No one wants to pay more than necessary at the pump. When it’s time to fill up your car, are you good at doing your due diligence, or do you simply stop at the nearest station and call it good? You could save significantly if you learn to follow gas price trends and use gas tracking apps to find the cheapest gas near you. Here are some tips for timing when and where to buy gas.
According to a study by GasBuddy, Monday is historically the cheapest day of the week to fill up your car. Of course, gas price trends vary by state and fluctuate from week to week, but the general consensus is that it’s better to fuel up earlier in the week.
Also, if you notice that prices are on the rise, get to the pump by Wednesday. This is the day the Energy Information Administration issues its influential weekly report, which often pushes prices higher on Thursdays and Fridays. This may also occur in an attempt to pick the pockets of weekend travels, especially on holiday weekends.
Then, since commodities trading isn’t active over the weekend, gas stations typically “let it ride,” resulting in lower prices by the start of the workweek. To put the potential savings into perspective, consider that if every motorist in the US bought gas on Mondays instead of Thursdays for an entire year, they could save a collective $1.1 billion.
Families are more likely to go on road trips during the summer when the weather is predictable and roads are less likely to be closed due to storms. This is reflected in gas price trends, which rise in the summer before decreasing in the fall and winter. You may not be able to avoid buying gas for an entire season, so just expect to pay more in the summer than in the winter.
The early hours of the day are the best time to pump gas, but the reason may not be what you’re thinking. Some people argue that buying gas when it’s still cool outside gives you a bigger bang for your buck because gasoline is denser in colder temperatures. While this is true, the difference is so slight that the savings are insubstantial.
However, there’s another reason to buy gas in the morning, especially if prices are on the rise. This is because gas station owners and managers usually update their pricing for the day between 8 am and 10 am. You could get away with buying gas at yesterday’s lower price if you make it to the pump before work in the morning.
The easiest way to save on gas, no matter when or where you buy, is to skip the “premium” upgrade. Premium-grade gasoline is only beneficial if your car is designed to run on this higher-priced fuel, which is typically limited to luxury and performance brand vehicles.
Seventy percent of cars in the US get no extra performance boost from mid-grade or premium gasoline, yet many drivers erroneously purchase premium gas in hopes that it will help their car run better. American motorists waste a collective $2.1 billion per year on premium gas. If you’re not sure what fuel you should be pumping, check your owner’s manual for clarification.
The gas station right by your house might be the most convenient, but if it’s not too far out of the way, buying at a cheaper pump could help you save. Install a gas tracker app on your phone, such as GasBuddy or Gas Guru on iOS and Android. These tools can help you save over $300 per year by keeping up with gas price trends and tracking down the cheapest pump when it’s time to fuel up.
While you can certainly save at the pump by purchasing gas at the right time and place, it’s also important to look for ways to improve your car’s fuel economy. For instance, if you keep up with oil changes and general tune-ups, your car will run more efficiently, and you can take fewer trips to the pump.
Trust Scott’s Fort Collins Auto to keep your car well maintained and running its best! Feel free to schedule an appointment online, call us at (970) 682-4202, or stop in for services when it’s convenient for you.