[Updated on 6/1/2020] Summer is here, and that typically means road trips to a favorite summer destination. Before you head out on the highway,, here are some cash-saving tips.
Improve Your Driving Habits
Not only will improved driving habits help you save money on your auto insurance (safe driving = savings) but according to Money Crashers these tips can also save gas money.
Combine your errands into one trip to avoid repeat drives into town. Consider walking instead of driving for nearby pick-ups, or drag out that bicycle that’s gathering dust in the garage or shed.
Buy Gas Early or Late in the Day
Purchase gas early or late in the day, especially during warm months. Gas is cooler earlier in the day, and denser. As temperatures rise, gas density falls and you get less of it when you pump.
Also, buy gas early in the week. Prices typically rise between Wednesday and Saturday but stay lower during the early days of the week.
Slow Down and Drive Steady
Driving fast may be fun, but it also increases drag, which increases fuel consumption. Driving just below the speed limit and driving smoothly (not accelerating quickly) uses gas more efficiently, so you may have to fill up a lot less often.
Monitor When and How You Brake
Braking excessively wastes gas and causes your brake pads to wear out quickly. Maintain a safe distance between yourself and the car in front of you when you’re in heavy traffic – that way, you won’t need to brake as often as if you were tailgating.
Also, by keeping a bit more distance between you and the car ahead, you can begin braking earlier, especially when approaching a traffic light. By not having to slam on the brakes at the last minute, you’ll improve the efficiency of your car and save gas.
Turn Off the Engine
If you’re waiting outside for your spouse to finish getting ready for your night out, or you’re waiting at a railroad crossing for the train to cross, turn off the engine. Idling is a major waste of gasoline and contributes massive amounts of pollutants to the atmosphere.
Eliminate Wind Resistance
An open window increases drag and costs you fuel in the long run – so keep your windows closed whenever possible. Also, remember to remove unneeded car racks and carriers. If you normally drive around with a ski rack, bicycle rack, or luggage rack on your roof, take it off when it’s not in use to make your vehicle more aerodynamic.
Avoid Gas Stations Near the Highway
The first gas station that you encounter after a long stretch of highway will usually be pricey. If possible, plan your stop or drive a little farther toward the nearest town to find a cheaper station.
Don’t Wait Until Your Tank Is Almost Empty to Fill Up
If you wait until your tank is almost empty, you may be stuck paying for whatever gas you find conveniently nearby, as you won’t be able to search for the best deal.
Stay on Top of Car Maintenance
Proper car care is another important component of getting the most out of your gas mileage.
Frequent checks of the following are crucial.
- Monitor Your Tires
- Tune the Engine
- Change Filters
- Use the Correct Motor Oil
- Turn Off the A/C
Lastly, there are popular apps that can help save money at the pump, be sure you are taking advantage of all the possible discounts offered to you.
It’s all in the numbers, take a look at how your improved driving habits can benefit your wallet.
Fuel expenses can be a financial burden to us all, but if you keep these gas saving tips in mind, you’ll see the savings add up.
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