If you drive a lot for work or any other reason, those frequent trips to the gas station can be downright traumatic. Whipping out your wallet to pay for ever-increasing gas prices is no fun, but if you start applying these six hacks, you could end up saving a bunch of coin over time.
Don’t top off
Topping off the tank when you pump gasoline could lead to waste.
If you park on a hill or live in a particularly hot and sunny climate that causes gas to expand during daytime hours, overflow could occur. Once it does, it’s like pumping dollars down the drain.
You won’t find huge savings here. But every penny counts when you’re trying to stack savings, so it’s a good practice to employ.
Avoid full service
Believe it or not, some areas still have full-service stations. Although they may seem like excellent examples of customer service, you pay a premium for such attention.
Using self-serve instead can yield 5-10% savings over allowing an attendant to pump your gas for you.
Don’t let it get to E
It can be tempting to fill up only when you have to. But letting your gas tank dwindle to almost entirely empty levels can put a dent in your wallet.
Since gas evaporates, having too much empty room in your tank accelerates the process. In other words, the emptier your tank, the more room the existing gas has to turn into vapor.
How do you combat this “drying up” of that gas you paid a premium for? By filling up as soon as your tank gets to a half-full (or half-empty) level.
Watch for gas trucks
Whenever you see a gas truck that’s refilling a station, avoid it.
As the new fuel is being pumped into those massive storage tanks, existing fuel gets stirred up. Pumping gas into your car at the same time could cause you to receive some residue in the form of dirt and sediment.
While they certainly do no favors for the performance of your vehicle, you’re still paying for those non-fuel particles since they count as part of that gallon you’re getting.
Fill up in the A.M. hours
The colder the temperature of the ground, the more money you’ll save.
Gas station storage tanks sit beneath the ground, and they can take on the temperature of the land surrounding them. The colder the ground, the denser the gasoline in those tanks.
What’s so good about dense gasoline? You get more for your money.
Fill up during the warm afternoon hours or at night after a scorching day, and the hot ground will cause the gasoline to expand. This expanded gasoline means you might pay for a gallon of the good stuff, but won’t get that exact amount in return.
Use the GasBuddy app
There’s no need to drive to every gas station in your town just to see who has the lowest price. With the GasBuddy app, you can get an up-to-date map of gas prices in your area.
In addition to quick price comparisons, GasBuddy lets you earn money for your future gas purchases when you shop at select retailers.
For example, if you shop at Old Navy to buy new clothes for your kids, you can get a percentage of that purchase applied as a discount on your next trip to the pump. Do this with various participating retailers, and it’s like clipping coupons for your car’s fuel.