With summer travel season at hand and gas prices rising, saving money at the gas pump can make a real difference to your budget. Once you’ve paid for your gas, here are five surefire driving tips to help you save money on gasoline.
Avoid jackrabbit starts and sudden stops. Try to drive smoothly, accelerating gradually and coasting toward stop signs. Quick starts and jamming on the brakes waste gasoline and contribute to accidents, as well. Practice slowing down gradually as you approach red lights with the goal of arriving at the light just after it changes to green. Accelerate slowly and smoothly to the speed limit and aim for consistency in your driving habits.
Hit the highway. You waste gas every time you stop you for a traffic light or to make a left turn. When you can, use expressways, highways, or interstates to avoid the stop-and-start traffic blues.
Use cruise control. Cruise control is your friend, even when you’re not heading down the highway. Cruise control conserves gas by eliminating the constant speed changes that happen in normal driving. Do use cruise control whenever possible, but don’t use it in rainy conditions. Likewise, take advantage of the gauges in your car that show your fuel efficiency. My Toyota has a digital gauge that measures my mileage per gallon in real time and also as an average. I keep the average mpg setting running constantly to remind me to drive efficiently for gasoline conservation.
Plan your route around town. Driving around town can be a real gas guzzling proposition. Save money by planning your route. Take advantage of times when traffic may not be heavy to run errands, and group your errands rather than running one or two at a time throughout the week. Find places to shop near your work or home to avoid going out of your way.
Nix the bike rack and the luggage rack. Unless you actually need them, remove bike racks and luggage racks. They hamper the aerodynamic flow and make your car work harder against wind resistance, which means that you burn more gas. Likewise, towing trailers or campers adds to your gasoline usage.
Finding cheaper gas is only half the battle. These driving tips can help you make the most of the money you save by choosing cheaper gas. Enjoy your drive knowing that you’re conserving your hard-earned dollars as well as the gas in your tank!