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Planning & Combing Trips to Improve Gas Mileage


Combining TripsCombining errands into one trip saves you time and money. Several short trips taken from a cold start can use twice as much fuel as a longer multipurpose trip covering the same distance when the engine is warm. Trip planning ensures that traveling is done when the engine is warmed-up and efficient, and it can reduce the distance you travel.



Commuting

CommutingStagger your work hours to avoid peak rush hours.

Drive your most fuel-efficient vehicle.

Consider telecommuting (working from home) if your employer permits it.

Take advantage of carpools and ride-share programs. You can cut your weekly fuel costs in half and save wear on your car if you take turns driving with other commuters. Many urban areas allow vehicles with multiple passengers to use High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes which are typically less congested, further improving your fuel economy.

Consider using public transit if it is available and convenient for you. The American Public Transit Transportation Association has links to information about public transportation in your state.



Traveling

Vehicle with loaded roof rackA roof rack or carrier provides additional cargo space and may allow you to meet your needs with a smaller car. However, a loaded roof rack can decrease your fuel economy by 5 percent. Reduce aerodynamic drag and improve your fuel economy by placing items inside the trunk whenever possible.

Avoid carrying unneeded items, especially heavy ones. An extra 100 lbs in the trunk reduces a typical car's fuel economy by 1-2 percent.