The summer driving season is upon us, but there is a bright spot for consumers planning that upcoming summer driving vacation who want to save gas! According to the Energy Information Administration (EIA), regular gasoline retail prices are forecast to average $2.45/gallon (gal) compared with $3.59/gal last summer during the 2015 April-through-September summer driving season.
Gas prices are lower because of lower crude oil prices, which account for about two-thirds of the price U.S. drivers pay for a gallon of gasoline.
Based on EIA’s gasoline price forecast, the average U.S. household is expected to spend about $700 less on gas in 2015 compared with 2014, as annual motor fuel expenditures are on track to fall to their lowest level in 11 years. According to the EIA, actual spending can vary based on driving-related factors (number of vehicles, annual distance driven, grade of gas), some of which depend on demographic considerations (location, income, size of household). Typically households with more people tend to spend more on gas in a year.
Regardless of gas prices this summer, consumer can always look to conserve fuel and money by following these tips:
- Drive sensibly – Observe the speed limit, eliminate aggressive acceleration and braking, reduce the time that you idle your vehicle, and plan ahead to avoid unnecessary traffic congestion.
- Keep your car in good repair – Tune-ups, oil changes, and filter replacement will help you get more miles for each gallon of gas.
- Check your tires – Low tire pressure can significantly impact fuel economy. Government website SaferCar.gov recommends that drivers check their tire pressure at least once per month.
- Unload that stuff – All that extra stuff in your trunk or backseat makes your car heavier and reduces your mileage. Put your car on a diet and get rid of the extra stuff.
- Choose a fuel-efficient vehicle – When it’s time to trade up for a new vehicle, look into choosing a vehicle that is certified with the best miles-per-gallon rating in order to maximize your fuel efficiency and save gas.
With these tips in mind, you can save hundreds of dollars in gasoline expenses this summer. Now get driving!