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. Xaysana,Pone says

    Thank you for the tip, how come i can not save on not at fault accident, other ins. Co i just gave them police report # and other insurer name and the ins.co. policy# that is all and nothing increase they don’t bother anything if i don’t got sue by other and they know about the report that i don’t got sue and i am clear.

  2. Jesse Braswell says

    web site is not working I put in my zip code but nothing. I do a search but nothing.
    I login and then I can not find the location page for gas.

  3. Grisel Quinones says

    Great Tips
    Thank You!

    Geico is a bit pricey but its a great Insurance with excellent coverage .
    Been with them since the 80’s

    I think.

  4. Master Mind says

    Why would they incentive you to pay cash and make the incentive more than double the credit card fee? Doesn’t make sense. I think that is bad advice.

  5. Paul says

    Clearly, these tips are obviously catered towards owners of gasoline vehicles.. These don’t really apply much to owners of diesels, particularly the note about topping off. Being an oil, diesel doesn’t evaporate like gasoline, which is a solvent.

    Also, the day of the week tip must only apply to some states, because most states I’ve been to don’t differentiate between what day prices go up, and again, diesel tends to be more stable than gasoline overall.

  6. Vanessa Page says

    Just say you ask for $20.00 in gas using cash then it will click off at $19.60 so you are losing 40 cents. I keep telling myself that I am going to bring a gas can to see if gas is still coming out of the hose. So tell me what’s up with that. You don’t get your full $20.00 in gas

    • Jimmy Hodges says

      Just go back inside and ask for your change , if you prepay 20 bucks and it only holds 19 bucks– the clerk has been giving me this type of transaction change. Ack for over 25 years all across the USA

  7. Don Bindley says

    Since this is from geico, I’m glad they taught me how to save money on gas to pay the rising insurance costs. It’s all a wash, I save 30 bucks a month and they raise 100 a month