Gas prices have always fluctuated, but we’ve seen them reach all-time heights in recent years. Unfortunately, gas prices are out of our control – but saving money when filling up is something you can take into your own hands.
Instead of lining up at the pumps when prices drop, try incorporating these 11 helpful tips into your routine. Soon enough, you’ll notice how much you’re saving on gas each month – which is great for sticking to a budget or making room to save a little more.
1. SLOW DOWN
Speeding can substantially increase your gas consumption. Driving at 120 km/hr can increase your fuel consumption by 20%! Taking your time and slowing down will give you more bang for your buck with every fill – and will also save you from any potential pricey speeding tickets.
2. PRACTICE GOOD DRIVING HABITS
Speeding isn’t the only driving habit that can empty your wallet. Avoid idling for more than 30 seconds at a time, check your tire pressure to ensure low air pressure isn’t causing your car to guzzle more fuel, change your car’s oil regularly and remove any unnecessary things from your trunk or roof rack to avoid weighing your car down.
3. PLAN YOUR ROUTE AHEAD OF TIME
The next time you’re heading out to run errands, take a few minutes to plan your trip ahead of time. Use Google Maps or another mapping platform to figure out a route that is quickest and most efficient. This will help you avoid wasting gas (and time) from driving back and forth to each stop.
4. FILL UP EARLY IN THE WEEK
Studies have shown that gas prices often start to rise on Thursdays as the weekend approaches. Whenever possible, fill up closer to the beginning of the week when prices tend to be lower to save some cash.
5. DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE
Waiting until your tank is almost empty to fill up means you’ll end up pulling into the closest gas station – which can often mean paying a higher price. A good rule of thumb is to start looking for a gas station when you’re about half full, allowing you to shop around for the best deal.
6. FOLLOW GAS PRICES
With technology these days, it’s easy to get the lowdown on current gas prices whenever you need. Download a gas price tracking app so that you can always see the best deals at a glance. GasBuddy and the CAA app are some popular options.
7. AVOID PREMIUM FUEL
Premium gas is significantly more expensive than regular fuel. Most vehicles run perfectly fine on regular fuel, so why pay more for the premium kind? Unless your car specifically requires it, avoid spending that extra money. Note: Ensure you know what gas grade is best for your vehicle by checking the owner’s manual or asking a mechanic.
8. JOIN A MEMBERSHIP
There are many membership rewards programs and discount cards that can give you savings on gas. Costco, Esso, Petro and Shell are just a few. A number of these programs also offer points that can be redeemed for other things like in-store items and car washes.
In Western Canada, signing up for a Co-Op membership is another great idea. It’s not a rewards program, but depending on how much you spend with them, you could receive an annual return as part of their profits for the year.
9. USE A GAS-SAVING CREDIT CARD
Combining a rewards program with a credit card that offers extra rewards and/or cashback on gas purchases is a great option to save even more. This article from MoneySense lists multiple card options in detail.
10. USE ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION
The easiest way to save money on gas is to avoid driving! If it’s an option, carpool with coworkers to split gas costs or take public transit a couple of times a week to save you dollars.
Especially when the weather is nice, walking or biking to your destination can be an enjoyable way to save money while also getting in some physical activity for the day.
11. CHOOSE A FUEL-EFFICIENT CAR
If you’re on the hunt for a new ride, consider a car that will use less gas. Electric cars are a great option but are normally quite expensive. Hybrid cars, which use a combination of gas and electricity, are a more budget-friendly choice to save on fuel.
At Birchwood Credit Solutions, our goal is to make sure you can get an auto loan that fits into your budget. Our entire process has been designed to be as easy and hassle-free as possible. Submit your online application today and start driving a new car within as little as 24-48 hours.