Don’t Let Transportation Costs Run Rampant
Gas may be an unavoidable expense for most people, but there are ways to squeeze every cent out of it.
By: Nick Massie / 2018 / PayYourRent.com
Even when gas prices are low, they aren’t really low, just less high. In general, we spend more than we want on fuel costs and getting from Point A to Point B. Gas may be an unavoidable expense for most people, but there are ways to squeeze every cent out of it.
When Possible, Skip the Car Altogether
For long trips, driving is probably the best option. But, if you just need to run to the store for milk or bread, why not walk or ride your bike instead? It’s an easy way to combine your workout with your errands, all while leaving a bit more gas in your tank. It seems like a simple solution — because it is! If you could replace just a few trips a week with walking or cycling, you could make fewer trips to the gas pump.
Check Your Tires
Even if you know nothing about car care, checking your tire pressure is easy and can be done at plenty of gas stations and convenience stores. If the tires need air, it’s usually just a quarter or less to fill. On average, properly inflated tires up your gas mileage by 0.6%, though that can just as high as 4% if the pressure was way off.
Everyone is guilty of rushing occasionally, but try to leave early enough that you can get where you need to be at a cruising speed. Gas efficiency drops significantly when travelling faster than 60 mph. In fact, by slowing from 65 mph to 55 mph, you can improve your gas mileage by up to 15%. If you are going on a long journey, set your cruise control to avoid the temptation to speed. Moving at a constant speed will give you the best miles per gallon rate.
When driving in the city, rather than on the highway, a reduced speed is still beneficial, but it is the constant stopping and starting that has a greater effect on gas consumption. Rather than slamming on the brakes and jamming the gas pedal, easing to stops and accelerating gradually can lower consumption by up to 40%.
Clean Out Your Car
In the winter, everyone packs things into their cars: ice scrapers, salt, sand, flashlights, blankets, etc. The extra weight gives you better traction on the snow and ice, but, come spring, it just weighs down your car and hurts your gas mileage. By removing all that junk from your car and giving it a deep clean, you’ll not only lower fuel costs, but you will also create some extra space and help keep pollens and germs at bay during allergy season.
Turn Down the AC or Heater
You want to be comfortable when driving, but the air conditioner and heater are huge drains on your gas tank. You already dress for the weather, so don’t try to make your car feel toasty as a beach in January.
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