Money Matters: Simple ways to save at the pump
Focusing on fuel efficiency can drastically cut car costs and YNN has some simple ways to do it. YNN's Tara Lynn Wagner filed the following "Money Matters" report.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
For those who think buying a car is expensive, owning and operating that vehicle can bring on a sticker shock all its own.
“We've been doing the survey of your driving costs since 1950, when it was about 10 cents per mile. Now, on average, it's about 59 cents per mile, can get as low as about 44 cents a mile and as high as 73 cents a mile,” says Robert Sinclair Jr., manager of media relations for AAA New York.
Put another way, AAA estimates that for every hundred miles a person drives, it costs them roughly $60.
“And that factors in a lot of different things: Insurance, taxes, license depreciation, maintenance,” Robert Sinclair Jr. says.
And of course fuel. While the ever-changing price at the pump cannot be controlled, habits can be adjusted to get the most bang for a driving buck. For one thing: slow down.
“If it says to do 55 mph, do 55 mph. Don't go up to 65. You are going to lose fuel economy that way,” says Shawn Sinclair, automotive engineer at Consumer Reports Auto Test Center.
And the faster a driver goes, the more they lose. Driving 55 on the highway instead of 75 will cut fuel costs by 25 percent.
Hand in hand with slow is of course steady. Even in bumper to bumper traffic. Shawn Sinclair says when you're driving, imagine you have a coffee cup on the dashboard.
“Don't all of a sudden, you know, speed up and then slow down and speed up, slow down again. You know, watch the traffic in front of you. If you see that it's slowing down. You know, slow down easily. You don't have to be jamming on your breaks or anything,” she says.
Next up, lighten your load, or as she puts it, “get the junk out of the trunk." Or off the roof, as the case may be. Carting around extra weight means using extra fuel.
Another big gas guzzler to avoid: Idling, especially with the A/C on. Just because the wheels aren't turning doesn't mean gas isn’t being burned.
Finally, give the wallet a break at the pump. Unless the car says premium is required, it's fine to fill it with regular.
“If it is saying recommended, you are not getting any benefits from putting premium fuel in your car. You know you are probably paying 20-30 cents more, just stick with the regular fuel,” Shawn Sinclair says.