With gasoline prices at record highs ahead of the summer travel season, many drivers appear to be finding other ways to get around instead of hopping in their cars and heading to the nearest fuel pump.
Gasoline demand on a four-week rolling basis has fallen to its lowest level during this time of year since 2013 (excluding the pandemic-outbreak period in 2020), Business Insider reported, citing data from the Energy Information Administration. Demand is down about 5% from a year ago.
The reason likely has a lot to do with surging gas prices. The average price in the United States rose to another record of $4.600 a gallon on May 26, according to AAA. The national average could soar above $6 a gallon by the end of the summer, according to recent research from JPMorgan. It’s already that high in California.
If you depend on your car to get around, there are ways you can shave precious pennies and more off of your gasoline purchases. Here are five of them as recently outlined by CNET.
Use Gas Websites and Apps to Find the Best Prices
Many motorists are familiar with GasBuddy because its site tracks gas prices in the U.S. and Canada and provides real-time information on the lowest prices in your area. GasBuddy is available on the web or via mobile apps for Android and iOS.
Another option is the Geico website, which provides a local gas station tracker that lets you enter an address, city or ZIP code, plus the maximum distance area. Geico then provides a detailed list and map with regular, mid-grade and premium gas prices as well as directions to stations.
Similar apps are available from AAA and Gas Guru.
Check Your Tire Pressure
Properly inflating your tires can boost gas mileage by 3%, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. This can add up to nearly 13 cents a gallon at current prices, which could save you almost 13 cents per gallon. Rather than wait for your tire pressure light to turn on, spend $10 to $20 on a tire pressure gauge to regularly monitor your tires.
Map Your Route
Tools such as Google Maps can boost your gas mileage by recommending routes that avoid hills and traffic and let you keep a more constant speed. Enabling the fuel efficiency feature in Google Maps is simple: Just tap the three dots on the directions screen, tap “Route options,” and then turn on the “Prefer fuel-efficient routes” option. Fuel-tracking mobile apps are also available from Fuelio and JerryCan.
Sign Up for Gas Credit Cards and Fuel Rewards Programs
National gas station chains typically offer credit cards and reward programs that give consumers money back on their gas purchases. For example, Speedy Rewards offers a $25 gift card when you reach 500 points or 50 gallons. Both Shell and BP say you can save at least 5 cents a gallon with their rewards programs, while ExxonMobil says you’ll get at least 3 cents off.
You can also find rewards programs at supermarket chains such as Safeway and Kroger that offer gasoline discounts for every $100 you spend on groceries. Kroger’s program works with Shell and Kroger Fuel Centers, while Safeway’s program works with Chevron, Texaco and Safeway stations.
Use Cash for Gas Purchases
It’s no secret that some gas stations charge a little more per gallon when you use a credit card. Paying with cash instead can add up to considerable savings – up to 20 cents per gallon in some markets.
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