Make the Most of Your Commute: How to Save Fuel by Driving Efficiently

The average person spends over $2,000 on gas each year.

That’s money that could be going towards groceries, bills, or home repairs. But instead, it gets poured into your gas tank and sucked out into the environment.  

To save more money on gas, there are a few things you can do to better your fuel economy. It’s as easy as perfecting your own driving technique and planning for the road ahead. 

Read on for some smart tips on how to save fuel while driving. 

Perfect the Stop and Go Technique 

Learning the right stop and go technique is a must for how to save gas. When you approach red lights and stop signs try coasting to a complete stop. 

This means no slamming on the brakes at the last minute. Avoid this by leaving a safe distance between yourself and the car ahead of you. It also pays to stay alert. 

This way you won’t have to press your brakes as much. Without hard stops, you can conserve more energy and use less gas. 

Green Means Go…But Don’t Go Too Slow

When accelerating after a stop, it’s best not to do so in such slow motion. This is because lower gears take more gas to power through. When getting back up to speed a quicker upshift allows you to conserve more fuel.

Going too slow can cause your vehicle to take longer to shift gears. Resulting in more gas usage.   

Take note that this doesn’t mean slamming your foot on the accelerator though. As accelerating too quickly can also use up gas. So go for a steady pace when pushing the pedal.  

Stay Steady as You Go

You may have the need for speed, but it’s not going to help you save on gas. It’s best to control your speed to conserve fuel. 

Do this by using your vehicle’s cruise control feature on the main highways. You can also give a slight drop in speed when going uphill. Yet, be sure to do this without annoying other drivers around you. 

It also helps to keep an eye on traffic patterns. Take in your surroundings so you can plan for slowdowns. 

When you maintain a steady speed it’s also easier to coast to a stop. Rather than slamming on the breaks. 

Need another reason to not speed? Once you go over 60 mph, your gas mileage with start to drop. This could raise your price per gallon by about 24 cents

Going over the limit will also rack up quite a few expensive speeding tickets. Not to mention points on your license. 

Pair Your AC with your MPH

Yes, using your car’s air conditioner in the summer eats up gas. Making it a smart idea to keep the windows down when driving through town. It lets in fresh air and makes your car more fuel efficient. 

Yet, having the windows down at fast speeds can give you better mpg. Anything faster than 60 miles per hour is going to create more aerodynamic drag. It’s also more comfortable as it creates less of a wind funnel.  

Consider Carpooling

Starting a carpool is a great way to get better about the driving green lifestyle. A single car gives off an average of 4.6 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions each year. So carpooling is better for the environment, traffic, and cuts down on weekly fuel costs. 

Carpools can be helpful for commuting to work or picking up the kids from daycare. Share rides with work colleagues or friends who work at nearby locations. This way you can each take turns being the driver and cut down on fuel costs for everyone. 

You can even check apps and online carpooling resources in your area. Such as Rideshare and Share the Ride. The popular Waze app now even offers a ride-sharing feature. 

Certain companies are even jumping on the remote workforce bandwagon. Allowing some employees to work from home every now and then to cut down on the environmental impact.   

Invest in the Future

A new car is a big investment but can save you money in the long run. Certain newer models offer excellent gas mileage.

With hybrid vehicles saving you over $3,000 per year on gas. They also offer gas-electric or plug-in models. 

Looking for fast cars with good mpg? Then you may want to check out the Volkswagon golf or BMW 535d. They range from 34 to 38 mpg and pack serious power. 

A fuel consumption display is another feature of newer cars. This helps you to track how much fuel you’re using to better your mileage. 

For other ways on how to save fuel, you can look into vehicle upgrades for better performance. This includes performance parts like exhaust systems and cold air intakes. This is especially important for high-performance vehicles, like trying to increase Corvette horsepower

It also helps to replace vehicle air filters on a regular basis. This gives you better air circulation for your engine, improving efficiency. 

More Smart and Simple Tips for How to Save Fuel 

There’s also a lot you can do to save on gas that doesn’t involve your driving technique. These small changes will help make a big impact on fuel efficiency.  

Start Your Engine

Always let your engine warm up before taking a drive. As the right temperature provides more energy-efficient conditions for your car. This is especially important during the winter months. 

Your engine will also stay warm for about 30 minutes after you shut your car off. So consider being efficient with your time when running errands. 

Don’t Idle

Try not to keep your vehicle from idling too long when you can. This still burns gas even when you’re not going anywhere but the engine is on. When idling, it’s better to shut your car off then restart it. 

This isn’t ideal in every driving situation. But can make a big difference when done as much as possible. 

Rethink Your Cargo

Take a look at what’s inside your trunk. It helps to remove heavy items that are not necessary for your trip. 

This includes baby strollers, sporting gear, and bags of soil. As well as those jumbo-sized cat litter containers or bags of dog food. 

The same goes for what sits on top of your vehicle. As bike and cargo racks can add some serious weight to your ride. 

They create wind resistance which eats up more fuel. Especially when driving on the highway. 

Keep Track of Tire Pressure

Deflated tires will use up more fuel. They also make it harder to handle your vehicle. Making for an uncomfortable and more expensive ride. 

Temperature plays a big roll in affecting tire pressure. So, be sure to check pressure levels every other week or so. Some newer car models will even do this for you. 

Poor tire pressure can also wreak havoc on your tires. Meaning you’ll need to buy new ones sooner than later. 

It can also be unsafe to ignore tire pressure and other vehicle maintenance items. Here are some tips on staying safe during your road travels.  

Plan Your Trips in Advance 

Planning out your trips can help you save a lot on gas. It pays to combine your chores in one trip. Hitting the grocery store, dry cleaners, and daycare all in one shot. 

Make an errand day part of your new money-saving routine. But be sure to run these errands outside of rush hour. 

Determine how much gas to drive during your weekly errands. This will help you to start budgeting better. 

Sometimes it helps to plan the scenic route. This alternate route won’t send you through major city areas that get clogged with stop and go traffic.   

Go High Tech

Do your research on new apps that can help you find the lowest gas prices in the area. Like GasBuddy, Waze, and Gas Guru. All these are free to use. 

It helps to pay attention to local traffic alerts in your area. So you can avoid construction slowdowns and accidents. Many apps will help you reroute your destination in these situations. 

Pay Attention to What You Put in Your Tank

Premium gas may get recommended by your car manufacturer. But that does not mean it is always required. Most car models can use regular priced gas without much difference in performance. 

Yet, you may also want to consider more natural fuel sources. Cleaner fuel can produce 80% fewer emissions than regular gasoline.  

Seek an Alternate Form of Transportation 

It never hurts to check out what public transportation options you have in your area. Taking the train or bus can even give you more time to get work done during your commute. 

Consider the health benefits of foot traveling vs driving. Riding a bike or walking allows you to get in more exercise. Making it a much better option for your own health.  

Granted this may not be ideal during the winter. Yet, it helps to take full advantage of aerobic activity during the warmer months. 

More Big Savings Among the Auto Industry

These tips will teach you how to save fuel and spend way less money on gas. You’ll also experience better performance and longer-lasting vehicle parts. 

Looking for other ways to save big in the auto industry? Check out these tips on how to save more money on car insurance

Anything to Add? Leave a Comment!

Follow Us On: Thrifty Momma Ramblings Facebook for more great tips for thrifty living!