driving tips to save gas
Driving tips to save gas. How you drive and maintain your vehicle can either increase or decrease your vehicle's fuel efficiency and your gas costs. Consider these simple tips that can add up to savings worth weeks of groceries or other needs for you and your family. Why pay more at the pump than you have to? Driving Tips
- Curb road rage. Speeding, rapid acceleration (jackrabbit starts), and rapid braking can lower gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds. Drivers can save up to 240 gallons of gasoline, or up to $913, by driving sensibly on the highway.
- Drive sensibly. Around town, sensible driving can save 5% – up to 24 gallons of gasoline and up to $91.
- Cut Miles. If you can cut your vehicle miles traveled by just 5% through combining trips, walking, biking, or taking public transportation, you can save up to $91 per year on gasoline costs. Walking and biking are good for your health too!
- Choose the Right Vehicle. If you own more than one vehicle, drive the one that gets better gas mileage whenever possible. If you drive 12,500 miles a year, switching 10% of your trips from driving a car that gets 20 mpg to one that gets 30 mpg will save you almost $63 per year.
- Turn Down the Air. Operating the air conditioner on "Max" can reduce mpg by 5 – 25% compared to not using it.
- It‘s a ”drag.“ Avoid carrying items on your vehicle‘s roof. A loaded roof rack or carrier increases weight and aerodynamic drag, which can cut mileage by 5%. Place items inside the trunk whenever possible to improve your fuel economy.
- Ditch "junk in the trunk." An extra 100 pounds in the trunk cuts a typical vehicle‘s fuel economy by up to 2%. You can save up to 9 gallons of gasoline per year – almost $40 – by removing an extra 100 pounds of unneeded items from the trunk.
- Decrease Your Speed. Speeding costs! Gas mileage usually decreases rapidly above 60 mph. Each five miles per hour over 60 mph is like paying an additional 24 cents per gallon for gas.
- Avoid idling. Idling gets 0 mpg. Cars with larger engines typically waste even more gas while idling than cars with smaller engines.
- Combine errands/trips. If you combine errands into one trip, you drive fewer miles and use less fuel. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer, multipurpose trip when the engine is warmed up and efficient.
- Use Overdrive Gear. If available, use your vehicle‘s overdrive gear to reduce engine speed, which will enable you to save gas and reduce engine wear.
- Use Cruise Control. Cruise control cuts fuel consumption by maintaining a steady speed during highway driving.
- Consider other transportation options. Investigate options for getting to work and other places – public transportation, carpooling, biking, walking, or ridesharing when possible. Drivers who switch to other alternatives to get to work might be able to get a car insurance premium discount because typically rates are assigned based on how far you drive to work. The commuting discount applies at any time – while many other discounts apply only when buying a new car.
- Carpool. Using the average U.S. work commute of 12.1 miles, commuters could save about $159 a year by carpooling twice a week with two other people in a vehicle that gets 20.1 miles per gallon – assuming the three passengers share the cost of gas.
- Motorcycling. Motorcycles average 56 mpg—and motor scooters do even better. For one person or even two, motorcycles or scooters clearly use far less energy than a car with one or two people. If four people need to go somewhere, they are better off in a vehicle that gets 30 mpg than on two motorcycles that get 56 mpg.
- Telecommute or Stagger Work Hours. If your employer permits, avoid sitting in traffic and wasting gas, especially during peak rush hours. A worker who telecommutes twice a week would save about $478 a year in gasoline costs.
- Request the Right Rental. Request a vehicle that gets better fuel economy, and remember to fill up the tank before returning the car to the rental company, which charges much higher gas prices – and perhaps even an extra gas surcharge.
- Buy Smart. When buying a new or used vehicle, think high gas mileage. Check out the U.S. Department of Energy's Web site or look for a SmartWay© certified vehicle on EPA's Green Vehicle Guide for information on fuel-efficient vehicles.