Spending

4 ways to save money on gas during your Memorial Day weekend road trip

Share
Twenty/20
Key Points
  • Despite soaring gas prices, an estimated 35 million Americans will take a road trip on Memorial Day weekend.
  • Save money on fuel by avoiding stations near the highway and utilizing credit card rewards.
  • "Drivers can increase their mileage on the highway by as much as 20% just by practicing less aggressive driving habits," one expert says.

Despite soaring gas prices, an estimated 34.9 million Americans will hit the road this holiday weekend, according to AAA. This is up more than 8% from last year.

If you're traveling a long distance by car and want to save money on gas, here are a few expert-approved tips that might help.

Avoid gas station near exits

On a road trip, it's understandable if you don't want to spend significant chunk of time comparing gas prices from station to station. One rule of thumb to follow is never buy gas at the station right off the exits, says Andrew Gross, a spokesperson for AAA.

"If you are driving on a trip and need gas the stations closest to the exit will have the most expensive gasoline," he says. "The station a little further down the road, say a mile away, will almost always be a bit cheaper."

Fill up with regular gas

Unless you have a performance vehicle which requires higher-end fuel, you can more than likely fill up with the cheapest gas available, Gross says.

"Don't use midgrade or premium when filling up if you don't have to," he says. "You are just wasting money.  Most cars can get along well with less expensive regular."

Use loyalty programs

Many rewards credit cards offer bonus points for gas, says Nicole Peterson, spokesperson for GasBuddy. For example, the Citi Premier Card and Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card both offer three times the points on gas purchases.

"Often, these gas cards can be linked with fuel loyalty programs too, like Shell Fuel Rewards, for maximum cents off on each purchase," she says.

Don't use midgrade or premium when filling up if you don't have to.
Andrew Gross

Drive efficiently

Distance is not the only factor which determines how much gas you use. Your driving habits might be causing your car to guzzle fuel.

"Drivers can increase their mileage on the highway by as much as 20% just by practicing less aggressive driving habits," Peterson says. "Slowing down below 60 mph, braking less aggressively, and accelerating more slowly can all help stretch your gas miles further."

More from Grow: