Lower Your Gas Costs
Has filling your gas tank been putting a bigger dent in your wallet lately? Gasoline prices, on average, are up 80 cents from this time last year, according to the Energy Information Administration (EIA). And the EIA expects prices to continue rising to about $3 this summer.
There are ways to keep gas costs under control. Here are five tips.
Comparison shop. GasBuddy.com lets you search for the lowest gas prices in your zip code. You may find that the gas station you usually use charges several cents more than other stations.
Fill 'er up with regular. Most cars don't need the pricey, premium-grade gasoline. According to EIA, a gallon of premium-grade gas costs 23 cents more, on average, than regular-grade gas ($3.08 versus $2.85 the week of April 26). Take our quiz to learn about other situations where the added cost isn't worth it.
Tune up your car. Regular maintenance can help detect problems -- a clogged air filter, improperly inflated tires, wrong grade of oil -- that could be lowering your car's gas mileage.
Dump the junk in your trunk. An extra 100 pounds in your trunk can lower your gas mileage by 2%, and luggage on a roof rack can decrease your gas mileage by 5%, according to the Federal Trade Commission.
Drive efficiently. You can improve a vehicle's gas mileage by up to 5% by avoiding quick starts and stops, according to the FTC. Gas mileage also decreases as you accelerate beyond 60 mph.