Birmingham, AL — Gas prices are up almost $1 over this time last year, and drivers across the country are feeling the pinch on their pocketbooks. According to AAA, the current national retail average price for a gallon of self-serve regular gasoline is $3.71, up from $2.76 a year ago.
In the last few days, gas prices have essentially leveled off, aligning with crude oil pricing, according Avery Ash, manager of of regulatory affairs at AAA National. Still, drivers hoping to hit the road before summer ends are likely to pay more than they did last year. Motorists can relieve some of the pain at the pump by taking a few small steps that really add up, Ash said.
There’s an app for that. For the technologically savvy, the GasBuddy.com app for your iPhone locates gas stations with the lowest prices near your current location. Never overpay for gas again. Plus, the app can be downloaded for free. AAA has also launched a TripTik app that is linked to 100,000 gas stations enabling, gas buyers to be “savvy station shoppers,” Ash said.
Get your motor running. Keeping your car in good shape will not only allow it to run smoothly and efficiently, but it will help keep you from burning through expensive fuel. Simple tasks such as routinely filling up the air in your tires or receiving frequent oil changes will also improve your gas mileage.
Pedal to the metal. Driving at a consistent speed or utilizing cruise control can really help with lowering your gas consumption. However, if you’re not spending a majority of your time on the highway, anticipating red lights will help you avoid hard breaking and fast acceleration, which will be easier on your gas tank than starting up from a fully stopped position.
“We encourage our members to drive the speed limit as well as avoid jackrabbit stops,” said Ash.