Do’s and Don’ts to Save Money on Gas

Do’s and Don’ts to Save Money on Gas

May 22, 2024    Budgeting Advice

Gas is expensive! This is a well-known fact for us Canadians.

And gas prices also fluctuate constantly. One day, you’ll see a lineup of cars at the gas station to fill up their tanks with a lower price – and the next day, it might feel like you need to get a second job just to get gas for your weekly commute.

Unfortunately, fuel prices are out of our control – but there are ways to save at the pump! Instead of wasting time (and gas) by lining up when the prices drop, try incorporating these do’s and don’ts into your routine to save a good amount of money on gas each month – because every penny counts!


Use Tools & Apps: Whenever you need to fill up, it’s a great idea to check on some gas apps to find the best prices and save a few dollars. Some of the popular ones include Waze, GasBuddy and CAA.

Join Loyalty Programs: Registering for a membership or joining a loyalty program is an easy way to save on gas anytime you head to the pump. Esso, Shell and Petro Canada all offer rewards when you fill up. You can also sign up for an annual Costo membership and pay less for gas.

Fill Up On a Weekday: Gas prices tend to go up on weekends and the days leading up to it. Studies have found that Tuesday and Wednesday are often the best days to save on gas, whereas Thursday and Friday are usually the most expensive.

Keep Your Vehicle Maintained: A poorly maintained car can actually burn up to 25% more fuel! Keep up on regular maintenance like oil changes and tire pressure. Also, get your mechanic to check up on things like the brake system to ensure there isn’t any abnormal wheel resistance, which can cause excess fuel consumption.

Carry a Lighter Load: Another little-known fact: With every 25 kg of weight, your vehicle will increase its fuel consumption by 1%. Consider taking the bike rack off in winter or the ski rack in summer to make sure you aren’t carrying any unnecessary weight.

Plan Your Trip: Another way to not eat up your fuel is to use a trip planning tool to avoid backed up traffic and consolidate your errands into fewer stops. It’s also good to avoid driving in rush hour whenever you can.

Use a Block Heater: Getting a block heater will not only warm up your car faster, but it will also make your wallet happier. Block heaters can improve fuel consumption by 15% on trips under 20 kms.

Buy 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, we can help you find a fuel-efficient car that’s perfect for you and your budget.


Don’t Rev Your Engine: It’s always best to accelerate gently because revving your engine wastes a lot of gas. The ideal rate of acceleration is 20 km/h per 5 seconds. As much as you can, drive at a steady speed (or use cruise control) because fluctuating between 75 km/h and 85 km/h every 18 seconds can lead to a 20% increase in fuel consumption.

Don’t Speed: Did you know? Driving at 100 km/h instead of 120 km/h will consume 20% less fuel. Always drive the speed limit to avoid wasting money on gas – and potentially big speeding tickets.

Don’t Start/Brake Abruptly: Saving on gas means going easy on the pedals. Abrupt starts and braking hard might reduce travel time by 4%, but it can increase fuel consumption by 39%. (AKA, it’s not worth it.)

Don’t Use A/C in the City: Use the air conditioning in your car as little as possible in the city because it can increase fuel consumption by 20%. On the other hand, having your windows and sunroof open on the highway increases fuel consumption, so it’s better to turn on the air conditioner.

Don’t Idle: Another surprising fact: An engine that idles for more than 10 seconds uses more fuel than it takes to start it – between 1.1 and 4 litres of fuel per hour! ​ Warm up your car by driving it gently instead.

Don’t Wait Until You’re Empty: We all do it, but it’s not a good habit to wait until you’re empty before filling up. This can cause you to rush to the closest gas station and potentially miss out on a better price elsewhere.

Don’t Pay More for Premium: Most cars are just fine using regular gas, so there’s no need to add premium gas to your tank. Unless your car specifically requires it, you’re nopt gaining any benefits to using premium over regular – and you’ll be spending extra money for no reason.

Are you looking for a fuel-efficient car? We can help! At Birchwood Credit, our goal is to get you into a vehicle that fits both your lifestyle and budget. With an extensive inventory and an easy process, we make getting a car loan stress-free. Submit your online application today and start driving a new car within as little as 24-48 hours.

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