5 Tips to Save Money on Gas No Matter What Car You Drive

Fuel economy is undoubtedly on everybody’s mind right now. With gas prices still sitting at remarkably high prices, folks are looking for ways to save money at the pumps. However, buying a more fuel-efficient car isn’t an option for everything. Thankfully, there are a few ways you can save money on gas no matter what you drive!

Shut off your engine instead of idling

Shutting off your engine when stopped can save money on gas
e-Golf “engine” stop/start button | Braden Carlson, Motorbiscuit

For some reason, there’s still a ton of debate as to whether or not stopping and restarting a car saves fuel. Obviously, with virtually every manufacturer now implementing it into production cars, it does have its benefits. That being said, even if your car doesn’t have this feature, you can still save gas by shutting off your engine.

Geico recommends following “the 10-second rule.” If you’re in a position where you’ll be sitting for more than 10 seconds, shut your engine off. Think about all the time you spend idling at drive-through windows, busy intersections, and so on. You could be saving gas during these situations!

In a similar vein, though it’s not exactly pertinent with current weather, don’t warm up your car! Most manufacturers recommend just starting your car and driving it casually to get things warm and happy.

Use rewards programs and apps

A gas station pump with four different fuel grades: regular, mid-grade, premium, and super. Choosing the right octane can save money on gas
A selection of fuel grades at a pump, including regular and premium gas | Ben Hasty/MediaNews Group/Reading Eagle via Getty Images

There are many different applications and services that offer rewards for purchasing gas. Some offer substantial discounts on gas, while others offer cash back when purchasing from certain gas stations. Additionally, apps like Gasbuddy show you the cheapest stations near you, so you know you’re getting the best deal.

If you fill your car using a credit card, try applying for one that has solid cash back or other rewards points. Even if you use it only for buying gas, your rewards can stack up quicker than you’d think!

Pay with cash to save money on gas

Hands holding fanned-out cash. Buying with cash can save money on gas
Cash | Manan Vatsyayana/AFP via Getty Images

This isn’t necessarily the case with every gas station. However, many gas stations offer a discounted rate if you pay with cash over a card. This is because it saves them from having to pay fees to credit card companies for running the transaction through them.

Keep your eyes peeled for gas stations with signs that show a lower price for cash buyers!

Don’t top it off at the pumps

Fueling up a car at a gas station pump in Horbranz, Austria
Fueling up a car at a gas station | Felix Kästle/picture alliance via Getty Images

We understand how frustrating it can be when the pump doesn’t end in a nice, round number. However, topping off your gas tank often leads to that extra fuel just spilling out or evaporating. Though it may only be a few cents at a time, you could save money on gas instead of throwing it away!

While you’re at it, properly secure your gas cap! Automotive expert Lauren Fix says 17 percent of vehicles on the road have a faulty gas cap.

“About 17 percent of vehicles on the road have loose, damaged, or missing gas caps, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year,” says Fix.

Get gas on Wednesdays early in the morning

A Chevron gas station displaying high gas prices that RV travelers are trying to beat.
High gas prices | Getty Images

Fix reports that gas stations typically begin raising prices on Thursdays in preparation for weekend surges. So, that makes Wednesday the ideal day to buy gas.

Additionally, Fix says that buying gas before nine AM gives your best chance at getting in before daily price changes. This is because gas station owners evaluate their competition before changing prices each day.

Ultimately, no matter what you drive, you can save money on gas with some careful planning, gentle driving, and strategic filling. Though these all seem like small details, they all eventually add up. Every penny counts!

RELATED: No, There’s No Gas Shortage, but Fuel Prices Will Remain High Anyway