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How to save money on gas

 

Last updated 9/27/2019 at 5:45pm



FALLBROOK – California CPAs offers six tips to help consumers deal with rising gas rates.

First, compare gas prices.

Shop around. When it comes to soaring gas prices, it’s everyone for themselves. While a driver might be a regular at Buddy’s Self-Serve, Buddy could be taking advantage of his loyal patrons by charging 20 cents more a gallon than other stations in the area. Shop around. To find the best deals on gas in the area, check out http://www.GasBuddy.com or http://www.GasPriceWatch.com.

Be a better driver.

As a mother would say, “Drive safely.” According to the Department of Energy, aggressive driving – rapid acceleration and excessive braking – wastes gas. Drivers can increase their gas mileage by as much as a third by driving safely. Also, stick to the speed limit, not just for safety but also for fuel-efficiency. The Department of Energy said that the gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 mph. And use the cruise control: it helps to maintain a constant speed, which can also save gas.

Get a tuneup.

Driving the old clunker may save the money from buying a new car, but skipping the tuneup is costly. The Department of Energy said that a simple tuneup can improve gas mileage by an average of 4.1%.

However, fixing certain parts of the car can dramatically improve gas mileage. Fixing a faulty oxygen sensor can make an improvement of as much as 40%. Replacing clogged air filters, making sure tires are properly inflated and using the recommended grade of motor oil can also improve gas mileage by as much as 15%.

Get the right grade of gasoline.

Someone may prefer premium coffee, ice cream and caviar. But let’s be honest, does the car need the royal treatment? AAA said the average gallon of premium-unleaded gas cost about 10% more than a gallon of regular.

The Federal Trade Commission advised drivers to check their owner’s guide because most cars don’t need premium gasoline. According to AAA, less than 10% of cars sold in the U.S. need premium.

Drive the most sensible car.

If it’s a trip to the grocery store, don’t take the pickup, take a compact car.

Pack light.

When hitting the road for a vacation, consider lightening the load. The FTC advised drivers to take all unnecessary weight out of the car. For those drivers who call their car a closet, keep this thought in mind: an extra 100 pounds in the trunk reduces a typical car’s fuel economy by 2%.

Don’t place anything on top of the car. A luggage or a loaded roof rack creates wind resistance and can reduce gas mileage by 5%. If possible, keep items inside the car.

And even though airlines are now charging travelers as much as $10 extra round trip for a surge in jet fuel costs, it could still be cheaper to fly. To calculate the price differences, price a flight to a destination and compare it to the estimated cost of driving. Find out that information on http://www.fuelcostcalculator.com.

Do additional research.

Check out CalCPA’s Financial Literacy Program, “Dollar and Sense,” at http://www.calcpa.org/public-resources/financial-literacy/dollars-and-sense. Its free and available for the public on personal finance resources and suggestions from CPAs to help manage their personal finances and tax issues.

The California Society of CPAs is the nation’s largest professional, nonprofit, state professional association representing more than 45,000 CPAs in tax, audit, accounting and consulting services such as personal finance and ranked by small business as one of their “most trusted” adviser. For more information, visit http://www.CalCPA.org.

Submitted by California Society of CPAs.

 

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