Saving Money in the Summer: Transportation
Note: To help you save money (and energy!) during the hottest months of the year, the Alliance to Save Energy is publishing a mini blog-series, “Saving Money in the Summer.” We’ll focus on key tips to improve energy efficiency at home and on-the-go. The second blog post will focus on how to save money when commuting or travelling. See the first blog post here.
Are you hitting the road for Independence Day? You are not alone: this year will be record-breaking for Americans driving for the holiday, with nearly 1.3 million more travelers than last year. Whether it’s during holidays like the 4th of July or the peak hours, heavy traffic is a common sight. Car maintenance, wasted time, stress and extra costs can add up at the end of the year. Fortunately, you can make smarter driving choices every day.
Here are some ways you can save money on transportation this summer:
Travelling long distances
1. Inflate your tires
Keeping tires properly inflated can increase your car's fuel efficiency by up to 3%. It also improves tire longevity and the safety of everyone in the car.
2. Tune Up
Fixing a car that is out of tune or has failed an emissions test can improve its gas mileage by an average of 4 percent, saving about $82 a year. Fixing a serious maintenance problem, such as a faulty oxygen sensor, can improve your mileage by as much as 40 percent, or more than $1,300.
3. Cool down
Did you know that driving with the windows open for a short time before turning the AC on can help it cool faster? You will save fuel by letting the hot air out of the car, which will in turn demand less from the AC.
1. Plan Ahead
Combining errands into one trip can save money and time. Taking numerous short trips from a cold start each time can use twice as much fuel as one multipurpose trip covering the same distance with a warm engine.
Whether using apps or driving your own car, carpooling can come in handy and save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year. Calculate how much money you can save here. Another benefit is that ride-sharing can dramatically reduce the amount of cars on the road as much as 75 percent, as found by an MIT study.
3. Beat the Traffic
When possible, work from home or commute during off-peak hours to avoid stop-and-go traffic. You will reduce gas costs and get to your destination faster. A good idea is to find out if your company offers incentives to employees who make smarter commuting decisions, such as transportation demand management (TDM) programs.
4. Unpack & Unload
Get the junk out of the trunk! Remove unnecessary items in your vehicle’s trunk – an extra 100 pounds could reduce your mileage by up to 2%, wasting $40 a year.