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Smart ways every driver can save on filling up their tank

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Are you a road tripper? A weekend driver? A daily commuter? If you've never considered your driving habits when filling up your tank, you could be spending more on gas than you should.

Every lifestyle has a different fuel up routine, which means there are also different ways to save money on gas.

Before you fill your tank, check out these smart ways to get the most for your money.

The daily commuter

When you're mostly driving to your office and back, it's important to think about the way you drive and how you fill up your car.

"Watch out for the way you're driving," says Allison Mac, Director of Marketing at GasBuddy, a fuel price comparison app and website.

"If you're stuck in traffic and you're very agitated, you're slamming on your brakes or quickly accelerating," she explains. "That's when it's dipping into your bank account and wallet."

Regular rapid acceleration, braking, and speeding can all lower your mileage by as much as 10 to 40 percent.

The road tripper

If you love long, cross-country trips, you could save yourself more than a few pennies if you think about your trip's route. And it always pays to be selective about gas stations—especially if you are making trips across state lines.

"Those gas station owners know that they're at a very convenient location and therefore their prices tend to be higher than a gas station maybe just around the corner that's a little more hidden off the main road," Mac says. "But you're paying for that convenience and it could be as much as an extra 40 cents a gallon."

Before you rev up your engine, plan out your route ahead of time and research the average gas prices in the sates you plan to visit. If you're thinking about just getting gas at the next exit, be sure that exit's not in a state where the gas is more expensive.


Bonus tip for all drivers: check your driver's manual. If it doesn't say you need Premium fuel, you can save big by fueling up with Regular.

The weekend driver

If you work from home or only drive on weekends, you probably don't need to fill your tank as often as other drivers. But that also means you may have some flexibility on when you refill.

According to Mac, the best days to fill up are Sunday and Monday as prices generally creep up toward the end of the week. That way, your tank is ready by the time you approach the weekend again and you won't have to pay a premium for your petrol.

The road warrior

When you drive all day for your job, going from meeting to meeting or client to client, you could be filling up your gas tank two to three times a week, which can cost you a pretty penny. However, with the right loyalty program, you can earn rewards back.

"If you're filling up that frequently, it makes sense to take advantage of a loyalty program," Mac says.

Some gas stations have loyal programs that offer instant savings, like a few cents off a gallon or cash back. Or, if you're not particularly loyal to one gas station chain, you may be able to receive points or cash back through your credit card.

A bonus tip for all drivers: make sure you check out your driver's manual to see exactly what kind of gas your car needs. If it doesn't say Premium, you can use Regular and save even more.

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