Driving certificate

Stop burning gas money by following these 10 frugal driving tips

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According to AAA, the national average price for regular gasoline is $4,033 as of August 9. That’s $0.156 less than just a week ago and $0.663 less than last month. As of the same date, 23 states have average gas prices below $4. But just because gas prices are finally dropping from painful highs doesn’t mean you have to stop trying to save money while you’re on the road.

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According to AAA, personal driving habits play the biggest role in increasing fuel consumption. Experts agree that even small, easily adaptable changes to these habits will help you get the most miles out of your fuel tank. Here are ten ways to save a little money while driving your car or truck.

1. Slow down

Obeying the speed limit is crucial for saving fuel. According to the Admiral, a driver “will use up to 9% more fuel when going at 70 mph instead of 60 mph and up to 15% more than at 50 mph”. Driving at 80 mph can waste 25% more fuel than driving at 70 mph. AAA recommends that drivers try to avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard acceleration as much as possible, as these movements increase fuel consumption.

2. Stop idling

The thrifty driver should always avoid prolonged idling as it wastes fuel unnecessarily. If your car will be stopped for more than 60 seconds, turn off the engine to save fuel, says AAA. But as CNET reports, Argonne National Laboratory recommends shutting off the engine for stops longer than 10 seconds, which will help reduce emissions and save fuel costs — unless you’re driving a flat. -diesel form, in which case you might be better served by letting the engine run until the vehicle arrives at its destination.

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3. Start using cruise control

Cruise control is the easiest way for drivers to maintain a constant speed and save fuel. It’s especially valuable when driving on the highway, when there’s less reason to vary your speed. However, as AAA ratings, it’s best to self-control your speed on slippery roads to avoid veering off course.

4. Inflate your tires

As CNET reports, the US Department of Energy says gas mileage can be improved by 0.6% to 3% by inflating your tires to the correct pressure – and you can cut your mileage by 0, 2% for each pound per square inch of air. fall. Even a slightly deflated tire can cause drag or drag and make your car work harder than necessary. Ensuring your tires are properly inflated helps with fuel efficiency and prolongs their life on your car.

5. Turn off the air conditioning, maybe

Considering the suffering caused by the recent heat waves that have crossed the country, this may seem like a difficult prospect. But minimizing your use of air conditioning can really make a difference. Opinions differ on this, with AAA claiming that the air conditioning used – even when the vehicle is driven at high speed – requires more fuel than, for example, open windows. Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy, disagrees, according to CNET. De Haan argues that air conditioning is preferable to opening windows at such speeds (largely because of drag) and recommends using air conditioning on such trips. When driving in urban areas with a low speed limit or with lots of stops and starts, it’s best to roll down the windows for cooling, according to De Haan.

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6. Practice reasonable conduct

Sensible driving is essential to increase your car’s fuel economy. Adjusting your speed to anticipate traffic lights, taking a known route for fewer stops, driving through red lights and accelerating smoothly will help you save fuel. It’s hard to do in the city, but if you can avoid repeated braking and acceleration and reduce the jerking of your vehicle’s engine, you’ll take the strain off its gears and save fuel.

7. No heavy transport

Removing racks and items like bikes from the roof of your vehicle when you don’t need them will save you money. Cars are designed to mitigate wind resistance, so a bulky storage unit perched atop your car defeats that purpose. As AAA explains, your car uses more fuel to move a heavier load. “On the highway, even an empty bike rack, canoe or ski rack can reduce fuel economy, and a loaded rack or car container will have a major effect on gas mileage” , notes the site. Plus, your car isn’t a free storage locker, so don’t treat it like one by cluttering the back seat and trunk with heavy junk.

8. Plan your road trips

According to CNET, try to avoid traveling back and forth for errands — and try to do all of your chores away from home in one trip, if possible. Driving outside of rush hour, planning trips in advance to complete multiple errands at once, carpooling or car sharing can all help lower your gas bill.

9. Look for cheap gas

As Admiral suggests, fuel is your car’s biggest running cost, so it makes sense to buy it as cheaply as possible. Especially now the price of gas varies within a city. If it’s not a long drive to get it, try to find out which stations have cheaper fuel. Fill up at supermarkets and wholesalers who normally supply cheaper petrol, and use coupons and discount cards when you can.

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10. Don’t Drive Unnecessarily

If you’re concerned about saving money, just don’t drive. There are many good reasons to use public transport and even more to walk, run or cycle to your destination. Helping the environment, your bank balance, and your physical and mental health could be the incentives you need to reduce your driving.

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About the Author

David Nadelle is a freelance editor and writer based in Ottawa, Canada. After working in the energy industry for 18 years, he decided to make a career change in 2016 and focus full-time on all aspects of writing. He recently completed a technical degree in communications and holds previous university degrees in journalism, sociology and criminology. David has covered a wide variety of financial and lifestyle topics for numerous publications and has experience writing for the retail industry.