With the trials and tribulations of 2020 and related safety concerns, families simply want to enjoy the beautiful sights a road trip has to offer. As a child, I remember piling all of our luggage into our station wagon to spend our family vacation at Cape Cod. It was always an event, to say the least. Since then, cars have become more efficient, but the cost of gas has risen significantly. So before piling into your family vehicle, consider these tips that the U.S. Department of Energy’s fuel economy website suggests to help drive more efficiently.
Here are some ways to save money on gas during a road trip:
Rather than use a roof-top cargo box, rear-mounted boxes or trays can improve efficiency. The wind resistance created from roof mounted boxes lowers fuel economy. If you need to use one for vacation, it’s best to remove it when not in use. According to www.fueleconomy.gov, you can save 2% to 17% which can be up to approximately $0.48 per gallon. 
Avoid keeping unnecessary items in your car, especially if they are heavy. An extra 100 pounds could reduce your mileage per gallon (MPG) by 1%.
Turn off your engine when your vehicle is parked. Unnecessary idling can use a quarter to a half gallon of fuel per hour, depending upon engine size and air conditioning use. And as a bonus, it’s cleaner for the environment.
Using cruise control on the highway can help maintain steady speeds and save gas.
Steady driving can also improve fuel economy. Speeding, rapid accelerations, and braking all wastes gas. Also noted on U.S. Department of Energy’s website,
“while each vehicle reaches its optimal fuel economy at different ranges of speeds, your MPG usually decreases quickly at speeds over 50 miles per hour.”
According to Green Car Reports, your car is typically more gas efficient during the warmer months because of air temperature and a scientific explanation. I’ll bottom line it for you. Based on their findings, “every gulp of air your car is taking during combustion has less oxygen in it at warmer temperatures, and if there’s less oxygen, the engine compensates by using less fuel.” They also attribute warm weather efficiencies to not having to heat up your vehicle, as well as using fewer accessories during warm weather. For instance, you don’t have to defrost a frozen windshield and because daylight hours are longer, you’re using your headlights less.
Therefore, less money in the gas tank means more money to have fun with while on vacation. Enjoy your travels and remember to be safe!
For more tips on ways to save on car ownership in New Hampshire, give us a call. We can compare insurance quotes and find the best NH auto insurance policy for you and your road trip fun!
 U.S. Department of Energy, “Driving More Efficiently”.
 Green Car Reports, “Getting Better Gas Mileage In Warm Weather? Here’s Why.”
Post authored by Caroline Stauers. Originally published July 10, 2018. View original post at:
Products underwritten by Central Mutual Insurance Company and affiliated companies.
Copyright © 2018 Central Mutual Insurance Company. All rights reserved.