Saving Money on Gas: 10 Tips for Maximum Fuel EfficiencyFebruary 27, 2017
You’re not imagining it; gas prices have spiked in the last year. Statistics Canada has confirmed that gas prices have increased, Canada-wide, more than 20 per cent in the last year. In Alberta specifically, the cost of gasoline is up almost 34 per cent while in Ontario gas prices increased 20.4 per cent.
While you may not be able to control how much you pay for gas at the pumps, you can take steps to control how much gasoline you use by driving with fuel efficiency in mind.
Here are a 10 tips for maintaining fuel efficiency for your vehicle and saving money on gas:
1. Any fuel is good fuel
If your car does not require premium gas, then don’t use premium gas. Your wallet will thank you because you’ll be saving around 5¢ per litre.
2. Know the limit, stay within it
Speeding can lead to excessive fuel consumption. The faster you drive, the more fuel your car will use. Stay within the speed limit, and the amount of gas you save will trump the length of time it took for you to get home. You’ll also be a safer driver for doing so, and this is a great way to avoid speeding tickets.
3. Planning your trip can be a trip
One of the easiest ways to improve fuel efficiency is to plan your trip ahead of time. Use any map app to help navigate the shortest, most effective route to your destination. Also, try to avoid several short trips; instead, combine running all your errands into one outing.
4. Raise the roof (or better yet, don’t)
Attaching a rooftop carrier to the roof of your car may seem like a great idea, but in reality, the added weight causes additional fuel consumption. Remove carriers or racks when not in use to lighten the load and keep your vehicle streamlined.
- Related reads: Spring Cleaning Your Car for the Non-Mechanic
5. Under (tire) pressure
Low tire pressure is one way your car will waste gas. Checking your pressure on a regular basis, and keeping your tires inflated to the proper pressure, is the best way to prevent this from happening.
6. Take your car for regular check-ups
Humans need regular check-ups by a doctor and your car should get one from a mechanic. This is a great way to ensure your car is running properly and at its peak efficiency. According to Natural Resources Canada a poorly maintained vehicle can cost the equivalent of up to 15¢ more per litre on fuel.
7. Take a walk on the fuel efficient side
If your destination is only a short distance away, it can’t hurt to put on some shades and sneakers, and go for a stroll. This option is also health effective because instead of burning fuel, you’ll be burning calories.
8. Cold as ice (water)
Summer weather brings grueling heat with it. Cranking up the air condition may seem like the best idea, but it also plays a role in gas consumption. In fact, it can increase your fuel consumption by as much as 20 per cent. Try alternatives to the AC such as rolling the windows down when city driving or keeping hydrated with a bottle of cold water.
9. Idle cars are the gas station’s workshop
Unless you’re in traffic, turn off your car when you’re not on the move. If you’re waiting for passengers, in line for your daily cup of coffee or simply running some quick errands, you’ll save gas money by turning of the car rather than letting it idle.
10. Don’t put junk in your car trunk
Remove any items (like sports gear, unnecessary tools etc.) that are not needed in your car. If you use your car as storage you will see a one per cent increase in fuel consumption for every 25 kilograms of weight that is in your vehicle. The lighter your car, the less gas your vehicle will use.
Save money on your car insurance too
While saving money at the pumps is something you can do every week, you can save even more money (about $670 by our estimation) by comparing car insurance rates. Car insurance is like any other product or service: to get the best deals, you’re going to have to shop around and if you’re not comparing rates regularly (like at renewal, when you move or buy a new car), chances are you’re overpaying for your coverage.
Updated to reflect the current, rising cost, of gasoline in Canada.