Anyone born in the 80’s or later will remember when gas prices hovered between 39 and 49 cents per liter. Unfortunately those days are a thing of the past, and for many people, gas has become one of their biggest monthly expenses! This article isn’t going to tip you off to places where you can buy gas at the historical prices I mentioned, but I will try to cover some ways that you can be a little smarter at the pump and save some money in the process.

Here are my 15 tips to save you money on gas:

1) Acceleration: Cars burn through the most gas during the acceleration process. The harder you accelerate, the more gas you will use. To save money, try to accelerate easier and anticipate things on the road well in advance. By anticipating the traffic you will use your brakes less and simply decelerate by taking your foot off the gas. Keeping a moving car going requires much less fuel than a car that is constantly stopping and going. (Side Note: One thing I love about using Car2Go is they keep an eco score based on your driving patterns. This is a great way to see how your acceleration and braking patterns can impact your fuel usage).

2) Reduce Weight: If you drive around with a trunk full of heavy items, this will make your car work harder to accelerate. As mentioned above, the harder the car needs to work during the acceleration process means it will need to burn more fuel.

3) Air Conditioning: The air conditioning unit in your car will force the engine to work harder, which means more gas will be used. To save money here, either roll down your windows slightly to get air circulation in the car, or turn off your AC well before arriving at your destination as the coolness in the car should stay for some time if the AC has been working hard.

4) Drive Slower: Accelerating to higher speeds causes a car to use much more gas. By driving slower the engine will not have to accelerate as much and will have to work less to keep the car moving.

5) Use Cruise Control: When driving for long periods of time on flat surfaces, using cruise control will prevent you from constantly accelerating then decelerating (for most drivers).

6) Keep Your Tires Inflated: Under inflated tires will cause your car to burn more fuel. Over inflating your tires will have no impact on fuel consumption though so follow your car manufacturers guidelines and keep tires inflated to their recommended PSI.

7) Buy A More Fuel Efficient Car: Some cars just get awful fuel consumption. If you are driving a big heavy SUV but are consistently driving long distances on your own, consider trading in the SUV for a smaller car, and rent the SUV as you actually need it.

8) Turn Your Car Off: If you are stuck in a really bad traffic jam, or are waiting for any longer than 1 minute, turn your car off. Idling uses gas while a powered off car uses none.

9) Find The Best Route: Most GPS devices these days can show you traffic volumes and map the quickest route. The less time you are in your car, the less gas it will likely use.

10) Find The Best Gas Prices: The most obvious way to save money on gas is to buy it for less! There are several websites where people track gas prices and post the current rates. For example, in Toronto I use to find the best price near to me. Just don’t go driving 50km to save 5 cents per liter as it will never be worth it!

11) Drive Less: Another obvious one, but if you only need to go a short distance, and it is feasible to do so, walk or take your bike to get there. Not only will you save on gas, you will burn some calories in the process!

12) Carpool: Whenever possible, if you are traveling to the same place as several of your friends, consider taking just 1 car instead of several.

13) Points Programs: Whenever possible buy your gas with a credit card and points card that will get you something in return for making the purchase.

14) Buy A Scooter: Scooters are a great way to get around and are amazingly fuel efficient. If you do a lot of short distance driving, a scooter might be a great alternative to your car which can save you LOTS of money!

15) Go Electric: Though electric cars can cost more, depending on your usage levels you may end up saving more money by buying an electric car. This solution may not be for everyone so you will need to do the math to figure out if it is right for you.

Got any other tips or like this article? I’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!

Save Money on Gas