Good news for consumers -- gas prices are edging lower. But, the national average is still around $3.60 per gallon and cities like Chicago, New York and LA are certainly much closer to $4 than $3.60.
So let's start the week by revisiting some of the best fuel saving tips to help maximize your gas purchases and get the most miles out of every tankful. When you buy your gas; how you buy, and even how you drive all impact your purchasing power... Take a look at GasBuddy's Top Tips for Fuel Savings...
1. Timely price information makes all the difference. Use your GasBuddy app regularly and opt for the stations nearest you that have been updated most recently. A recent look at select metro market prices across the U.S., showed cities with gas available at prices well below the metro average for that city: New York, 36 cents per gallon below metro average; Chicago, .32 cpg., Los Angeles and St. Louis, tied at .31 cpg., Atlanta, 29 cpg.; Seattle, 28 cpg. Dallas, 25 cpg and Philadelphia, 22 cpg.
2. Know when to buy. You may remember that we produced a state-by-state analysis back in January that found 65% of states saw lower prices during the weekend than the week, which included
Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. GasBuddy’s data also found that very few states
saw Tuesday or Wednesday as the best day to fuel up. The complete listing is
3. Cash or credit? Choose wisely. Cash is usually king and where legal some stations offer their lowest price or other incentives for cash purchases. With credit cards many branded gas stations will tack on fees unless you use their credit card... And on the other hand, some cards offer 5% rebates on gasoline purchases. When you use any credit card, be sure you have full disclosure on all the fees that may be applicable.
4. Reap the rewards! Are you maximizing every gas purchase you make no matter what brand of gas you buy? The number of gasoline retailers offering 'Rewards' or loyalty programs continues to grow. Some include: Sunoco, Shell, Flying J, BP, Exxon Mobil, Safeway, Valero... And in Canada, Esso and Petro Canada.
Their programs may directly reduce the price per gallon at the time of purchase, or, let you accumulate points used for purchasing either gasoline or other merchandise. Savvy consumers have been known to build up rewards that cut their gas purchases in half.
5. Buy across state lines. When possible, take advantage of gasoline tax disparities near state borders. New Yorkers pay 69 cents per gallon in taxes; Over the George Washington Bridge in New Jersey, just 33 cents per gal. Where would you want to fill up?
6. Check your tire pressure! That's critical to your safety but it's also key to maximizing fuel efficiency too. For every pound of pressure your tires are underinflated, you could be losing up to 2 percent of your fuel economy. Don;t be lazy; you can't eyeball it. Use a tire gauge.
7. Slow down. Driving at 75 mph (or more) may get you there faster, but it will cost you dearly. So will hard stops and hard starts. Fueleconomy.gov says: Aggressive driving (speeding, rapid acceleration and braking) can lower your gas mileage by 33% at highway speeds and by 5% around town.
8. Lighten the load. Get the junk out of the trunk.