How to Save Money on Gas: 10 Fuel Efficient Driving Tips

By Lesley Green
A man pumping gas into his white car.

Fuel prices are not a fan favourite in Canada; it’s right up there with car insurance premiums. In fact, since the recent drone attack on Saudi Arabia's largest oil processing plant, gas prices have been particularly vexing for drivers. Gas prices have increased, Canada-wide, and some analysts are predicting it could be weeks before things return to normal.

As an subscriber, you know you can save on car insurance by comparing car insurance quotes. But what about saving money at the pumps too, especially given the high price of fuel? After all, you probably spend as much on gas each year as you do on car insurance, if not more.

10 fuel efficient driving tips

The following driving tips will help increase your fuel efficiency and decrease how often you have to visit the gas station and fill 'er up.

  1. Before heading out to run errands, plan your trip. That way you can avoid having to backtrack or criss-cross the city. Also, try to avoid several short trips; instead, combine running all your errands into one outing.
  2. Avoid unnecessary idling. Studies have shown that idling for 10 minutes uses about a quarter litre of gas. If you're not on the move, or in traffic, turn off your engine until you're ready to go.
  3. Keep your car maintained and follow your vehicle’s maintenance schedule. According to Natural Resources Canada a poorly maintained vehicle can cost the equivalent of up to 15¢ more per litre on fuel.
  4. Keep your tires properly inflated and use the recommended motor oil for your vehicle; both will ensure your car operates at its best and most fuel efficient level.
  5. Lighten the load in your car. For every 100 additional pounds you store in your car, you are lowering the mileage you get per tank by 1 to 2 percent. All that junk in your trunk is costing you gas money.
  6. Remove roof racks when not in use. A roof rack will affect your car’s aerodynamics and will decrease your car’s fuel efficiency which is a real drag to your wallet.
  7. Use your remote starter sparingly. While a remote starter is convenient, it can result in needless idling and wasted fuel if you start your car too early.
  8. Anticipate traffic. Look at the traffic as far ahead as possible in order to avoid unnecessary stopping and starting within the flow of traffic. Also, if possible, alter your commute time to avoid sitting in traffic. Leaving an hour earlier or later can make a huge difference.
  9. Avoid excessive high speeds. At 120 km/h, a vehicle uses about 20 percent more fuel than at 100 km/h. Also, try and maintain a steady speed when driving. Frequently varying your speed can really affect your tank and lead to a higher consumption of fuel.
  10. Accelerate gently and coast to decelerate. The harder you accelerate, the more fuel you consume. The same goes for braking. In fact, jackrabbit starts and stops can increase your fuel consumption by up to 40 percent.

It all adds up

Free up your cash and drive with fuel efficiency in mind, and if you’re looking to save even more money, compare car insurance rates too.