Troy Naylor pumps gas into his truck at a Sinclair in Salt Lake City on Monday. Here are eight ways how you can still save money on gas. (Mengshin Lin, Deseret News)
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SALT LAKE CITY — On average, a gallon of regular gas was selling for $4.30 in Utah on Thursday. According to AAA, Utahns have never paid this much for gas before. Just filling up a 12-gallon tank will cost over $50, while a 15-gallon tank will cost well over $60 to fill. But before your next fill-up, here are eight ways how you can still save money on gas.
One place to save shekels on gas is by easing up on the pedal. Just slowing down from 80 to 70 mph will save you over 15% in fuel consumption, according to the US Department of Energy. And don’t punch it when the light turns green or brake hard at the next red light said Aldo Vazquez, spokesman for AAA’s Northern California, Arizona, and Utah region.
“It’s going to use a little bit more gasoline to get you going,” said Vazquez. “Slow and steady wins the race. Keeping in line is going to help you conserve a lot of gasoline in long run.”
You will save 10% to 40% on mileage compared to that aggressive driver that tailgates you.
Also, no need to warm up your car for a long time. In winter, most carmakers recommend driving off gently after only 30 seconds, not 10 or 15 minutes.
“Vehicles these days are more high-tech, they’ve been vastly improved,” said Vazquez. “It really doesn’t take that much longer for your vehicle to get going these days.”
The engine warms up faster being driven than idling in a driveway, you will save money on gas, and bonus — you just might thwart a car thief’s plans.
Next, your roof cargo box is ruining your car’s mileage more than you might think. Sure, they look sleek and aerodynamic, but the Energy Department has said it found those boxes can drag down your fuel economy by as much as 25%. A hitch cargo carrier impacts fuel mileage much less.
At the pump, use a loyalty program. Most gas stations and grocery stores offer discounts on gas. Their cards are often free to use and can save you five, 10, even 15 cents a gallon.
“Even a couple of cents on gas is a great way to save money,” said Vazquez, who also recommended checking into membership clubs. “Costco and Sam’s Club (memberships) are also some things that people are investing in to help them find the cheapest gas in their areas.”
Paying in cash also saves money. True, there is no pay at the pump and you will actually have to hand the cashier green, paper money that you might rarely use. But it can save you five to ten cents a gallon, as it saves gas stations from paying credit card processing fees.
And buying the highest octane doesn’t necessarily mean your car will run better. If your car does not require premium, fuel experts say you can switch to regular and save 20 to 40 cents a gallon.
“You really need to look into your owner’s manual, see what kind of gasoline your vehicle can handle before making those kinds of decisions,” Vazquez said.
One more way to save money on gas is to use a gas price app such as GasBuddy, GetUpside or the AAA mobile app. Price shopping on these sorts of apps quickly shows you where you can find the cheapest gas in your area or on your route.
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