It seems that all over the world, times are tough and people are looking for any ways that they can find to save money. With gas purchases account for a large portion of the bills for many households, saving gas can translate directly to saving cash. While car commercials are constantly advertising new models with excellent fuel economy, there are several ways that people can save gas with the car that they already own.
- Plan Your Trips
The best way to save gas is by consolidating trips as much as possible. Get a map out and plot where you travel to the most and think about shortcuts you can take or stops along the same path that you can make while running errands so that you’re not constantly driving back and forth across town. If you own a smartphone or tablet, there are many great apps at your disposal that will allow you to easily keep track of where you go the most and help you to figure out how you can prevent unnecessary trips.
- Drive Fast
While reckless driving is never recommended, driving on highways rather than urban streets can save gas by burning fuel more efficiently. If you research the specifications for your vehicle, you can easily see the difference between the urban fuel economy that your car gets and the highway fuel economy. The highway fuel economy for a vehicle is always greater than the urban fuel economy because vehicles get better gas mileage when the driver doesn’t have to stop frequently or make a lot of turns. This plays on the age-old rule that an object in motion tends to stay in motion.
- Keep Your Car In Good Condition
Even though the highway fuel economy for your vehicle will exceed the urban fuel economy, keeping your car in good condition will ensure that your vehicle is performing at maximum efficiency. Clunky transmissions and bad tires can slow your vehicle down and cause it to burn more fuel to maintain regular speeds. If you notice any strange noises coming from your vehicle, take it to a mechanic as soon as possible and be sure to get a tune-up every six months to be on the safe side.
- Stop Idling
Idling wastes gas more than any other activity. The California Energy Commission estimates that an idling vehicle burns enough gas every two minutes to move your car one mile. Since most people spend at least 5-10 minutes idling each day at red lights or in fast food drive-thrus, most drivers waste about 2,000 miles worth of gas each year. To avoid idling, try planning your routes where there aren’t as much traffic lights and, as a general rule, park your car and go into fast food restaurants if there are several cars in line at the drive-thru.
- Upgrade To A More Fuel-Efficient Vehicle
While these other tips are all great ways to save gas, it may be time to trade your old clunker in for a newer model that gets a better fuel economy. With new cars coming down in price and receiving anywhere from 20-40 MPG, it may be a wise decision to invest in a new vehicle. Calculate how much money you are spending on gas each month and decide whether it would be cheaper in the long-run to buy a new vehicle.
Author Bio: Matt is from the team at Motorscore.com, the website that does for cars what Rotten Tomatoes does for movies.