Memorial Day is here and many of you are probably enjoying a cold one and getting ready to begin some serious grilling with your family and friends. However, the day will come to an end and everyone will be hitting the roads to drive back home today so these easy to follow tips will at least save you a few dollars.
While Spring gas prices are already trending higher then usual, these tips will be ever more important if we experience record highs for the 2013 summer. The hunt for less expensive gas is not, and does not, need to be difficult. Like most daily activities today, there are apps out there to help.
GasBuddy.com started out as a website that let users report and view fuel prices in their area to help others find cheap gas locally. It now has an app for both iOS and Android devices.
Gregg Laskoski, an analyst for GasBuddy, said the app can help drivers save money.
“A lot of people don’t realize how much of a gap exists just in their local markets,” he said. “In Miami … there was a gap in the lowest priced station and the highest priced station at $1.05 a gallon. In mini-markets, it can be $0.50, $0.60, $0.70 cents per gallon.”
This app will not only save you money, but it turns into a fun game as well as you earn points for entering gas prices in your local market. Depending how much you drive on annual basis, will clearly determine how much you save with the assistance of an application like GasBuddy, but figure that you will save anywhere between $250 to $300 for every 15,000 miles you drive.
Aside from a helpful app like GasBuddy.com, here are 6 basic money-saving tips to help you determine where, and how, you fill up next.
1. Pay Attention to the Newest Price Reports
Whichever app or website you use to retrieve local gas prices, be sure to pay attention to the age of the information. For example., postings from 22 hours ago are probably not very reliable whereas information posted 3 hours ago is most likely on the money.
2. Pick a Card, But Not Just Any Credit Card
The credit card you use at the gas station can be the critical difference between saving you money at the local pump or costing you more then you initial thought.
Many stations will charge a surcharge unless [you] use their particular gas card. On the flip side, you can seek out and get a credit card that includes specific perks related to purchasing gasoline. For example, the Chase Freedom credit card can provide you with 5 percent rebate on gas. But to complicate matters, you better make sure that you are filling up at a gas station that does not have the up-charge when paying with your credit card since the uptick in cost will most likely wipe out your savings.
To put simply, If you are paying with a credit card, you can sometimes be slapped with an extra fee at the pump so pay attention.
3. Location, Location, Location
Gasoline stations near the highway can be a win if there is more than one major truck or travel stop or a loss if there is only one station and it is small in size. Also, in areas like NJ, Sunoco has contracts with the Turnpike Authority to provide fuel services on the Turnpike and Garden State Parkway, but under the terms of the agreement, those specific gas stations may only change their prices weekly, prior to 7 am on Fridays.
4. Keep an Eye on Those Truck Stops
Truck stops are a good indicator to see if the price of gas will go up because they sell ample amounts of gas very quickly. Hence, truck stops are constantly receiving new loads of gasoline and that means that truck stop owners are paying the most-up-to-date prices for gasoline. You can use this tip in conjunction with the previous fuel saving tidbit to determine whether or not you should fill your vehicle up in NJ before or after the weekly price change.
5. Fill Up in an Area With Many Gas Stations
This is really just common sense since competition will typically keep prices lower.
6. Fill Up Near State Lines
Filling up near state lines will save you money. States are more competitive because of any difference in taxes. For example, the combined tax in Illinois is nearly $0.61 per gallon, where Missouri is $0.36 per gallon. This holds a lot of weight if you travel the roads in the Northeast or the Mid-Atlantic since a typical road trip often involves crossing multiple state lines.
Be sure to take a moment of silence to remember the brave service men and women who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. Have fun cooking, attending parades, swimming in the ocean, camping in the mountains or just relaxing this Memorial Day and from everyone at Windsor Nissan, please drive safe…and save some money at the gas pumps!!!
It is pretty simple when it comes down to it; find ways to maximize your MPG. Driving a car can be analogous to a video game. For example, you can drive from point A to point B exactly as stated by your Navigation or Google Maps just like you can play Zelda on Nintendo from beginning to end, but Google Maps and your vehicle do not tell that there are tons of ways to manipulate your car that will save you real money and time by earning an extra 50 miles on the road compared to your previous full tank of gas in your 2013 Nissan Rogue.
Whether you are visiting family, heading to the beach or camping in the mountains, you are probably driving, as it is far more convenient then having to strip down at airport security and that is after paying United Airlines $25.00 for your bag. Considering 31.2 million people hit the roads on Memorial Day Weekend, US drivers will spend approximately $1.44 billion filling up at the pump.
So, in an attempt to save you some of your hard earned wages and to make a small impact on our environments (come on….every bit helps), here are the Top 5 Fuel Saving Tips that will enhance the amount of miles you will achieve while driving per gallon of gasoline this Memorial Day Weekend (and obviously anytime that you are driving your vehicle).
1. Plan Ahead & Pick Your Route Wisely
Most people are fairly lazy when it comes to this specific topic since vehicle navigation is becoming as standard as a CD player in new vehicles. Combine that with the prevalent use of smart phones and map applications and you fill find that most people simply get into their vehicle and then figure out how to get to their end point from the driver’s seat. Yet, since everyone relies on this method, the end result is having everyone on the same road at the same time in a gigantic traffic jam…..wasting fuel.
If you plan ahead, you can avoid this nightmare and waste of expensive fuel. It might mean taking the road less-traveled, but it could result in a more pleasant, scenic route, free of traffic and even if it’s longer, in terms of actual miles driven, it might prove quicker. A moving car that spends less time on the road is more efficient than one stuck in traffic for hours.
2. Check Your Tires
To start, make sure you tire is wearing evenly across the tread because if it is not, you may find yourself an unfortunate situation and/or with a much larger service bill the next time you visit your local Car Dealership. For example, if your tire tread is uneven, this might be a direct result of your vehicles alignment being off.
Or, your tire could just be under-inflated (I know that sounds awkward), which is a quick fix you can accomplish by yourself at any gas station in a matter of minutes. This is an easy fix and it will pay huge dividends. Lower tire pressures can adversely affect wear and increase drag, reducing gas mileage. From a safety standpoint, low pressure tries are my susceptible to overheat at high speeds, and will increase the potential for blowouts.
Tire pressure gauges are inexpensive, and a weekly check will ensure you are always at a safe, economical pressure.
Tires don’t have to cause you much stress, and confirming that yours are always in tip-top shape will both improve safety, and save you money on gas.
3. Check Your Car
Do a few quick checks over your automobile. By checking that the engine has sufficient oil, confirming all the lights work, and cleaning your vehicle before your departure are easy and inexpensive to do and increase the fuel efficiency of your ride.
Although you’ll likely be loading the car up with people and luggage, do a check around to make sure your car isn’t full of junk or unnecessary paraphernalia, like mine is, because it all adds weight, and weight is the enemy of efficient driving.
4. Timing Is Everything
Set off earlier and travel during off hours. No, really. New Yorkers know not to head to the Jersey Shore, Southampton, or the Catskills Friday night. If you have any control over your schedule, take an extra day off or travel at night. After dark, it will be cooler in the car, less taxing on your engine and you will burn less fuel.
Big rigs also take a break in the evening, so fewer trucks on the highway will give you peace of mind over your precious cargo…your loved ones and/or friends. Otherwise, avoid city centers and major interstate exchanges during rush hour or the hours right after lunch.
Finally, you will be able to drive slower (saving fuel) without the anxiety of sitting in traffic.
5. Drive Smoothly
Now we’re onto specific driving techniques. First, treat all the car’s controls with some respect so use smooth, measured inputs. Not only will it make things more pleasant for your passengers, but accelerating, braking and steering smoothly will mean less engine, brake and tire wear, which increases your vehicles fuel efficiency.
That is not to say you need to travel everywhere at a snail’s pace either. It’s better to accelerate briskly, but be sure to change gears earlier. In addition, reach your economical cruising speed sooner. Hence do not draw out your acceleration. The more time you spend in the process of accelerating, the less time you will spend at low revs in top gear, where the best economy can be had.
I hope these tips help you save a few bucks this weekend and whenever you decide to go on your next road trip.
Happy Driving This Memorial Day from everyone at Windsor Nissan!!!!