Driving and exploring different places can be exciting and fulfilling as you can find the peace you are looking for, you can get away from stress and relax your mind even just for a while. However, though traveling can be exciting, it certainly comes at a cost. With gas prices soaring in many parts of the country, driving for leisure has become a less common pastime. Now, more and more people are looking for ways to conserve fuel and spend less at the pump.
Driving can be costly, but it doesn’t have to drain your bank account. There are many ways to save money on gas, and even if you can’t cut your costs entirely, there’s still plenty of wiggle room to save money.
With the constant increases in gas prices over the past few months and with no estimated date as to when they’ll come down, drivers need to be smart about how to save on fuel costs before they reach the pump. Luckily, there are several easy ways to save on gas. Keep reading for some simple ways to save on gas.
Even a few cents can make a difference when filling up your tank. It may be worth driving a few extra miles if you can get a better deal. There are several websites and mobile apps that Canadian drivers can use to find the gas prices at local stations. Below are the three most popular gas price apps.
- Gas Buddy. It is a mobile app for IOS and Android devices. It features user-verified gas prices at nearby stations. It’s a quick way to find the best gas prices in your area and choose the station that will save you the most money.
- Waze. Aside from being a great navigation app that gives you real-time traffic information, Waze also has a built-in feature that shows gas prices at nearby stations.
- CAA. The Canadian Automobile Association ( CAA ) also has an app that provides up-to-date gas prices in your area, but you can only use it if you’re a member of CAA or an affiliated organization.
Fill Up Early in the Week
One of the best ways to reduce gas prices is to fill up early in the week when fuel prices are often lower. Fuel prices tend to rise on Thursdays as the weekend approaches, so fill up before that if you can. It’s also best to fill up at a gas station early in the morning or late at night, since gasoline is denser when it’s cooler, allowing you to get more for the same amount of money.
Join a Membership Club
Another way to save money on gas is to join a membership club. Some of the best gas loyalty programs in Canada are with companies like Esso, Shell, and Petro Canada, which offer rewards points every time you fill up. Shell, Esso, and Petro Canada also offer points that can be redeemed for things like in-store items, discounts on gas purchases, car washes, and other perks.
You can also rely on your membership from warehouse stores like Costco to pay less for gas. If you’re already paying for a Costco membership, then you should be taking advantage of the cheaper gas prices. Costco purposely sells gas for cheaper than its competitors by offering lower prices to its members only. With annual memberships starting at just $60 a year, it can be worth becoming a Costco member just for the gas savings alone.
Speeding isn’t the only thing that can waste a lot of gas. There are a lot of other driving habits you may not notice that are eating into your mileage. Smart driving can hugely impact how much gas you conserve over time, and the following tips are a great foundation to start with when learning to be a more fuel-efficient driver.
- Don’t drive aggressively. When you’re driving aggressively, not only are you putting yourself and others in danger, but you’re also using more gas than you need to be.
- Accelerate gently and coast to decelerate. The harder you accelerate, the more fuel you consume. The same goes for braking. Jackrabbit starts and stops can increase your fuel consumption by up to 40%.
- Reduce idle time. When you’re not driving, turn off your car. The less time your car is idle, the more money you save on gas.
- Avoid Speeding. As you increase speed, more power is needed to push the car through the air. Driving at lower speeds can greatly reduce fuel consumption. Using cruise control on the highway helps maintain a constant speed and saves gas (but be careful in wet or icy conditions and consult your owner’s manual for safety instructions on the use of cruise control).
- Take unnecessary items out of your car. The more weight that your car carries, the harder it has to work while driving it, so a simple way to start reducing your gas usage is to remove heavy objects from your trunk and other areas of your vehicle when they don’t need to be there.
- Remove roof racks when not in use. A roof rack will affect your car’s aerodynamics and will decrease your fuel efficiency, which is a real drag on your wallet.
- Keep your tires properly inflated and use the recommended motor oil for your vehicle. Both will ensure your car operates at its best and most fuel-efficient level.
- Keep your distance. Leave enough distance between you and the vehicle in front of you so you don’t have to react suddenly. This also helps you avoid braking and accelerating for no reason.
Maintain your Vehicle
You can save money on gas prices simply by doing some basic vehicle maintenance. This includes making sure your tires are fully pumped up and going into the shop for regular oil changes. Also, making sure you’re using the right oil goes a long way.
A well-tuned vehicle with properly inflated tires not only improves fuel economy, but also reduces emissions, improves drivability, and will help extend the life of your vehicle and tires, maintaining its resale value for longer. Follow your vehicle manufacturer’s recommended maintenance schedule and tire pressure level. It’s very important to keep your vehicle running properly because a poorly maintained car can burn up to 25% more fuel.
Determine If AC or Open Windows are better for your fuel consumption
The most fuel-efficient way to keep yourself cool while you drive depends on the type of car you have. If you drive a larger vehicle such as a truck or SUV, opening the windows won’t make a big difference in terms of reducing drag because large vehicles have enough drag already to have a lower fuel economy than their smaller counterparts. Therefore, you can keep the windows open to your heart’s content. However, if you drive a smaller car like sports cars and sedans, opening the windows can create enough drag to affect the outcome significantly on fuel efficiency, so avoid opening the windows and use the AC instead.
Plan your Route in Advance
Whenever possible, plan your route to combine many stops into one trip. Your vehicle is more fuel efficient when it is warmed up, so several short trips with a cold engine can use much more gas than one longer trip. Also, plan your route to reduce the amount of driving, thinking about traffic patterns during certain times of the day.
If you dramatically want to reduce your fuel costs, driving less often will be impactful. If you can, try to walk, bike, or take public transportation instead of driving. Walking and biking burn calories, not gasoline. Buses and subways can be very efficient and you don’t have to stress behind the wheel. Carpooling and teleworking also reduce fuel costs. But you don’t have to change your lifestyle overnight. Why not start by finding out what your options are? Or maybe try something new one or two days a week!
Pick the right Car
Perhaps the most effective way to save money on gas is by buying the right car. This won’t be a realistic solution for everyone. But when the time comes to purchase a new vehicle, if saving on gas is your top priority, you might want to consider one of the following options.
- Hybrid Cars. They use both gas and electric systems for power. They offer much better gas mileage than completely gas-powered automobiles.
- Electric Cars. They are the creme-de-la-creme of fuel efficiency since they don’t even use gas. To power these cars, you plug them into a charging station, which you can build into your home. While the initial cost of an electric car may be higher than that of a traditional gas car, you can save money over time by avoiding fuel expenses. Electric cars also produce zero emissions, which is great for the environment.
- Compact Cars. They are a great option for those who are looking to save more on gas over time, as they tend to use less gas than larger vehicles. They’re also great for city driving, as they’re easy to park and navigate through tight spaces.
As gas prices continue to rise, it is becoming more expensive to get back and forth to work and go to several places you want to visit. However, it doesn’t have to be that way. Thankfully, even with the present moment as the backdrop, it’s not all bad news. You can still wade through high gas prices and save a little money. You just have to be strategic about it. Take note of the above information and soon enough you’ll notice that you’re saving a good chunk on gas each month and can save hundreds of dollars a year.
If you want to upgrade to something more fuel-efficient vehicle, Vancouver Auto Loans can be a great help as we have plenty of quality vehicles you can choose from. Take advantage of our service and get the best deals on new or used cars in Canada. Get pre-approved here! It’s free of cost and has no obligation, thus feel free to apply anytime you want from the comfort and safety of your own home.