You could save hundreds of dollars each year by making some small changes! 💰
If you've noticed gas prices in Canada getting higher and higher, you're not the only one. Fuel costs are reaching record-breaking levels all over the country, but there are some easy ways to make your money go a little further.
Although prices at the pumps have been climbing steadily for a little while, Russia's recent invasion of Ukraine has had an impact on supply, boosting prices globally — in some cases, higher than ever before.
While there's not much that individual Canadian drivers can do to control the cost of fuel, you could save a little money every time by simply driving a little more strategically.
According to the Canadian Automobile Association, it's actually possible to save hundreds of dollars at the pump each year by changing up your driving style, which also can lengthen the lifespan of your vehicle and lessen your environmental impact.
One of their first tips is to accelerate gently when possible, as frequent hard starts and stops can increase fuel consumption by up to 39%. CAA suggests taking around five seconds to accelerate your vehicle up to 20 km/h from a stop.
You can also reduce your fuel use by coasting to decelerate. "You can conserve fuel and save money by taking your foot off the accelerator and coasting to slow down instead of using your brakes," says the CAA website.
Keeping up with your vehicle maintenance is also important, as underinflated tires can increase your fuel use by up to 4%.
Idling is also a huge no-no, as you can waste as much as a litre of gas for every 20 minutes you leave your engine running.
CAA says you can also save money by avoiding speeding, as moving at a slower pace can help conserve fuel. Using cruise control helps too, and it's also useful to remove any unnecessary heavy items in your car to improve its aerodynamics.
"Whenever possible, plan your route to combine many stops into one trip," the association adds. "Your vehicle is more fuel efficient when it is warmed up, so several short trips with a cold engine can use twice as much gas than one longer trip."
Depending on the weather, you may want to switch off your air conditioning too, as it can actually increase your fuel consumption by up to 20%. That said, when you're driving at faster speeds, having your windows and sunroof open will negatively impact your usage even more, so it's best to use the air conditioner instead when you're on the highway.
When it comes to the perfect time to fill up, CAA Quebec says to be smart, as "gas prices can vary widely within a few kilometres or from day to day."
It suggests using CAA's Gasoline Watch tool to get a realistic price per litre in different regions, explaining, "If the price at the pump is higher than the realistic price, put off refuelling. If it's lower, high-tail it to the service station!"
Trip planning apps like Google Maps can also help make your dollar go further, as you can sometimes avoid traffic, which all eats up your fuel and time.
Skip the extras
Another way for most drivers to save money is by skipping plus, super or supreme gasoline, which CAA says is an "unnecessary expense" in most cases (but check your vehicle manual to be sure).
While all of the above tips and tricks won't drastically reduce your gas bill next time you're at the pump, these small changes can add up to make a difference over the course of several weeks, months and beyond.
Good luck, drivers!
This article's cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
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