Unrest in the Middle East and the closing of American refineries have gas prices going up, up, and away for US consumers. Analysts are predicting that the prices may continue to rise.
But don't worry, there are a number of methods to save on refueling your car. Here are some tips:
- Spend to Save: Look for deals around you that will help you save on your gas. For example, you can choose to frequent wholesale stores like Costco, which will give you a little bit of cash back on Costco gas. If you're a real gas guzzler, check out this full list of gas rebate cards on CreditCards.com.
- Don't Top It Off: Topping off your gas may result in a higher gas bill, because you might be paying for gas that goes back into the station's tanks after your gas tank is full, says the Environmental Protection Agency. You can also ruin your car's vapor recovery system if there is no room for the gas to expand in your tank.
- Smooth Trip: Starting and stopping excessively can shorten the life of your engine, transmission, brakes, and tires. Go easy on your braking and accelerating. Remember to also turn off your engine if you know you'll be waiting for a long while. Staying put without moving means you're getting 0 miles per gallon.
For more gas-saving tips, read on.
- The Right Car: Go with a more fuel-efficient option or a hybrid car to decrease your trips to the gas station. Don't forget, you'll be getting some tax breaks for owning a gas-saving car. You should also consider getting a smaller car, which is lighter and uses less gas as well.
- Less Is More: Travel less to save more. Plan your trips ahead of time so you can combine them, and try to carpool more often with friends, co-workers, or family. If you're a student, your school will often organize carpool services for you or you can check out sites like Zimride.com.
- Use Apps: There are plenty of handy apps that will detect the cheapest gas in your vicinity. A free app you can check out is Cheap Gas!, and if you're not a smartphone user, you can go directly to websites that offer the same service, like GasBuddy.com.
- Monitor Temperatures: Save your car the energy from heating or cooling by simple tactics such as parking in a shadier spot or in an indoor parking lot if you have that option. Another note about parking in the shade: gas evaporates from your tank, so parking in a spot that's protected from the sun will slow the process.
- Public Transportation: Opt to drive less and use public transportation if it makes sense for you. It'll do the environment and your wallet a lot of good.
- Maintaining Is Key: Maintain your car well, so that it'll be more fuel efficient. Check your tires to see if they are properly inflated, and you should schedule regular tune-ups for your car.
- Go With the Regular: Premium gas may give a false sense of being the better option because of its price and name. In truth, very few cars (some sports cars and older, heavier vehicles) actually run better on premium. Regular gas works just as well as the premium version for standard cars of today, according to Scientific American. Check your car manual to see which gas it recommends.