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Gas Prices Are on the Rise: Ways to Save on Your Car Costs

Sept. 1, 2017
3 mins
A man driving in his modern car

When it comes to owning a car, there are a few ways you can save money. With auto insurance, for example, you should compare auto insurance quotes to ensure you’re getting the best deal; and, when it comes to saving on gas, you should drive with fuel efficiency in mind.

As of late, gas prices have been surging all across Canada, and while there’s little you can do about the cost of gas, you can take steps to control how often you need to fill up.

Carpool

If you live near any of your co-workers, try to carpool on occasion when your schedules allow it.

Drive prudently

Speeding and frequent hard acceleration and braking have a direct impact on how often you need to go to the gas station. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, driving aggressively lowers your gas mileage by roughly 15 to 30% at highway speeds and 10 to 40% in stop-and-go traffic.

Avoid unnecessary idling

According to Natural Resources Canada (NRC), the average vehicle wastes more than a cup of gasoline for every 10 minutes it idles. So, unless you’re in traffic, turn off your car when you’re not on the move.

Modify your driving habits

In an interview with BeTireSmart.ca (an offshoot of the Tire and Rubber Association of Canada), Steve Akehurst from NRC talks about what drivers can do while behind the wheel to reduce their fuel consumption. “Motorists will get the biggest gains from three things: maintaining a steady speed, accelerating gently and coasting to decelerate,” he said. “Together, these routines can potentially save you hundreds of dollars in fuel annually and prevent one thousand kilograms of carbon dioxide from being emitted into the atmosphere.”

Check your tire pressure monthly

The air in your tires supports 95% of your vehicle’s weight, so it’s key to ensure they’re properly inflated. Properly inflated tires can save the average Canadian driver the equivalent of two weeks’ worth of gas every year.

Keep on top of your vehicle’s maintenance schedule

Your vehicle will operate most efficiently when regularly maintained. NRC estimates that a poorly maintained vehicle can cost the equivalent of up to 15 cents more per litre of fuel.

Save money on your car insurance too

While saving money at the pumps is something you can do every week, you can save even more money by comparing car insurance rates. Car insurance is like any other product or service: to get the best deal, you have to shop around. If you’re not comparing rates regularly (like at renewal, when you move or buy a new car), chances are you’re overpaying for your coverage.

Lesley Green

Lesley Green is a senior writer and editor at RATESDOTCA and has been a part of the team since 2002. During non-pandemic times she enjoys live theatre, travelling, curling and, depending on how well she's hitting the ball, golfing.

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