6 Hacks To Help You Save On Gas

gas pump gifWhen 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.

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 switching car insurance. Get a fast free auto insurance quote from GEICO.

Read more: 5 Ways to Increase Your Mileage

By Julia Califano

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  1. Nancy says

    Well many years ago “my dad” told me: “As soon as you see a yellow light you might as well take your foot off the gas”. It’s Pavlovian now. Also, no jack rabbit starts and stops and finally…”keep your tires properly inflated…or learn to change one…its your choice”.. I am my fathers daughter.

  2. JOHN McLEOD says

    Thank you for the comment was very helpful. I for one will definitely use the strategy given. I love saving money.

  3. greg guy says

    One you forgot…When a light up ahead of you turns red, and traffic will allow, back off on your accelerator. Let your vehicle coast or slow down naturally. Why keep driving at normal speed only to have to stop at the last moment. You’ll save money on both gas and brakes!

  4. Jim says

    The comment about topping of the tank causes gas to splash out or evaporate is untrue.
    Modern cars have a closed system to prevent this from happening. Your posting false information.

  5. Ako says

    Great job guys. This helpfull information that you guys sending for everyone. I think you guys trying to improve great customer service. Thank you for sharing this information.

  6. Alicia says

    For #3, make sure you’re factoring in gas stations that charge the same for cash and credit purchases, or credit cards that offer cash back or rewards.

    I like using credit cards so I can easily track my purchases, but one of the most convenient gas stations near me charges the same for cash and credit (and they used to have free air too!). Additionally, I frequently get 3-5% cash back so it’s actually cheaper to charge at that gas stations. Others that up charge, usually do so by 10 cents per gallon, so it evens out with 7-12 cents back per gallon (if I did my math right at $2.40 per gallon)

  7. Febe Angello says

    Thank you for the information about saving gas ⛽️ many of these tips or hacks I didn’t know. I’m going to start saving money when I fill up and the tank.

  8. Burt says

    Ditch your gas powered vehicle or at least drive a hybrid that gets 30 to 40 miles from battery power before switching to gas. My Volt has a lifetime average of 108 mpg because the first 40 miles are electric – the new models get even more. You can get a used Volt pretty cheap these days. It’ll pay for itself in saved gasoline.

    • Greg Guza says

      And all the money you save on gas-you better put it away in your piggy bank to use towards the financing of your hybrid’s new battery when the time comes. Hybrid batteries cost waaaay more than an average gasoline car battery-and even batteries for gasoline cars have dramatically increased in $ since I started driving back in 1989.

      • Scott says

        I started driving long before 1989. And my 2002 Prius, that I bought new, is still running fine. That’s 15 years and 275,000 miles – and I have never replaced the hybrid battery. (Is it going to die soon? Maybe; but after that many years and that many miles, most cars are already long-gone altogether anyway!) The only hybrid-related part that I’ve had to replace is the water pump that cools the electronics.

      • Jim says

        Should say”Taxpayer funded” much the same as the lesser priced ethanol fuel that is taxpayer subsidized.

  9. Lynda says

    Not all gas brands are the same when it comes to mpg. There are some brands that typically/regularly add water to their gas which will decrease you mpg. The big name brands that seem to always do this start are H### and C*****

    You no longer have to be a math wiz to figure this out. If you have a newer car and have routes (like to work) are X miles and your X miles to Empty changes more than your route, you got water laden gas.

    For example, I purchased gas at C**** because it was the most convenient gas to get to when I needed it bad. My work route is 20 miles. My “X Miles to Empty” is decreasing 30 miles each way. In other words for every 2 miles my odometer changes the miles to empty is changing 3 miles. My tank of gas is only going to last half as long as if it would have lasted if I took the time to go to a gas station that didn’t sell watered down gas.

  10. Tory Ellis says

    Another huge way to save on turbo Max Oil Modified and use turbo Max C4 fuel catalys. Using both of these products can extend your oil change intervals double what it currently is check it out on YouTube Turbo MAXX invented by former employee Germain racing and the Geico NASCAR 13 team

  11. George says

    Another way to get more miles per gallon is to use cruise control especially on highway trips. I have clocked as much as 4 miles per gallon doing this.

    I do not agree it is wise to drive off in your vehicle on a very cold morning after just 30 seconds of warm up time. My rule of thumb is when the warm air just starts to come out of the heating vent my car is ready to drive.

    • Spiral says

      I agree somewhat, except, i wait for the idle to reach around 1000 before going slowly for about 2 minutes, taking red lights into account.

      My gas station lowers the gas wednesday so thursday fillups are savings in the bag. I have noticed the price creep up on friday though.