11 ways to save money on gas

Just thinking about the cost of gasoline is painful these days, but there are some simple ways to ease the squeeze on your wallet the next time you go to fill your tank.

11 ways to save money on gas

1. Cut costs with cruise control

You can improve your mileage by seven per cent by using this feature, which helps you maintain a constant speed — which in turn burns less gas.

2. Don't keep extra stuff in your trunk

Extra weight means your engine has to work extra hard — which means you need extra gas. Get rid of the golf clubs, lawn chairs and other clutter you keep in your trunk. You'll save on gas and a headache next time you try to find room for the groceries.

3. Slow down for savings

Going the speed limit not only saves lives, it saves gas, too. You'll save hundreds of dollars per year simply by slowing down (and you're less likely to get expensive and time-consuming speeding tickets, too!).

4. Make smooth moves

Try to anticipate other drivers' moves so you can accelerate and brake more smoothly. Driving steadily can add about 20 per cent to your fuel economy.

5. Stay home on the weekend

Fill up your tank before Thursday evening and after Sunday night. Consumer demand is highest on the weekends, and that's exactly when you don't want to get gas.

6. Brake less, save more

The more you accelerate after braking, the more gas you use. Use your brakes strategically: try taking your foot off the gas pedal to slow your car, rather than braking.

7. Drive your car to warm it up

Unlike the old days, there's no need now to warm up your car for more than 30 seconds. Today's cars warm up perfectly well as you drive. Warming it up at home will just waste gas — about a litre every 15 minutes.

8. Look for deals, within reason

Yes, you should look for the best price for a litre of gas, but don't drive more than 15 minutes out of your way to save. The rule of thumb is that you shouldn't deviate from your regular commute to save on gas unless you're planning to buy more than 40 litres.

9. Don't add the extra drop of gas

Though it's tempting to add those last few squirts of gas to your tank — sometimes to round up the amount you owe — don't do it. Those extra drops often never make it out of the hose and into your gas tank.

10. Avoid wealthy areas

Gas stations in pricey areas pass the high cost of their real estate on to the customer through the price of their gas.

11. Be part of the crowd

Aim to fill up at busy intersections, where several gas stations are competing for your business. And avoid the single gas station off the highway — it can (and probably will) charge you a premium for your gas.

Getting around in your car is going to cost you, but if you take the time to pay attention to a few tips, you'll be able to save money and get where you're going.

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