4 Driving Hacks To Save You Money On Gas
Gas prices have reached record levels across the country. This week, the national average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is $4.32. One year ago this week, a gallon of gas cost $2.86. The last time prices were this high was just prior to the Great Recession in 2008. Now, prices have effectively doubled in some parts of the country since last year. This continues to weigh heavily on consumers across the country. Anyone need a few driving hacks? If so, read on.
Every $1 per gallon in fuel price increases costs the average consumer $500 per year. So, with gas being up almost $2 per gallon, the typical American could spend around $1,000 more this year just on gas. The cost of gas, as it reaches the end-consumer in the U.S., involves a complex mishmash of crude oil prices, taxes and other costs. Crude oil costs account for 56% of the end cost of a gallon of regular gasoline. Refining costs account for 14%, distribution and marketing costs eat up another 16%, and taxes amount to 15%.
Need some help?
Check out these 4 driving hacks that can save you money on gas.
1. Chill out behind the wheel
Aggressive driving burns through gas more quickly. So lay off the gas, ease up on the brakes and aim for a smoother ride whenever you’re behind the wheel. Additionally, stick to the speed limit and use your cruise control whenever you can.
2. Maintenance is critical
Small problems affect a car’s fuel efficiency. So make sure you’re taking care of any small problems that arise and sticking to a regular maintenance schedule. One incredibly easy thing drivers can do is to check their tire pressure. Properly inflated tires can lead to better fuel efficiency.
Be sure to follow the correct tire pressure listed on the sticker inside your driver’s side door. That number indicates the correct tire pressure for your car’s year, make and model. Get a pressure gauge, and check your tires when the car and your tires are cold. Properly inflated tires can save you one to two miles per gallon.
3. Take the junk out of your trunk
Your car faces wind resistance as it moves down the road. Drivers can burn less fuel by making their cars as light and aerodynamic as possible. That can involve getting rid of rarely used bike racks and removing golf clubs, kids’ sports gear or storage containers typically left in your vehicle.
4. Stick to a 30-second rule
This may prove the easiest of our 4 driving hacks. You shouldn’t let your car idle. So don’t let your car car sit there running and getting zero miles to the gallon.
Forget the drive-throughs. Park your car, go inside, and purchase what you want. If you’re sitting in line, you’re getting zero miles per gallon.
The same goes for warming up your car before leaving, or even waiting to pick up your kids from school. If you’re idling, you should shut off your car. If it sits more than 30 seconds under most circumstances, just shut the vehicle off.
While these 4 driving hacks may make only a marginable difference in your fuel costs, they can develop into habits that can pay off over time — for both you and your budget.
Here’s an extra tip. Don’t forget to shop around for gas prices. Use club discounts and apps like Gas Buddy to save money as well.
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