Tips for Saving at the Pump

A person pumping gas into their car.

High gas prices got you down? Recently, prices were the highest they had been in US history. This trend is particularly hard on lower-income households, which tend to spend a bigger portion of their budgets on transportation.

Even those who want to cut down on driving are feeling the pinch – and looking for more ways either to use less gas or save money at the pump. Driving is how many people get to work. The average commute in 2019 was close to a half hour. And US consumers use gasoline in many ways:

  • Cars, SUVs, light trucks, and motorcycles
  • Recreational vehicles and boats
  • Construction, farming and landscaping equipment
  • Generators for portable and emergency power supplies

When times are tough, it helps to get informed so you can think outside the box. Even making one or two small, practical changes may be able to shave a few dollars off your gas budget.

Look for Alternative Modes of Transportation like Carpooling

Over half of Americans have claimed they would alter their driving habits if the cost of gas rose higher than $4 per gallon, which it did earlier this year. Others are considering trading their car in for an electric vehicle. Even though prices fluctuate, this might be an opportunity to find more fuel-efficient ways of getting around. Some lifestyle changes folks are considering include:

  • Carpooling
  • Combining errands
  • Having fun at home
  • Walking or biking when possible
  • Public transportation

Remove Drag from Your Vehicle

The heavier your car, the greater its inertia and rolling resistance. In other words, excess weight will slow it down and reduce the vehicle’s miles per gallon. Is there equipment in the trunk that could be removed? If not, consider that filling a 20-gallon gas tank in a mid-size car adds 122 pounds. Even driving with a lower level of gas can lighten the load a bit.

Reduce Your Highway Speed

Did you know that every mile per hour you drive over 60mph exponentially increases the drag on your car? If you tend to be heavy on the accelerator, now would be a good time to lighten up, especially if you spend hours on highways each month. Experts point out that reducing your highway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can have the effect of increasing fuel economy by as much as 14%.

The same goes for drivers who break compulsively. Coasting is the most efficient way to drive, so try to remain calm behind the wheel.

Maintain Your Vehicle for Better Fuel Economy

It can be tempting to put off routine maintenance, even necessary auto repairs. However, The Motley Fool reports that something as simple as replacing a clogged air filter could increase your fuel efficiency by up to 20%, while your underinflated tires may be cutting your fuel economy by 3% to 5%.

Avoid Idling Your Car

It may be convenient to leave the car running while waiting for a friend, picking up your child at school, or while your spouse runs a quick errand. But the gas you waste adds up – and that’s just one downside of this habit. Personal vehicles left to idle waste an estimated three billion gallons of fuel each year. And doing so for more than 10 seconds produces more emissions that contribute to smog and climate change than if you stop and restart your engine. Whenever possible (and safe), shut off the engine if you may be stopped for a minute or more.

Drive Less When Possible

Too many people are used to driving as a way of life, without thinking about the price of gas or the cost to the environment. Sometimes driving is the only option, but if it’s become part of an unnecessary pattern, consider replacing your driving habit with something healthier and more cost-effective.

Be Sure You Have Comprehensive Auto Insurance Coverage

Driving and auto insurance go hand in hand. Not only can these efficient driving habits leave you with more cash in your pocket, but they may also make you become a safer driver. Just don’t forgo insurance altogether. Driving without insurance is illegal in most states.

To find out more about your options, visit AZ Auto online to get a free quote on insurance and find the best deal for your needs. Our agents are ready to answer any questions you have.