In the last ten years the price of gas has more than doubled, and there’s little evidence to suggest that gas prices are going to return to their previously low levels. Just take a look at historical prices and other than a few isolated dips the price of gas has consistently increased.
Gas is just one expense that most people completely forget about when considering the cost of owning a car, but the costs can add up pretty quickly. For example, my daily commute to work involves a 42 mile drive each way. Luckily I only go the office four days per week, but I still have to fill up the tank an average of once a week (and my car is pretty much used for nothing but commuting to work).
Fortunately it is one expense that you have a good deal of control over. The tips in this article will help you get the most bang for your buck at the gas pump.
Stick to Regular
Premium gas costs a good twenty to thirty cents more per gallon so switching to regular will save you at least a few bucks with every fill up. Most cars run just fine on regular unleaded gas so unless your owner’s manual specifically states your car needs premium you’re just throwing your money away.
The faster you drive, the faster you’ll burn through your gas. Slow and steady wins the race for most mileage so ease off the accelerator and pay attention so you’re not making sudden starts and stops. This will help your brakes last longer too.
Don’t Be Idle
Don’t leave the engine running while you run into the store or hit the ATM for some cash. Even if you think you’ll just be a minute, you’re using gas for nothing.
Take a Load Off
The more weight your engine has to haul around the harder it has to work and the more fuel it will burn through. That means you shouldn’t carry around all your worldly possessions with you. That means you should empty your trunk of anything not essential. In other words, take out the 300 pounds in dumbbells and weights, though you should probably leave the spare tire and jack.
Speaking of weight, maybe this is a good excuse to finally drop a few pounds of your own. And while losing twenty or thirty pounds from your waistline won’t have a huge impact on your car’s mileage, it will help you live a little healthier and happier.
Skip the Gimmicks
It’s amazing how many products promise to boost your mileage to amazing levels and there is no shortage of frugal drivers willing to buy them. But they’re really just throwing their money away with fuel boosts and gas additives that do little good.
You can even buy a kit that will supposedly convert your car to run on water instead of gas. If that sounds shady, you’re right. It probably won’t work at all and you could end up damaging your car and even voiding the warranty. Buyer beware.