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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

5 Tips on How to Save Money on Gas While Driving

5 Tips on How to Save Money on Gas While Driving

By Glen Wheaton

As we plan our summer trips, part of the plan is how to save money. A large part of our transportation costs could be brought down if we could save gas, so we thought now a good time to address the question on how to save money on gas while driving. With gas costing over one dollar a gallon more than last year at this time, and over $4 a gallon in some places (and Europeans only wish their gas was so inexpensive), finding ways to save money on gas while driving is apropos.

The best way to save gas would be to get a Prius, but since you probably wouldn't be reading this if you did, we will bypass that as number one. That aside, here are the 5 tips on how to save money this summer:

1. Pick the best route. When stopping a lot, the shortest route can actually cause you to burn more gas. To save money on gas while driving, try to drive more at night, especially when you are planning to negotiate a large city. Personally I have saved myself a great deal of time and gas going through Atlanta, for instance, at night or the early morning before rush hour. Also, there are dozens of apps that help you find cheaper places that will save gas expense. Skip the long toll-booth lines by purchasing a monthly E-ZPass, which will cover you from the Northeast to Virginia and west to Illinois. They will save gas and time.

2. Find the cheaper gas stations. Paying a premium price for gas at one of the chains is money down the drain. The gas is the same, and for the additive chains throw in to be able to market their product as "different" is not worth the price difference.

3. Reduce your carrying weight and ease up on the accelerator. A car is running the least efficiently when it is accelerating, and when it is carrying the most weight. It is estimated that for every 100 additional pounds the car is carrying, it will cost an additional 2%, which over a long trip will not save gas.

4. Make sure the tire pressure is where it should be. One of the easiest ways to save money on gas while driving is to keep an eye on your tire pressure. Underinflated tires can lower gas mileage by 0.3 percent for every pound per square inch in all four tires, which can really add up if they are extremely low. It is quick and easy to check them with a tire gauge whenever you get gas.

5. Earn to rely on public transportation. I think it's a safe bet that gas prices will not ever be coming down, at least in the long term, and we will have to make a choice on how we travel, either by using other sources of energy or mass transit, or both. In Europe, where gas can cost double and more than in the United States, to save money on gas has become a more pressing issue. The more people use public transportation, the more money can be devoted to it, and the better the service will become. The investment in the countries transportation infrastructure is a necessary long-term solution to how we can all save money while driving.

These are a few ways to save on travel. It takes a bit of effort, but that effort can pay off in substantial savings. For additional tools to help you save money when planning your vacation look and for a wide range of travel products, check out our online store. Glen Wheaton is a writer and travel enthusiast living in London.

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