Almost everyone owns a car. After all, it’s the second-largest purchase a lot of consumers make– the first one, is a property. However, unlike a home, the costs don’t stop when you leave the dealer’s lot. That’s why a most car owners even describe owning a vehicle like having another child.
No doubts about that as you have to maintain your vehicle. To support that, according to AAA’s Driving Cost Study, the continuing upkeep costs falls around $8,700 a year! That means you’re spending around $725 a month and 58 cents on average– each mile driven. The continuing rise of oil prices doesn’t help either. Fortunately, there are a number of ways on how to save money on car gas, and here are some of those.
Tip #1: Slow, But Steady
You’re not a racer; no need for you to drive beyond the speed limit, especially if you want to save on gas costs. Driving fast consumes more fuel, but driving below the speed limit allows you to use gas more efficiently.
Tip #2: Refill Your Tank Early or Late in the Day
Here’s a life hack. Purchase gas early or late in the day, especially when the weather is warm. Why? Gas is cooler early in the day and more dense, and as the temperature rise, gas density starts to fall. That means you’ll be getting less if you’ll be buying gas when it’s cold. Aside from that, as much as possible, purchase gasoline early in the week, because gas prices usually increase in the middle of the week, until the weekend, while it stays lower in the early days.
Tip #3: You Can Actually Warm Up Your Car in Just a Few Minutes
A lot of people have a misconception that you have to warm up your car for several minutes; that’s not true at all. In fact, ideally, you shouldn’t be warming up the car for longer than 30 seconds– one minute would be the maximum. Having your more than a minute isn’t only a waste of fuel, but you’re also pumping greenhouse emissions into the air. Aside from that, modern cars don’t need several minutes to warm up, unlike old cars.
Tip #4: Avoid Excessive Idling
Excessive idling is bad for your wallet, because this would just be a waste of fuel. As a matter of fact, 10 minutes of idling consumes the same amount of fuel in traveling for 5 miles! In case that you need to sit in your car for a few minutes, then just turn it off and restart it. Better yet, just park the car if it’s possible!
Tip #5: Drive Less
Between the rising cost of gas, and inflation, there’s a reason people are starting to drive less and would rather commute. If others can do it, why can’t you? What we’re trying to say is that, if you really want to save on gas costs, you can consider combining your errands into one trip, instead of driving every now and then. Aside from that, consider walking whenever you can, or ride a bicycle! Not only will you be able to save on gas costs, it’s also a great way to keep your body fit and healthy. Work those legs out.
Tip #6: Relax!
Just like what they always say, a driver should always be calm and relax– you’ll always encounter slow drivers, traffic jams, and other issues that might get into your nerves. You have to know that “angry driving” can cost you big– that means rapidly accelerating. Just like what has been mentioned earlier, you’ll end up consuming more fuel when driving beyond the speed limit; not just that. It can also be pretty dangerous. So, the best way would be accelerating slowly and stopping gradually depending on the situation. This would help you save gas.
Tip #7: Utilize Your Smartphone
There are certain apps, such as GasBuddy, and AAA Triptik that can help you find the cheapest gas in your area. Likewise, you can also use your phone to get real time update about traffic before leaving your home. By doing, you’ll be able to avoid wasting gas because of idling.
Tip #8: Get a Gas Reward Card
For those who drive a lot, it would be very practical to get a credit card that rewards buying gas. Also, there are also grocery chains that offer gasoline reward programs. To take advantage of this, you can encourage your friends and family to share the card so the points would pile up faster, and you’ll be able to use it. The drawback about this is that, the price at the gas station isn’t usually the best deal. Thus, even with savings, you’ll probably be spending the same amount if you’ll go to a place with a cheaper gas.
Tip #9: Roll Up the Windows
You don’t have to use the car AC all the time. When running errands, make it a habit to roll down the window to let the cool air in, or the hot air out. On the other hand, if you’re driving along the highway, windows down would increase the drag, resulting in a reduction in fuel efficiency. That means, when the weather is hot and you’re on a highway, then it would be better if you’ll turn on the AC.
Tip #10: Park in the Shade
This may sound a little bit odd, but gasoline evaporates even if it’s safely trapped in the gas tank. That means when the weather is hot, you should look for a spot where sunlight won’t directly hit your car. Try to park your car in the shade as much as possible. In situations where there aren’t any shades, then just keep the gas tank away from direct sunlight.
Tip #11: Keep Your Car Clean
According to Myth Busters, clean car can get two mile per gallon more than dirty one. If you drive a 15000 mile per year you can save over 100$. And in 10 years you can save more than 1000$.
There you have it. These are just some of the simple tips on how to save money on gas.
Tim Fox cofounder and writer for theeiteproduct.com. A blog where he and his friend share their love to cars and motorcycles.