Have your gasoline expenses risen lately? You aren’t alone. According to GasBuddy, on March 5th, 2022, the U.S. national average for gas surpassed $4.00 per gallon for the first time since 2008, and prices are still reaching record-breaking highs every day! With no end in sight for this pain at the pump, we’re all looking for ways to spend less on gas. We can’t prevent skyrocketing gas prices, but we do have a few tips for improving your car’s fuel efficiency. Get the most out of every gallon with these tips and start saving money on gas.
How to Spend Less On Gas By Improving Fuel Efficiency in Your Car
- Maintain your vehicle. A properly maintained vehicle uses less gasoline because it works more efficiently. Three common maintenance tasks include keeping your tires properly inflated, changing your oil, and tuning up your engine. A quick trip to the service center is worth every penny if it helps you save at the pump!
- Don’t speed. Seriously, don’t speed! Along with avoiding costly speeding tickets (which aren’t good for your insurance premiums), obeying the speed limit uses less gasoline. Generally speaking, once you travel over 50 mph, fuel efficiency rapidly decreases.
- Use the lowest manufacturer-recommended octane. Higher octanes are only necessary for specific circumstances. Otherwise, you’re just spending extra money for no benefit.
- Avoid unnecessary idling. Idling may be convenient, but it won’t help you spend less on gas. In fact, idling uses more gas and releases more emissions than turning off and restarting the car.
- Use cruise control when possible. Maintaining a constant speed improves fuel economy. It also helps you avoid those speeding tickets we keep warning you about.
- Use the air conditioner sparingly and on the economy or recirculation settings. Air conditioning puts about a 20% greater load on the engine and burns extra fuel! Use the economy setting, if your AC has one, to circulate uncooled air, and use the recirculation setting to reduce the amount of outside air that needs to be chilled.
- Combine errands. Combining errands, especially if you select an efficient route, decreases the number of miles you drive and the amount of gasoline used. Think like an Amazon delivery driver and plan out that route ahead of time!
- Don’t accelerate or brake hard. Aggressive driving decreases your fuel economy by about 5% in the city and 33% at highway speeds. Sensing a trend yet? Safe driving means saving money on gas all around!
- Keep the windows closed. Driving with the windows open creates a greater drag on the vehicle and decreases fuel economy by about 10%.
- Avoid heavy loads. Do not store unnecessary items in your car. An extra 100 pounds can decrease mileage by 2%, so if you don’t need it, leave it at home.
- Use apps to find affordable gas. Apps and websites like GasBuddy and Waze help you find the cheapest gas along your route.
- Join a gas loyalty program. Many gas stations offer reward programs to help loyal customers save at the pump. Each program has its own rules, so don’t forget to read the fine print.
By following these 12 simple tips, you can increase your fuel efficiency and save money on gas in the vehicle you already have. But if you’re like many Americans, you may be considering an electric or hybrid vehicle to save even more on gas. The General has you covered—read about the benefits of buying an electric vehicle to help save money on gas on our blog. If you’re looking for affordable insurance, you can get a car insurance quote from The General in just two minutes or less.