How to save on gas when prices are at record highs

Drivers across the United States have faced record high gasoline prices at the pump in recent weeks. According to AAA, the national average price per gallon reached $4.07, up a staggering $1.30 from a year ago. Prices across the country have been rising since last week and aren’t expected to stop anytime soon.

5 ways to save money at the gas pump

To save fuel and spend less at the pump, consider making a few adjustments to your normal driving.

1. Drive the speed limit

Regardless of your vehicle’s fuel economy, following the speed limit will help you save fuel. Your gas mileage will decrease if you drive over 50 mph. In addition to driving at the posted speed, it’s a good idea to avoid extreme acceleration or braking, which will also result in low gas mileage.

2. Shop around for the cheapest options

Before parking at the first gas station you come across, research the cheapest options in the area. You can download apps like GasBuddy, Gas Guru, and the AAA app to see where the lowest gas prices are near you.

3. Stick with regular gas options

Unless your vehicle requires premium gasoline, there’s no need to dish out the extra cash for the premium option. Sticking to regular gasoline will save you around 50 cents per gallon – a small number that can quickly add up.

4. Join a rewards program

Many grocery stores offer Loyalty programs that reward drivers who fill up at their station. Some credit cards also offer points when used at the pump. If a traditional gas station is more your style, look for the brand-specific rewards options you prefer, like the one offered by 7-Eleven.

5. Map out routes in advance

To save money on gas and time in the car, use apps like Waze to take the most efficient route available. Also plan your route in advance to make sure you don’t waste gas backing up to different areas.

Other ways to save money on vehicle costs

While it is true that the cost of powering your car can be quite high, especially now, the true cost of vehicle ownership is made up of many factors. And there are still other ways to save money as a driver.

Maintain your vehicle

Keep up to date with maintenance of your vehicle will help you avoid any unforeseen problems. Try to have your vehicle professionally checked a few times a year to avoid costly road related issues.

Limit long journeys

More miles clocked on your odometer means more trips to the gas station, but it also means more chance of mechanical problems. If you can avoid it, it might not be the best time for a long road trip. It could also be a good time to carpool or rely on public transportation when available.

Buy cheaper insurance

If you’ve had the same insurance for a long time, now might be a good time to shop around and see what other options are available. Make sure you compare quotes from multiple vendors to ensure you get the best deal.

Refinance your current car loan

You may be able to get better terms and save on your monthly payment by refinance your car loan. This is especially true if you have improved your credit score. Compare your current rates with refinanced terms to see if you can save more money by refinancing.

The record prices are due to a combination of factors

The record prices the country is facing are partly due to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the resulting sanctions. These penalties have resulted in a dramatic increase in the cost of crude oil, which serves as the primary ingredient to power your vehicle. As the price of crude oil rises, prices at the gas pump also rise.

Combined with potential Fed rates up and the impending impacts of the pandemic, gasoline prices are unlikely to drop any time soon. Take advantage of every available opportunity to save money in this expensive environment.

The bottom line

When it comes to owning a vehicle, the costs can add up – and the price attached to the gas pump can cause a lot of frustration. While much of the rising gas prices are out of your control, focus on the choices you can make to save.

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