Here are the Top 10 things Californian drivers can do to save $ at the pump…
On November 1st, California drivers started paying an extra $0.12 for every gallon of gas they bought (more if they drive a diesel). This tax increase will cost the average California driver about $2 every time she fills her tank, for a total tax increase of roughly $75 per year. The gas tax will increase again in 2019, adding another $50 per year to the cost of fueling a car.
But you don’t have to spend an extra $75-$125 per year at the pump if you don’t want to. Here are the top 10 things you can do to offset the new tax increase and actually save money on gas:
1) If you are not in a rush, don’t drive like you are.
If you take it easy on you gas pedal and brakes, you could save roughly $100/year. As an added bonus, this tip doesn’t cost you anything and could make you safer on the roads.
2) Check and maintain proper tire pressure.
Two minutes every two weeks with an accurate and simple gauge and an easy-to-use plug-in pump could save you up to $100/year and save your life or the life of someone you love. Buy the best gear for the job right here.
3) Carpool at least once a week within your social network.
Cutting 10 miles a week of driving by participating in a carpool would save you $75/year in gas. This doesn’t mean carpooling with strangers on the way to work. Instead, think about creating a carpool with one other parent you trust and alternate taking your kids to sports practice each week. Not only does this totally eliminate the impact of the gas tax increase (for free), but it gives you some of your busy week back.
4) Use a sunshade.
It’s been more than 100 degrees across much of Southern California this week. You can bet that those folks who have a sunshade in their car are a lot happier than those who do not. Not only are they avoiding first degree burns when they sit down, buckle their seatbelts and grab the steering wheel, but they are avoiding a huge fuel penalty (and associated costs) as well by not running their AC as much. Drive in comfort and save money: Invest in a good sunshade today.
5) Cut the AC when you are driving: You don’t need to be cooler than being cool.
6) Don’t idle unnecessarily or hunt for the perfect parking spot.
We were flabbergasted when we observed the amount of unnecessary idling that occurs in a typical big box store parking lot. Sitting in the car with the engine on wastes enormous amounts of gas (and money). The same is true when people circle endlessly looking for the best parking spot. Taken together, these bad habits could be costing drivers several hundred dollars per year. Turn your car off and walk. You’ll save a lot of money, improve your fitness and hit your Fitbit targets.
7) Remove your empty roof rack.
If you have a roof rack on your car in California, there is a decent chance you love the great outdoors. You probably like to cycle, mountain bike, surf, camp or all of the above. You probably know where the weather is good and the air is clear and clean. But you probably didn’t know that driving around with an empty roof rack is terrible for your fuel economy (it creates a lot of drag), your wallet (you spend a lot more at the pump) and the planet (you are emitting extra particulate matter and carbon dioxide). So, as soon as you get the chance, take your roof rack off if you aren’t using it (or at least take your cross bars out). A little elbow grease could save you $75-$300/year.
8) Get even more aero – use GasPods.
Drivers with traditional style sedans such as Toyota Corolla, Honda Civic and Volkswagen Jetta as well as a Toyota Prius (2004-2015) and similar shaped cars can benefit from aftermarket aerodynamic enhancers called Gas Pods. Our tests show that sedan owners can increase fuel economy by 30% or more while Prius and similar bodied cars achieved between 5-23% increases. This translates to between $36-$322 in potential gas savings annually depending on car type and number of miles driven. Buy them today and literally start going the extra mile!
9) When you need new tires, decrease your rolling resistance.
Installing low-rolling resistance tires when your current set needs to be replaced could save you $75/year at the pump. Buy them here or visit your favorite tire store to get more information on quality low-rolling resistance tires that would fit your car.
10) Replace or clean your engine air filter frequently if you have a carburetor.
There are millions of carbureted cars still on the road. A clean engine air filter can improve fuel efficiency on a carbureted car by 10%, which translates into almost $150/year in gas savings. Buy what you need here or visit your local Autozone store.
Although they may not be able to escape from CA taxes, drivers in our state can avoid the extra $75/year in cost. Indeed, following the tips listed above, they could reduce their yearly gas costs by several hundred dollars — more than offsetting the gas tax and actually putting money back in their pockets. We’ve made it easy to get started. All they have to do is start Driving2Save today.