Planning Ahead: How to Save on Gas before Summer Trips

As we are reintroduced to the summer sun we begin to think of all of the trips we would love to take over this season, whether it be to a lake in Minnesota or somewhere down south. However, fuel costs can be a deciding factor in this equation. Don’t let fuel costs keep you back from taking that summer trip; there are things you can do to save yourself money on gas before you even get on the road.

Figure out which is your most fuel-efficient vehicle. If you own more than one vehicle, consider which one has the best gas mileage, as well as which one is in the best shape. If one of your cars gets good gas mileage but you are worried it may have other issues, have a professional check it out. You should always pick the car that is in better shape and has the best fuel economy.

Plan out your route. It is easy to just hop in the car and type a destination into your GPS. Unfortunately, GPS systems won’t always be able to tell you where the traffic hits, but that is something you can figure out yourself and try to avoid. You may want to grab a map and actually plan out the best route beforehand. You are going to want to dodge any high-traffic areas and plan your route around avoiding big cities. You can also plan the time of your trip so you can beat traffic and rush hours.  

Carpool. Have friends or family going to the same place? See if they want to carpool so both of your fuel costs are cut in half. A great system to consider is switching who drives from trip to trip to save money and wear on both of your cars.

Lose that extra weight. You may have lost some weight for that summer vacation and now it’s your car’s turn. Avoid carrying unneeded items, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 lbs in the trunk reduces a typical car's fuel economy by 1-2 percent. If your getaway requires you to pack a lot, then try to place items in the trunk, it can reduce the aerodynamic drag and improve fuel economy.

Take your car in for a maintenance check. Take your car in to a professional before taking any big trips. Fixing a car that is noticeably out of tune can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4 percent. The healthier your car is, the better it will perform. Even if you think your car is fine there is a chance a problem could creep up on the road so have it checked out just in case.

Need an oil change or vehicle inspection before hitting the road? Come on by Jiffy Lube and get a Jiffy Lube Signature Service® Oil Change. We will bring you a peace of mind before leaving for your big summer trip.


Image courtesy of Paul Garland/Flickr