealth of expert opinions to find the most sensible strategies for making the next fill-up cost less and last longer. Here they are.
- Less aggressive driving equals big savings. Changing your driving style can have a much more dramatic impact on fuel economy than most drivers realize. Tests conducted by Edmunds.com indicate that if you drive less aggressively — cutting down on speeding, abrupt lane changes, sharp braking, and so on — you can improve your miles-per-gallon average by as much as 35 percent. That’s a lot of cash that’s not being dumped into your fuel tank.
- Keep the tire pressure up, the air conditioner use low. Underinflated tires lower fuel economy. So does running the air conditioner. Tires should be inflated to recommended levels, and lowering windows rather than cranking up the AC can boost fuel efficiency by 10 percent or more. In highway driving, the open windows can create drag, so a little air conditioning might still be a good idea in that situation — but does it really need to be on full blast?
- Gas up early in the week. A study of gas prices suggests that the cost-per-gallon typically shoots up on Friday and Saturday. The best days to fuel up are Monday and Tuesday.
- Avoid short trips. Car engines are designed to perform at their best when properly warmed up. Trips of a few blocks (or worse, just around the corner) play havoc with fuel efficiency. If you can bike or walk for the short errands and save the car for more extended trips, your wallet will thank you. So will your doctor or any loved ones who’ve been urging you to get more exercise.
- Seek out discounts. Apps like GasBuddy or its rivals can help you find the cheapest gas prices along your route. Some also offer discount or reward programs that may ease the burden. Grocery store reward cards are another option, as is joining a big-box discount retailer, like Sam’s Club or Costco, where gas prices are substantially less than at the typical convenience store.
- Use cruise control when advisable. There are certain situations on the road — wet weather, heavy stop-and-go traffic, mountain driving, rolling hills — for which cruise control isn’t recommended. But it’s well established that setting a reasonable speed and letting the device regulate it on a long, uncluttered highway straightaway is likely to be much more efficient, fuel-wise, than manual operation.
- Prioritize fuel economy when shopping for your next car. Even in cheap-gas times, gas-guzzling vehicles were losing their appeal for various reasons; now there are much better options, including hybrids and all-electric vehicles. Do the math on what an investment in a more fuel-efficient car will save you at the pump, and you may be pleasantly surprised.
THE CAR ACCIDENT ATTORNEYS AT FDAZAR
For more than thirty years the attorneys at Franklin D. Azar & Associates have helped thousands of injured people obtain complete and timely compensation for their losses. Our proven track record and expertise have allowed us to grow into the largest personal-injury law firm in Colorado, with offices in Denver, Aurora, Thornton, Fort Collins, Greeley, Grand Junction, Colorado Springs, and Pueblo. If you’ve been injured in a bus, car, truck, or motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to compensation. Please call the car accident attorneys at FDAzar day or night at 800-716-9032, or contact us here for a free consultation and no-obligation evaluation of your case.