5 Ways to Save Money on Gas This Summer

For some reason, each time gas prices go up, the majority of us cringe. We know that gas prices will continue to rise and fall, and in the summer, they often rise. Yet there is something so frustrating about driving to the pump and expecting it to cost a certain amount per gallon only to see that it has jumped 5, 10, or even 20 cents or more per gallon overnight.

The change in gas prices reflects the changes in the cost of crude oil, but weather events, exchange rates, inventory, spare capacity, production, and more can also affect the price. With so many variables to consider, it can be hard to predict gas prices, and the fluctuating costs can be difficult on consumers, particularly in the summer, when many people take road trips or spend a lot of time driving to and from different activities. Luckily, there are some clear ways to save money on gas. Here are just five tips.

1. Follow the speed limit

It can be tempting to speed when you are on an empty highway or if you are running late. However, when you drive fast, your fuel efficiency usually goes down. Vehicles reach their optimal fuel economy at different speeds, but mileage decreases quickly once you start driving above around 55 miles per hour. According to the Consumer Energy Center, each 5 miles per hour you drive over 60 miles per hour is like paying an extra 21 cents per gallon for gas (this is based on a cost of $3 per gallon; the national average as of May 11 is $3.654 per gallon). While speeding might get you to your destination quicker, it will cost you gas and quite possibly an expensive speeding ticket.

Speeding is also dangerous and costly. In 2011, 9,080 driver or motorcycle fatalities were related to driving too fast for the conditions or driving above the posted speed limit (this represents 20.8 percent). Speeding continues to be a contributing factor in many crashes. If possible, stay at a consistent speed when driving on a highway or road with a set speed limit.