Six Tips to Save on Gas
This winter, travelers making their way to see family and friends for Christmas and New Year’s are unlikely to feel jolly about gas prices. Gas prices have been on the rise during the year, and winter often sees these prices continue to go up.
While the federal government has taken steps to reign in the cost of gas, many people are paying more than $1 per gallon more at the pump than they were at this time last year. Given the high cost of gas, it never hurts to have a few tips for saving money. We have collected some of the best tips for saving on gas.
1. Watch Your Speed
One of the best ways to cut down on the cost of gas this winter is by reducing your speed while driving. Traveling at high speed can dramatically reduce your gas mileage, which in turn increases how much you pay at the pump each month. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, your fuel economy drops significantly when you travel above 50 miles per hour. Reducing your average speed by 5 to 10 miles per hour could bring down the cost of gasoline by as much as 14 percent.
Traveling at slower speeds could do more for you than improve your fuel economy. Watching your speed is also important for your safety. In fact, maintaining a safe speed is one of the best ways to drive in snow or rain without having an accident.
2. Keep Up With Car Maintenance
Another useful tip for saving on gas involves keeping up with regular car maintenance. Any time you see your check engine light come on, it could mean that you are dealing with excessive emissions. One of the consequences of ignoring the need for regular car maintenance is that these emissions could reduce your fuel economy.
A few small habits could add up to having a big impact on the cost of gas. In addition to avoiding high speeds, it is also helpful to travel at a constant speed whenever possible. A large variation in speed could eat up far more gas compared to relying on cruise control.
It is also helpful to avoid idling whenever possible. For many people, it is natural to leave the car idling while they wait in a parking lot to pick up their children or have something delivered to the car. Idling might not use as much gas as driving, but it still drains fuel to some degree. Turning off your car when possible could help you save at the pump.
3. Take Care of your Tires
Your tires play a bigger part in the cost of filling up the tank than you realize. In fact, your tires are one of the most important factors when it comes to improving fuel efficiency.
Low tire pressure has a negative impact on your fuel efficiency. By ensuring that your tires are at optimal pressure, you could dramatically improve your fuel efficiency and cut down on how frequently you need to go to the pump. This will also lessen your chances of having a tire-related issue later on, but always be sure to have a roadside emergency kit handy.
4. Reduce the Weight and Drag of your Vehicle
Anything that makes your engine work harder to power your vehicle could hurt your fuel efficiency. One of the easiest ways to improve fuel economy is by reducing the weight of your vehicle. Remember, the things you keep in your vehicle could weigh more than you realize. By keeping the clutter out of your vehicle, you are reducing its total weight and also limiting the amount of gas needed to keep you on the road.
Wind drag is also an issue worth considering. While vehicles are streamlined to avoid wind drag, there are ways you could inadvertently increase drag as you travel. This could not only slow your vehicle down, but it could require your engine to do more work than necessary. The most common way this could become an issue is by loading large objects on a roof rack. Anything attached to the roof rack could dramatically reduce your gas mileage.
5. Rely on Technology to Reduce the Price of Gas
Gas prices might be high in general, but the cost at one station could still vary significantly compared to another. For that reason, you could save on gas by shopping around for the best price.
Finding the cheapest gas has never been easier. There are numerous mobile apps like GasBuddy that take into account your location and cross-reference it with many of the gas stations nearby. By using these apps, you might find a cheap option nearby.
This is especially true if you are traveling across state lines. The cost of gas can differ greatly from one state to another. It could be in your best interest to check the prices before you cross state lines to determine the best place to fill up your vehicle.
6. Avoid Premium Gas When Possible
Over the years, gasoline technology has improved greatly. Now, most vehicles will operate fine using regular or midgrade quality gasoline. Despite this reality, many drivers continue to use premium gas even when it is not recommended by the vehicle maker.
The best course of action is to review your vehicle’s documentation and determine what type of gasoline is required. If premium gas is only recommended, you could save money by going to regular or midgrade. Also, consider the switch to a hybrid vehicle to cut back on the cost of gas.
You Could Also Save Money on Your Car Insurance
Cutting your gas expenses is not the only way you could save money this holiday season. One of the best ways to create room in your budget is by cutting the cost of your car insurance premiums.
Bluefire Insurance is committed to providing great coverage at fair rates to consumers. Interested to learn how we might be able to offer quality coverage to your auto insurance customers? Bluefire is looking to expand in your territory today. You can contact us online or call us at (866) 424-9511.
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