New York’s average price of gas hit an all-time high Thursday, with prices topping $5 a gallon.
With gas prices soaring, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) recommends these tips to help New Yorkers save money at the pump:
As school lets out for the summer, avoid filling up right before a holiday or weekend when gas prices tend to be higher.
Cut back on needless driving. Make a list of errands and try to have them all in similar locations.
Every octane has a different price. Choose the lowest one recommended for your car. Make sure the gas pump reads $0 before you begin fueling and stops running when you finish pumping, so you know you are only playing for the gas being put into your vehicle.
The DCP also recommends double checking that the price per gallon remains the same throughout the entire time you are pumping. Be aware if the price per gallon changes or the number turns back or advances quickly.
When you hit the road, wait until your gas gauge reads ¼ tank before filling up in warm weather. Vehicles get better gas mileage with a light load and keeping the tank full can waste money.
Know the size of your gas tank and how many gallons of gasoline it holds. It’s important to make sure you are getting what you pay for at the pump.
Be sure to maintain your vehicle in good condition. Your vehicle will get better gas mileage if you have the oil changed and tire pressure checked regularly.
Clean out your vehicle and only carry what is necessary. Extra weight in your car lowers your gas mileage. Consider removing roof racks and towing devices mounted on the outside of the vehicle when not in use.
Gas stations located near each other may compete with their prices. Use a gas price tracking app to compare prices at local gas stations and try to use a station that is on your route so you aren’t driving extra miles. Driving out of your way to save money at the pump may not save you anything.
Consult maps, internet direction or a GPS system to ensure you are taking the most efficient route and reduce the likelihood of getting lost and driving unnecessary miles.
When you arrive at the gas station, compare the price advertised on the sign and on the pump to make sure they are the same. If not, ask which price is the one you would actually be paying.
Ask your gas station if they have different prices for payment in cash or credit. Some stations offer gas at several cents less per gallon if you pay in cash. Some stations may also have it displayed on their sign.
Try to change your driving habits. Vehicles get better gas mileage if you do not accelerate fast or overuse your brakes, commonly referred to as “riding your brakes.” To save gas, stay at or under the speed limit, and drive at a consistent rate of speed. Consider using cruise control when practicable and do not idle your car in a parking lot or driveway.
Most importantly, watch out for scams. Scam artists prey on desperate consumers during difficult economic times or when certain commodities become hard to get or ultra-expensive. Approach alleged fuel saving programs, devices, or chemicals with skepticism. Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.