There is not much anyone can do to control the price of fuel. However, in addition
to purchasing a more fuel efficient vehicle, there are ways to reduce your fuel costs.
Start by buying fuel at the lowest possible cost. Consider the following:
1. Today, gasoline and other fuels are essentially the same, regardless of brand.
Often, many different brands in the same geographical area come from the same refineries
in a given local area. So, look for local stations that offer the lowest prices
on a consistent basis and shop there. And look for companies that offer discount
gas card offers and other rebate programs that may offer a discount of up to 5-10%.
But avoid traveling a long distance just to save a few cents a gallon, as any savings
at the pump will be used by the extra mileage you travel. And generally avoid the
more expensive stations near freeways. To check on gas prices in your local area,
or even for a trip you are planning, try GasBuddy.com, Automotive.com and GasPriceWatch.com.
Several other sites can also be found on the Internet. However, with the recent
rapid rise in gasoline prices, many times these sites are just not able to keep up
with the latest price changes.
2. Try filling up on weekdays, especially Tuesday or Wednesday. Prices generally
rise around the weekends.
3. Try filling up when the temperatures are cooler, such as later in the evening
or early in the morning. At these times gasoline is generally colder and denser,
and gas pumps deliver more gas per measured gallon when the gasoline is denser. The
difference is small but it does provide some benefit.
4. Buy gas from busy gas stations. Not only does this usually indicate that
the price is competitive for the local area, but the gasoline in their storage tanks
will have been delivered recently and will be fresher. Fresh gasoline will generally
have more power (and also be cleaner) than gas that has been sitting for a long time
in an underground tank.
5. Make sure you use the grade of gasoline recommended by your owner’s manual.
Higher octane gas is more expensive, and does not provide enough increase in gas
mileage to offset the increased cost. You can also experiment with a lower grade
of gasoline than recommended by your owner’s manual. If your engine does not make
a knocking, pinging or rattling noise the lower grade may work well with your engine.
6. If you top off your tank regularly with just a few dollars of gasoline, don’t.
Gas pumps tend to be somewhat inaccurate when they initially start pumping and may
result in you being shortchanged somewhat with very small fill-ups.
7. Do not overfill your tank when pumping gas, especially if it is warm outside.
Gas expands with heat and may overflow when it is pumped into a warm gas tank from
a cool underground tank.
8. After filling your tank, make sure you put your gas cap on tightly. This
minimizes the amount of fuel that evaporates into the air.
How you actually drive your vehicle can have a major effect on the gas mileage you
receive. While changing driving habits may seem to be an unnecessary burden, it
can actually be achieved without much sacrifice and can result in substantial savings.
1. The most efficient way to drive your vehicle is to drive it less. Try the
a. If possible, car pool. Not only to work, but also for errands around town. See
if one or more neighbors would like to go on shopping or other errands together.
You will not only save on fuel, but on car maintenance as well. If you are having
trouble finding carpool “mates” check CarPoolWorld.com and eRideShare.com to connect
with passengers or drivers.