How to Spend Less on Gas
The average household spends thousands of dollars a year on gas. With the cost of gas and other necessities higher than usual, not everyone has that kind of dough. But driving remains a vital part of existence for many households. The vast majority of commuters in the US still drive to work, and public transportation is not always a viable alternative for everyone who needs to get to a job more than a few miles away.
Fortunately, there are many ways to save money normally spent on gas each month, even while driving the same vehicle. It may amount to a few dollars here and there, but those dollars will add up and give you more spending power at the pump.
Improve Your Fuel Efficiency as You Drive
Have you considered that how you drive could be wasting gas? Maybe adjusting your speed will save you money. Following the speed limit tends to use less gasoline because, as a rule, going over 50 mph causes a decrease in fuel efficiency. The same goes for applying the brakes. Aggressive drivers might feel tough, but they end up wasting fuel and spending more money on gas – while putting themselves at risk for a ticket or worse.
Also try to maintain consistent speeds when you drive, as that can improve fuel economy, as well. Even keeping the windows closed may help. Driving with open windows creates a drag on a vehicle at higher speeds that can decrease its fuel economy by as much as 10 percent! While you’re at it, check the trunk for unnecessary loads that might also be causing an extra drag on your car.
Another small trick is to lower your air conditioner use while keeping it on the economy or recirculation settings. That’s right: AC use can put a greater load on the engine by quite a bit! Find out what other economy settings are available in your car and make sure you’re using them to your advantage.
Be a More Conscientious Driver
Carpooling is ideal for commuters who don’t have access to other means of transportation, but it isn’t always an option. That doesn’t mean people shouldn’t examine their habits at all. Try to think of places you drive to that are within walking distance, and don’t be afraid of running an errand on foot or by bike. On those rainy days, maybe there are errands you could combine to make fewer driving trips – or put them off for a day more suitable for walking.
One common bad habit is that many people allow their cars to idle without considering what it is doing to their gas budget, let alone the environment. While you’re waiting to pick up your kids, friends or spouse, turn off the ignition. Restarting the car will use less gas than idling while you wait.
Look for Cheaper Gas
Find out where the most affordable gas is available. Then do a little math to see if it’s worth the trip. Look for helpful apps and websites to find the best option on your route. Gas loyalty programs may be another option, depending on where you live. While some gas stations and stores like Costco offer reward programs to help customers save on fuel, be sure to read the fine print to make sure joining will be worth it and won’t cost you in hidden fees or undesirable commitments.
Consider Purchasing an Electric Car (EV)
If you’ve been thinking of buying an electric vehicle, you’re not alone. About a fourth of U.S. drivers say they want to get an electric vehicle the next time they buy a car. That’s a big leap from the 10 percent of Americans who currently drive a hybrid or electric vehicle.
There are different types of electric cars. All-electric (or battery-electric) vehicles (EVs) are the most common kind of electric car on the road. These are the ones with batteries that drivers must recharge by plugging them in. It may be a bigger investment upfront, which is why so many people who want to buy one are considering a used EV. However, the up front cost to lease or buy one will automatically start paying off. By not having to fill up at the pump, the average driver can expect almost $1000 in savings for each year they drive their EV compared with a gas-powered vehicle.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Finally, don’t overlook routine maintenance that will save a buck. A more well-maintained car or truck tends to be more fuel efficient. Three things you can do today to ensure a lass gas-guzzling vehicle:
- Inflate your tires
- Change your oil
- Give your engine a tuneup
While saving at the pump, find an excellent insurance plan that covers all your auto needs by contacting Amigo Insurance today. Our agents are ready to help you compare quotes and find the best deal available!