How to Drive Smart and Save Money

With no end in sight to rising gas prices, consumers should take control of how they drive their vehicle to get more miles per gallon. The Car Care Council recommends the following ways to drive smart and save money:

  • Combine errands in one trip and get good directions before you head out to minimize driving unnecessary miles.
  • Lighten the load by getting stuff out of the car, including the trunk, with the exception of important emergency items such as a spare tire, flares and a first-aid kit. Items that are not needed weigh the vehicle down, causing an increase in gas usage.
  • Stay within the speed limit and use cruise control on the highway. Gas mileage usually decreases when going over 60 miles per hour (mph).
  • Avoid aggressive driving. Your driving behavior has a lot to do with fuel economy and sudden stops and starts and rapid acceleration decrease your vehicle’s miles per gallon (mpg). 
  • Check the condition of the gas cap. Approximately 17 percent of vehicles on the road have loose, damaged or missing gas caps, causing 147 million gallons of gas to vaporize every year.
  • Don’t idle your vehicle and go inside instead of waiting in long lines at the drive-through window to avoid wasting gas.

"We can’t control the price of gas, but we can control how we drive our vehicles, and how much gas we use,” said Rich White, executive director, Car Care Council.  

In response to reports that gas is being stolen from vehicles, the council recommends that drivers park in well-lit and highly-traveled areas and consider using gas caps that lock to help prevent this crime.  

The Car Care Council is the source of information for the “Be Car Care Aware” consumer education campaign promoting the benefits of regular vehicle care, maintenance and repair to consumers. For a copy of the council’s consumer-friendly Car Care Guide or for more information, visit