gas pump

6 Hacks To Help You Save On Gas

When it comes to gas prices, what goes down inevitably creeps back up again. Fuel prices have recently been edging higher and are expected to climb further in 2017, according to price tracker GasBuddy. Fortunately, you can fight back by being a bit more strategic about when, where and how you fill ’er up. While many of us know some of the basics of good fuel economy—like keeping your tires properly inflated, staying up on car maintenance, ditching excess cargo—adopting these lesser-known gas- (and cash-) saving strategies won’t hurt.

1. Schedule Your Gas Run

Wednesday is typically the best day to fill up for less, says automotive expert Lauren Fix. “Prices tend to rise on Thursdays in anticipation of weekend travel,” she explains. In fact, a recent study by the St. Louis Federal Reserve found that refueling on a Tuesday or Wednesday instead of the weekend saved 8 cents to 9 cents a gallon—saving you more than $60 per year. It also pays to fill up early. “Station owners tend to hike prices after 9 a.m. or so, once they’ve had time to check the competition.”

2. Don’t Top It Off

That extra squeeze may round out your purchase price, but it’s also likely to splash out or evaporate, along with your hard-earned cash, notes Fix. Stop pumping when you hear the first click. Remember to screw the gas cap back until it clicks, too, so none of your fuel escapes as fumes. “About 17 percent of vehicles on the road have loose, damaged or missing gas caps, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year,” says Fix.

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3. Pay With Cash

Most of us use plastic at the pump, but carrying cash can save you as much as 10 cents to 15 cents a gallon, says GasBuddy. (Some stations charge less when you pay cash because they save on credit card fees.)

4. Use Loyalty Programs

If you must charge it, consider getting a card that rewards you for buying gas. Meanwhile, see if the station you visit the most offers a rewards or loyalty card. Some grocery store loyalty programs also offer gas rewards—you earn points buying groceries, then redeem for gas. Or check out gift-card resale sites. You may be able to score a gas card worth say $100 for $90, yielding $10 in free gas.

5. Follow The 10-second Rule

Whether you’re picking up a slowpoke or waiting at the drive-through, turn off the engine if your wait is longer than 10 seconds. Idling drains your tank by a quarter- to a half-gallon of fuel per hour, whereas restarting only sips 10 seconds worth of gas, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. Even in winter, there’s no need to sit in your driveway “warming up” the engine. Most manufacturers recommend driving off gently after half a minute.

6. Let Your Fingers Do The Driving

No more wasting fuel driving around in search of the lowest price. Log on to GEICO’s gas station locator before you leave to pinpoint the best deals along your route, or access it on the go from the GEICO Mobile app to see real-time prices nearby.

Want to cut the cost of car ownership even more? Find out how much cash you could stash just by getting a cheaper car insurance policy. Get a fast free auto insurance quote from GEICO.

Read more: 5 Ways to Increase Your Mileage

By Julia Califano

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    Leave a comment

  1. Pal Stevens says,

    These are great tips and I appreciate the article, however, in tip #2 talking about the loose gas caps, I am wondering who calculates and figures how much gas is wasted through evaporating? That sounds like a number just pulled out of the air (no pun intended) to me.

    • Editor (GEICO) says,

      The GEICO Mobile app can help you find the cheapest gas around you through the “Find Gas” option under “Extras.”

  2. MARTIN says,

    ARE YOU AWARE THAT THE GOVERNMENT DOES NOT REGULATE WHAT GOES INTO REGULAR GASOLINE? IT IS VERY STRICK & REGULATES ALL THAT GOES INTO SUPER.
    I WAS CURIOUS AS TO WHY MY ENGINE KNOCKS WHEN I USE COSTO’S REGULAR, SO i ASKED THE MAN THEY HAVE AT THE PUMPS & HE TOLD ME THAT THEY BUY WHATEVER THEY CAN GET FOR REGULAR. i LOOK INTO IT & FOUND OUT THROUGH A GOVT. LAWYER THAT ONLY HIGH GRADE IS REGULATED. SO I PUT THE HIGH GRADE AT COSTCO & MY OLDER CARS 1995 & 2017 ENGINES NO LONGER KNOCK. THERE IS A PRICE TO PAY FOR NOT HAVING A NEWER CAR OR A LUXURY ONE. YOU GET THE SHAFT!

  3. dayle v stevens says,

    As a GA pilot u must know weight and balance to figure flights. Gas weighs 6 and a quarter pds per gal. MY truck holds 35 gal.Thats 218 pnds when full. Thats a lot of weight I would be hauling around as I start out, so I may only put 10 gal in the tank.so I may add more stops to add fuel. So think of your weight you haul in your vehicle check it out.

  4. RONALD KANGAS says,

    How much money would you save because you shut off your engine every time you had a little wait. Remember every time you re start,your putting a strain on your starter and it costs quite a lot to replace a worn out starter.

    • Brazzlie Jones says,

      Thank you for that information. Makes a lot of sense. Its a lot cheaper to buy more gas than a started.

    • Becky Heckman Craig says,

      This is contradicting it what you said about saving gas, you said we should always turn our cars off while waiting it cost a lot more money while Idiling as it only cost 10 cents to crank back up.. do now I’m confused . I’ve been a loyal customer with Gieco since 1974 . ??

  5. Ray says,

    Pump your gas Slowly and you’ll get what you paid for. Notice most nozzles only hold on fast pumping because the faster you move liquid the quicker it atomizes into vapor and is then recycled back into the ground tank. Your tank never fills because the air bubble is not pushed out slow enough before the back pressure clicks the nozzle off. Try to fill a bottle full boar and see how little you get vs filling it slow to the top….

  6. charlie hutch says,

    ease the gas on and off. every time you push the pedal down you’re burning gas. The farther down you push the pedal the ratio gallon per mile ‘decrease’ dramatically. Anticipate at least one block ahead and slower braking wears your brakes less too !

  7. jean-paul hache says,

    to whom it may concern I would like to see the price of diesel fuel I drive a diesel car and it is important for me please and thank you

  8. Tom Stobie says,

    You can often save money in Ontario buying from Indian Reservations or Costco, provided their pumps are not too far out of your way. Costco also has a good loyalty program. Why do you not mention these?