Gas Prices are Screaming – What can You do to Save Money?

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Written on 7/03/2008 by Melanie Taylor, of Think Money.

With oil prices at an all-time high, the knock-on effect on fuel prices is more apparent by the day. According to The German Technical Cooperation (GTZ), who compiles a list of global fuel prices every year, UK car owners now pay around £4.41 ($8.74) per gallon, while US drivers pay closer to £2.07 ($4.10) – which is small compared to many countries, but that’s a rise of almost 25% on 2007.

Most worryingly of all, several countries – including Turkey, Sweden, Norway, Germany and Holland – are even more expensive.

Prices are simply showing no signs of coming down. In fact., barely a day goes by without some kind of horror story prediction for the future. However, there are a few things you can do to lessen the impact on your pocket. I agree, some of these are remedial but when it takes $90 to fill your gas tank, do you agree that it’s time to start considering alternative modes of transportation?

In any event, here are some ideas. If the costs aren’t pounding you now, perhaps it’s time to plan for the continued increase.

  1. Take walks for short journeys
    This will be a culture shock to some of you. But, think about this. It’s amazing how many people these days rely on their cars just for a trip to the corner shop. Short journeys they may be, but the costs soon add up. By cutting them out, you’re saving money, helping the environment, and keeping fit at the same time. Seriously consider walking to the dry cleaners, the hair salon, or the supermarket.

  2. Buy a bicycle
    Unless you’re doing a long commute every day to work, most journeys you would take on a regular basis could be done on a bike. It’s free to run (apart from occasional maintenance), keeps you fitter, and you’ll beat those traffic jams at rush hour. And with more and more cycle lanes being built all the time, cycling is safer than it’s ever been. Use a site like Google Maps to plan your exav

  3. Share journeys
    If you know someone else who takes roughly the same route as you each day (especially colleagues), do a car share, and share the costs. If your car fits five people, you could cut your own costs down by as much as 80%, but even a more realistic 50% (two people) is a good saving.

  4. Plan your journey properly
    Countless hours (and gallons of fuel) are wasted each year by people who trust their ‘sense of direction’ to guide them to their destination. By planning your journey well in advance, you will save valuable time and money. There are plenty of services online that will plan your route for you, and some even take traffic into account to minimize your journey.

  5. Fuel-efficient driving
    According to experts, you can boost your fuel efficiency by around 30% just by taking a few simple measures. These include switching off your engine for stops of more than 30 seconds, not driving above 60mph unless necessary, making sure your tyres are properly inflated, driving in the correct gear, and lots more.

  6. Buy a fuel-efficient car
    Some cars are gas-guzzlers, others less so. Do your research before buying a car, but as a rule of thumb, the bigger the car, the less efficient it will probably be.

  7. Don’t fill up on Fridays
    Many sellers put their prices up on this day, because it’s statistically the day most people fill their tanks – so steer clear.
  8. Take public transport
    It may not always be the most accommodating way to travel, but in many cases you can save a lot of money, and it’s better for the environment. It’s also a good chance to relax and read the newspaper or listen to some music, rather than focusing on the roads.

What have you personally done to save money on gas? Are you planning errands and routes are you using delivery services? Let us all know in the comments.

-Melanie

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