How To Take $2 Per Gallon Off Your Gas Bill

March 23, 2012 by staff 

How To Take $2 Per Gallon Off Your Gas Bill, Gas prices are inching toward record highs, but experts say how you drive and where you buy your groceries can cut the costs of filling up. Prices at the pump currently average $3.84 for a gallon of regular unleaded, 30 cents more than a month ago, according to AAA. (The record is $4.11, hit in July 2008). Drivers in 16 states plus the District of Columbia pay even more — and in eight of those prices already top $4 per gallon.

Consumers shouldn’t expect relief in coming months, either, says Tom Kloza, chief oilanlyst for the Oil Price Information Service. Cost per gallon typically peaks in May after refineries complete the switch to summer gasoline blends, which are more volatile than winter blends and so, more expensive. As a result, drivers could see prices rise another 5 to 25 cents, he says.

Some motorists are better positioned than others to save, experts say. People in states along the Rocky Mountains have some of the lowest prices nationwide — as cheap as $3.43 in Wyoming — due to their proximity to U.S. supply and refineries, Kloza says. And those cruising around in a new 2012 model may experience the fruits of manufacturers’ latest fuel-efficiency push, says Jim Kliesch, research director for the Union of Concerned Scientists’ clean vehicles program. Many new models offer features such as lightweight metals and stop-go technology that shuts an engine off at stoplights and in gridlock, he says.

But the vast majority of drivers need to make more of an effort to save on gas by taking smaller actions that improve fuel economy and reduce costs. “No one individual [fuel-efficiency] tactic stands far above the rest,” says Kliesch. “It’s a handful of simple things you can do that together offer a reasonable improvement in your fuel economy.”

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