This past spring, American Automobile Association (AAA) statistics released by CNN Money showed gasoline prices rising steadily over a seven-day period. That trend has continued into the summer of 2011. In the biggest jump since Hurricane Katrina disrupted Gulf refineries more than five years ago, the retail price for gasoline continues to soar.
While high prices may cause panic for some consumers, remember that there are steps you can take to make sure soaring prices don’t send you into a financial tailspin. The following suggestions will help you get the most out of a full tank.
- Search for the best price. Gas prices usually vary from one area of town to the other. Search for websites that can give you detailed information about the gas prices at stations in your neighborhood.
- Drive sensibly. Did you know that exceeding the speed limit by just 5 mph can result in an average fuel economy loss of 6 percent? Constant accelerating and braking wastes gas, and according to CNN Money, it can lower your gas mileage by 33 percent when driving at highway speeds and by 5 percent when cruising around town.
- Plan trips in advance. If you know you have to run multiple errands in a day, make a plan that will help you consolidate the number of trips you have to take. This tactic is also useful for driving down the cost of road trips. Gas prices vary from one city to another. Plan your route so you don’t get stuck paying extra because you have no choice.
- Routinely maintain your vehicle. Get your vehicle checked on a regular basis to make sure all systems are running smoothly. Make sure spark plugs and sensors are replaced on time and the tire pressure is at the right level. If these aren’t maintained, your vehicle will have to work harder, which means guzzling more gas.
- Look into alternatives. Research other methods of transportation. These could include carpooling with co-workers, using public transportation, or even riding a bicycle. With the growing number of affordable hybrid vehicles on the market, you may find that you can save money by investing in a new car. Automotive financial calculators can help you calculate savings.
For more information on how to make wise financial choices at the pump, watch Best Gas Credit Cards, a video that shows you a few simple ways to save an additional 15 to 30 cents on every gallon.