Make no bones about it, gasoline is expensive and it isn’t getting any cheaper. Around here this week it jumped 30 cents in a single day. It may not seem like much but over time those extra pennies add up. You don’t need to switch to public transportation to cut costs at the pump as there are a few basic things you can do that could save considerable money over time on gas:
Keep your car maintained. By keeping up with regular maintenance your car will run more efficiently and burn less gas. This includes regular oil changes, air filter replacement and properly inflated tires.
Drive smart. Aggressive driving leads to increased acceleration and braking that can use unnecessary gas. Try to maintain a steady speed for as long as possible and use the cruise control over long distances.
Alter your daily commute. If you commute through heavy stop and go rush hour traffic you might be able to drive to and from work an hour or so earlier or later in order to miss the rush. Avoiding this type of traffic can not only save gas but also create a less stressful drive. Of course this may only work if you have flexibility in your schedule.
Consider a hybrid. While purchasing a new vehicle may be costly up front the savings in gasoline usage can pay for itself over time. Combine less gas consumption with a potential tax credit for purchasing a hybrid and you may be able to save hundreds of dollars a year.
Combine errands. Plan your travel in a way that maximizes your time on the road. If you can, plan trips to the grocery store, dry cleaners or any other errands so that they are part of your daily commute. There is no need to make a separate trip if you pass these locations on a daily basis.
Author: Jeremy Vohwinkle
My name is Jeremy Vohwinkle, and I’ve spent a number of years working in the finance industry providing financial advice to regular investors and those participating in employer-sponsored retirement plans.