How to Save Money on Gas: Four Essential Fuel Saving Tips
How to Save Money on Gas
Making a small effort to save money on gas can make a huge difference to your budget. Some strategies will even help the planet without inconveniencing you at all. Here are some of the most important things to consider when trying to save money on gas.
When it comes to gasoline, most of us just wait until the tank is almost empty, then we fill up at the nearest gas station. Obviously, that’s not a very shrewd financial strategy. First off, you shouldn’t keep your vehicle topped up all the time. The more gas you have in the tank, the heavier your vehicle, and the worse your fuel economy. Try to let your tank run down to a quarter before refilling. And when you do try to find a good price using an app like GasBuddy. But don’t drive too far out your way, otherwise, you’ll negate the discount. In general, avoid filling up over holiday weekends, at highway service stations
Drive a Hybrid
An obvious way to save money on gas is to buy a fuel-efficient vehicle. Smaller cars are more fuel efficient. Most Canadians don’t utilise the capabilities of their large trucks and SUVs on a consistent basis. While these vehicles can facilitate hard work, they’re often just used to commute with no (or few) passengers. If you think you can get by with a smaller vehicle, you’ll be rewarded with huge fuel savings. If you choose a hybrid or electric vehicle, those savings grow even more.
The Focus Electric has a decent range of 122km, making it good for the city. The average daily driving distance is 43 km in Manitoba and 30 km in Winnipeg. But Manitoba is hardly dense and some residents will find the range confining. Plus, the province doesn’t offer incentives and the charging infrastructure is poor. A better bet is a non-plug-in hybrid like the Ford Fusion Hybrid SE.
The 2018 Fusion Hybrid uses a 1.4 kWh lithium-ion battery paired with a 2.0L iVCT Atkinson-cycle I-4 engine. Regenerative braking and the power of the engine keep the battery charged. Overall, it gets 5.5L/100km in the city and 5.6 on the highway while still giving you some solid propulsion. If you’re serious about saving money on fuel, it’s a great choice.
Another great way to save money on gas, and limit the needless destruction of our home planet, is to cut back on idling. Yes, it gets cold outside, and you have a magical remote starter. But that doesn’t mean you should warm your car up for 15 minutes every day just to drive 10 minutes to work. A couple minutes of warm-up time in extreme cold helps protect your engine and is enough to get the heater working. In spring and summer, idling can be avoided entirely.
Are you the kind of driver that accelerates hard the moment the light turns green and jams on the brakes at red lights? Driving aggressively expends extra fuel – probably more than you would guess. In fact, some estimates show that this sort of driving increase fuel consumption by 40% while only reducing travel time by only 4%. Remember, about half of the fuel consumed in city driving is used in acceleration. So, try to coast toward red lights in an effort to avoid stopping completely. You should drive slowly on the highway, too.
As you know, air resistance increases as the square of velocity. That means the faster you drive, the worse your fuel economy becomes. After about 65 km/hr air resistance surpasses rolling resistance (or friction) as the greatest force slowing you down. Fuel efficiency from about 70 km/hr to 90 km/hr is pretty stable. But after 95 km/hr, the fuel efficiency decreases drastically as you increase your speed. Driving faster than the posted speed limit will always cost you fuel, so whether you’re headed to a local restaurant or a far-away family member, remember to drive carefully.
Do you have any other tips to help save money on gas? Let us know in the comments below.