- Personal Finance
How To Save Money At The Pump
HOW TO SAVE ON GASOLINE
Surprisingly, there are some little known facts about gasoline that consumers should know.
In a sagging economy, gasoline has become a major purchase these days and knowing the facts about saving money on fuel gets more important every day as the numbers change.
Let's examine some facts about gas stations and gasoline in general.
TIPS ON GASOLINE AND BUYING GAS
- Pricing is everything. Go to
fueleconomy.gov for a daily look at who is selling gas for the cheapest price in your
area. A little known fact is that gas
stations have to buy gas from the company that owns them. So for instance,
Shell can't shop around and buy from BP or vice versa. Oil companies control the price of gas and
then they base their pricing for that individual station by location, competition,
etc. So maybe that guy isn't quite the
tightwad you thought he was by not dropping his price to match the other guy's
- Credit card fees. These little babies actually drive up the cost of gas. Credit card company fees can be 5 cents per gallon when gas is $2 a gallon (when was the last time we saw that?) and they jump to 7.5 cents per gallon when it hits $3. Passing the buck so to speak, gas prices shoot up again to cover the fees and eventually drop when the price of gas drops - but it takes time for you and I to see that at the pump.
I hope you'll get some great ideas on how to save money at the pump.
- Cash is king. Paying cash for gas is
the best way all around - and by that, I don't mean using your debit card. First of all, there are usually fees
associated with using your debit card at the gas station, so are you really
saving any money? Secondly, in order to
cover the debit card transactions, sometimes gas stations will ring up an extra
$20 on your account to potentially cover the transaction while it travels from the
station to your account. If you happen to
be low on funds, you can end up overdrawn because the service station has
covered its rear with your money.
- Better gasolines at different stations are a myth. If you're paying for premium gasoline that your car doesn't need to perform, you're already throwing away money. If you're buying a specific gasoline with additives such as Techron to get your engine to perform better, you're also throwing away money. Additives do help keep your engine clean - it's true - but the fact is that all gasolines, down to the cheapest one on the market have additives and they have to have them by law. A study by Florida inspectors found that there was absolutely no difference between one gas and another in terms of meeting fuel standards. What's more, gas companies share pipelines so one station may be selling gas refined by its competitor and vice versa.
IMPORTANT TIP ON HOW TO SAVE MONEY AT THE PUMP WITH CARDS
- Check out gas cards before you sign up. If you're thinking that a gas card is the way to go to purchase gas, make sure you check out the different cards. If you buy a proprietary card, obviously you won't be able to pump at different stations. Some cards also have very high percentage rates, don't offer gas rebates, and may not have fraud protection on them. Take a look around on the Internet. There are low interest cards out there but the rates can fluctuate - so always check before using them.
SAVING MONEY AT THE GAS PUMP
In short, there are some facts we as consumers simply haven't been told about how gas is sold.
These are important things to know and hopefully they can help us all avoid the pitfalls at the pump of paying too much for gasoline.
Taking the time to check out the current "hot spots" for the best deals each day can save you money.
Also getting rewards say through grocery bills and 10 cents off per gallon is another great way to bring down the cost of fuel.
Do whatever you can to save on fuel costs but the most important (and the easiest) way to save money at the pump is to drive less and drive a fuel efficient car.
If you have more ideas to contribute on saving money at the pump, please leave your comments below.
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