With warm temperatures here, many Canadians like to use these summer months to travel and see what Canada has to offer. Whether it’s a road trip across the province or even just adventuring up north for the weekend, summer is known to be a driving season in Canada. But as the temperatures rise, typically so do gas prices. Even though it’s only June, many Canadians have noticed the price of gas to increase as they’re filling their tanks and many are even expecting gas to hit a 10-year high as more expensive blends of fuel are being used, and supply remains tight in British Columbia. Dan McTeague, a GasBuddy analyst, is even expecting it to be “the most expensive year bar none going back to at least 2014”. While there’s little that can be done about the cost of gas, there are a few tips and tricks you can use to help you save while you’re filling up.
Don’t Pay Premium Unless You Have To
As the price of gas goes up, so does your bill, especially if you’re using premium gas to fill your tank. But did you know that depending on your car, you don’t always have to use premium gasoline? If you’re not driving a sports car or luxury vehicle with a high-performance engine that requires higher-octane fuel, you may be able to switch to cheaper gasoline options. So the next time you go to fill up, check the owner’s manual as well as with your trusted mechanic with what fuel you can use. You may find that you can save pennies on the litre.
Remove Unnecessary Weight
Before you put your key into the ignition, or before your next road trip, make sure you pay attention to any excess weight in your car. If you’re using your vehicle to store personal items that don’t necessarily have to to be there, you could be reducing gas mileage! Even an extra 100 pounds in your car could reduce your gas mileage by up to 2%! So take the time to remove the sports equipment, unused bike rack or any other unnecessary weight.
Pay Attention To Your Driving Habits
It probably goes without saying that your driving habits can significantly affect your fuel consumption. As most people know, using A/C to keep cool, speeding and suddenly breaking can cause you to use more fuel when you drive. So take your time while driving and roll the windows down as cars are generally most efficient between 80 – 100 km/h, but use 10% more gas once they’re driving 110 km/h and 20% more gas when they’re driving 120 km/h. In addition to adjusting your driving habits, be conscious about how long you’re idling for. Idling for extended periods can also burn more fuel than you think. In fact, if you’re idling for more than 10 seconds, you could burn up to one gallon (or three litres) in an hour!
Stay On Top Of Your Car Maintenance
Did you know that simple car maintenance can help keep your car fuel efficient in the summer months? Specifically, the air pressure in your tires as they can significantly compromise your cars handling and braking. By having your tires at the proper level of inflation, many have noted that it can improve fuel economy by 3.3%! So if it wasn’t already important to pay attention to your tire pressure before, be sure to periodically check them during the summer months so you can keep your car as fuel efficient as possible! If you’re unsure of what the recommended tire pressure is for your make and model, check the guidelines that are displayed on either the driver side door or in the owner’s manual!
Depending on where you buy gas or what gas stations are near you, it may be worth considering to look into whether that business has a rewards program. You may be surprised when you find out how many companies offer discounts or cash back opportunities when you shop with them! Whether it’s Costco, Air Miles or Petro-Points, do your research about what fuel saving programs are available and which one could benefit your wallet the most while filling up your tank!
And last but not least, make sure you’re comparing prices. As you may find that some gas stations only differ by a few cents, it all adds up. So be sure to use apps that show what the price of gas is at varying gas stations around you. As well, it should be noted that depending on the day of the week; you could be paying more for gas! Often people predict that weekdays leading up to the weekend are usually the most expensive, in comparison to the beginning of the week.