8 Ways To Save Serious Money On Gas In Ontario & Your Wallet Will Thank You

Save at the pumps with these pro tips!

A Costco gas station. Right: A Shell gas station pump

A Costco gas station. Right: A Shell gas station pump

Knowing how to save on gas in Ontario is a must nowadays. This year's record-breaking pump prices and drop-of-a-dime fluctuations have made sure of that. Luckily for drivers, fuelling up smarter is only a few tips away.

So, whether you're struggling to justify owning a vehicle or just plain sick of getting stumped at your local pump, these simple hacks could put you on the path to stress-free gas.

Keep an eye out for predictions

Keeping up-to-date with sites like Gas Wizard is an excellent way for Ontario motorists to prepare for incoming fluctuations.

It allows drivers to track whether gas prices will spike or drop off a day in advance, letting you know with surprising accuracy when to fuel up quick or hold off until tomorrow.

It also allows users to track their region's gas price history for a more in-depth look at energy market patterns.

Or, if you're a big Twitter user, Dan McTeague, analyst and president of Canadians for Affordable Energy, actively posts updates about gas prices in Canada,

Find the best apps for gas prices

A great app can help make the mundane, annoying parts of life more manageable, and thankfully for vehicle owners, some of the best ones focus solely on gas.

GasBuddy is one of the top tools to have on your phone if you want to ensure you're constantly pulling into a station that offers the lowest prices.

The app supplies its users with a list of nearby gas stations and their prices, which fellow users help verify. It's like a little savings community.

Another helpful app is the map-focused Waze, which offers its users a similar list of local gas prices, which its drivers help confirm.

It's also worth noting that members of the Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) can use its app to search for local gas prices.

Fill up when the timing is right

Timing is everything when it comes to gas prices, and according to McTeague, those who fill up their tank on Saturday or Sunday night are usually better off.

"Weekend evenings tend to be slightly cheaper as gas bars lose some of their retail margins for a few hours," he told Narcity. "Many stations part with some of their 7-9 cent a litre retail margin which is included in the price, to attract more volumes of sales when traffic slows down."

Pick the right spot

Gas prices vary greatly depending on what city you happen to be driving through, which is why picking the right spot is a must.

For example, Gaz Wizard currently predicts that Toronto will offer 166.9 cents per litre to its drivers on Thursday. However, Peterborough, a city an hour and a half away, is set to offer 162.6.

The price difference isn't enough for GTA drivers to justify driving out of their way, but it's a helpful tool for cottage-goers or road trippers, especially during summer.

Join a membership club

Sometimes the savings game comes down to belonging to the right club, and gas is no exception.

Costco, Shell Fuel Rewards, Esso Extra and Petro Points are all membership rewards programs that offer discounts on fuel purchases and other services.

So, if you don't belong to anyone of them, your rainy day fund could be missing out.

Be mindful of your AC

This tip is a bit of a curveball, as it's easy to assume that running your car's air conditioning, which takes its energy from the engine, would be an all-around bad idea. However, according to McTeague, that isn't the case.

As it turns out, having open windows actually forces your vehicle to overcome a certain level of drag, which depletes fuel.

"If on highways and it's hot, it might be better to keep windows up and A.C. on as drag reduces mileage," he adds.

Ditch the junk

Don't treat your trunk as a storage container. If you've got a bunch of weight back there, your vehicle has to do more work to move forward, and that extra effort burns a lot of gas.

Drive better

Or drive like your grandma.

According to Canada Drives, aggressive drivers use up to around 35 per cent more fuel than their more cautious counterparts. In fact, reckless driving may be the easiest and dumbest way to guarantee you're upping your monthly gas bill.

"Avoid jack-rabbit acceleration after your car is stopped," McTeague warns.

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Patrick John Gilson
Patrick John Gilson was a Creator with Narcity Media focused on Ontario gas prices and is based in Toronto, Ontario.