If you want to get the most out of your petroleum budget, there are some tricks you might want to know about. Of course, there are common sense items you want taken care of first when trying to stretch your gas; things such as driving at reasonable speeds, keeping your car in good tune and keeping your tires inflated. Be sure you have those covered because they can save you a good 10-20% on your gas bill. Once you have the machinery in good order, though, and you keep your foot off the gas, there are several techniques that can save you even more. For example:
For gosh sakes, get a gas card
If you haven’t signed up for a gas card, do it. Many of the national gas station chains offer considerable savings when you are a member of their gas buying clubs. This one is a no brainer yet it’s amazing how many people don’t do it. I know, “you are going to get to it”… do it asap and start saving some money!
Time your fill-ups
Ready for this? Hitting the pump after midnight or before dawn may save you some cash. Some gas stations hike their prices up a bit during the day to capture those who are in a hurry and don’t have time to shop around, but once traffic slows after midnight they drop their prices to attract as many customers as possible. While it isn’t worth waking up in the middle of the night for, it might be worth filling up early in the morning if you work odd hours or are on the road late at night.
While we are discussing timing, try to buy your gas on Wednesdays, as some gas stations hike their prices up at the start of the week and from Thursdays on through the weekend to make money off those leaving for weekend trips. And try to avoid buying gas on holiday weekends or the days leading up to them, as that is when gas prices are often boosted too.
Get a gas app
Do you have a smart phone? This tip is a good one to consider, especially since modern gas apps like GasBuddy give one increasingly accurate fuel costs, gas stand locations, and bonuses for reporting fuel price changes. These apps also give drivers the ability to shop around in advance on long road-trips, calculate overall fuel savings for the entire journey, and schedule stops for refilling along the way. If you have a smart phone and you travel a lot, consider a good gas app.
Avoid filling-up when you see a tanker truck
Chuck Patterson Premium Used Cars says technically this doesn’t save gas money, but it’s a good gas hack to know about. The underground fuel tanks that hold all of the gasoline for a gas station will over time form a layer of sediment at the bottom and some water will condense at the bottom. When a tanker truck fills up a gas station’s tanks, the junk lying at the bottom of the tanks can get stirred up and it could get pumped into your tank. Most gas stations will say this is impossible due to filtering and such but it has been known to happen, particularly at out of the way stations with old tanks.