Practical Ways to Save at the Pump
You can’t do much about gas prices, but you can still save at the pump. Not a bundle of money, but perhaps two or three dollars per fill up. While this may not sound like a lot of money it does add up to as much as 0 per year or more, depending on your driving habits. Who doesn’t want to save at the pump? You know that you do.
Name v. Generic Brand – Perhaps you have long used BP, Exxon, Texaco or some other big name oil company’s gas station over the years. Heck, their gas really isn’t any different now, is it? Well, the “Gas and Go” down the street – you know, the generic “no name” gas station always charges less, as much as a dime less per gallon, but you have avoided them. Well, did you know that many generic stations get their gas from the same place as the Exxons, Mobils, and other big name companies of the world? They certainly do. They just don’t get charged a franchise fee covering advertising and other expenses. So, gas up with a generic and save big.
Premium v. Plus v. Regular – Most pumps have two grades of fuel while some have three: regular, plus and premium running at 87, 89, and 91 or 92 octane. Did you know that most cars will run on regular gas? Therefore, unless your owner’s manual specifically says you must run premium gas, don’t bother – pocket the extra dime or quarter per gallon that you would save.
Ethanol v. Gasoline – If you own one of the millions of vehicles on North American highways that can run on either ethanol or gasoline then you may be in luck. Depending where you live [the Midwest USA for example] and what gas prices are doing at the moment, you could pay as much has 50 cents less per gallon for ethanol. One caveat: your fuel mileage drops by about 20% when filling up with ethanol. Therefore, if the savings per gallon isn’t better than 20%, then don’t bother.
Naturally, driving within the speed limit, avoiding fast starts, and keeping your engine tuned, and tires inflated are other ways to save on gas. Altogether you can do your part to restrict your gas usage without going nuts doing it. Otherwise, opt for a hybrid and hope that you can get some sort of government rebate to justify your purchase.
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