Top Fuel Efficiency Tips for Drivers

A car's dashboard.

Everyone wants to save money on gas these days. Many drivers are also looking for ways to lower their gas consumption for environmental reasons. That’s why roughly twenty-five percent of U.S. drivers hope to get an electric vehicle the next time they buy a car – a figure that appears to be growing.

There are many ways to be more fuel efficient in your day-to-day routine. Small, simple adjustments to driving habits can make a dent in how much a typical driver spends on fuel:

  • Run more errands on foot
  • Carpool with friends and co-workers
  • Fill your tires
  • Shop at low-traffic times of day
  • Adjust your commute
  • Work from home at least one day a week

What else can you do to be more fuel efficient?

Adjust & Improve Your Driving Habits

Some fuel-efficiency stems from the way we drive, not just what we drive. Some drivers may be wasting gas without even realizing it. For example, adjusting your speed is one possible way to save gas, and therefore money. Following the speed limit can be more efficient because going over 50 mph generally decreases a car’s fuel efficiency. Similarly, drivers who tend to hit the accelerator hard can end up wasting gas and spending more money at the pump – not to mention risking an accident.

Here are a few other factors to consider when behind the wheel:

  1. Maintain consistent speeds to improve fuel economy
  2. Keep windows closed at higher speeds, since driving with open windows can create a drag
  3. Unload unnecessary items that might weigh down your car
  4. Lower your air conditioner use, which can put a strain on the engine
  5. Use the economy or recirculation settings

Find out what other economy settings are available in your car and make sure you’re using them to your advantage. Some models have an ECON or Economy button. When pressed on a Honda Fit, for example, the engine’s control module adjusts its throttle response, cruise control, air conditioner, and transmission response to reduce your engine’s workload. Using Economy mode may lower the strain on the powertrain, as well. While it doesn’t necessarily improve a vehicle’s fuel economy, you can still give it a try and see for yourself what the benefits are.

U.S./Local Governments Providing Financial Assistance for Drivers of Electric Cars

To incentivize more people to use less gas, the federal government is offering financial assistance to help people afford a new electric vehicle (EV). Check out the federal Qualified Plug-In Electric-Drive Motor Vehicle Tax Credit for information on tax credits you may be able to get for your next EV purchases. Possible incentives include:

  1. A tax credit of $2,500 – $7,500 for new EV purchases
  2. Alternate fuel and electric vehicles registered in Arizona may be eligible for a reduced vehicle license tax
  3. Get HOV freeway lane privileges
  4. Exempt from emissions testing requirements

Keep in mind that manufacturers need to meet certain vehicle sales thresholds, and your tax credit may depend on the size and battery capacity of your car. Certain states and electric utility providers are also offering incentives for customers to cut down on their gas consumption. This online Laws and Incentives database has more information.

Other Advantages of Driving an Alternative or Electric Vehicle (EV) in Arizona

There are even more advantages to driving an electric vehicle in Arizona. Alternative Fuel Vehicle (AFV) drivers have access to designated parking areas for carpool operators, provided the vehicle is using alternative fuel. Arizona Public Service Company (APS) offers residential customers a $250 rebate for the purchase of a qualifying Level 2 EV charging station. (For eligibility requirements, visit the APS EV Smart Charger Rebate website.)

While considering your options, don’t be discouraged if you didn’t see anything you liked – or could afford – the first time you checked out EVs on the market. Technology, prices, and availability are often in flux. While all-electric (or battery-electric) vehicles are the most common kind of electric car on the road, there may be an affordable, used hybrid-electric car for sale in your area. It’s still an investment, to be sure.

However, savings are immediate. Drivers see almost $1000 in savings, on average, for each year they drive their EV compared with a gas-powered vehicle.

Contact AZ Auto for Best Car Insurance Quotes

Finally, be sure you have the proper insurance plan to cover your needs. There are many insurance options, and an agent at AZ Auto can help ensure that you have the best plan to protect your whole family.

Interested in finding out more about insuring and protecting your vehicle? Call AZ Auto today for a FREE insurance quote today!