Don't Expect a Break From Rising Gas Prices Any Time Soon
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Summer is coming, and for many Americans, that means it’s road-trip season. This year, thanks to the easing of COVID restrictions, families across the country are expected to jump into their RVs and family vehicles, fill their tanks, and head down the highway looking for adventure.
If you’re a regular summer driver, you know the season’s spike in highway activity usually drives gas prices up with it. This year is expected to be no different. In fact, a number of other factors have experts predicting the highest gas prices since 2014.
Why will gas prices be higher this summer?
Gas prices are sure to rise with summer vacations | Twenty20
Memorial Day weekend usually sees a jump in gas prices. Drivers taking advantage of the extra day off cause increased demand for fuel. Because the holiday comes so close to summer breaks from school and warmer temperatures, consumers usually see those higher prices stick around until September.
As the pandemic slows down, families are more likely than ever to take advantage of the time off to get out of town. But Autotrader says that supply chain problems from the last few months are expected to make matters worse.
In early May, a ransomware attack forced Colonial Pipeline to shut down an East Coast pipeline. Even though the pipeline was only offline for a short time, drivers panicked and hoarded supply, drying out gas stations across 16 states. The rush to the pump caused an early spike.
Extreme weather in the last few months has also diminished fuel supply. The south’s cold snap in February and hurricane season last fall impacted the productivity of refineries in the region.
How to save on gas this summer
While fuel prices are expected to rise across the country, there are a few things you can do to keep your gas bill low. Here are a few tips on how to manage your fuel consumption, compiled with a little help from Money Crashers:
- Download a gas app. Despite the expected spike in demand overall, prices tend to differ from station to station. A gas app keeps tabs on all the gas prices in your region so you can know where to go to fill up and save.
- Improve your gas mileage by using cruise control, filling your tires, and keeping unnecessary weight out of your car.
- Check your driving habits. Observing speed limits, keeping your distance, and going easy on your pedals can greatly decrease your fuel consumption.
- Use routes with the best traffic flow. You eat up more gas by stopping and starting than you do while coasting. Choosing routes with fewer traffic lights and less congestion will help you maximize your fuel use and reduce the amount of time you spend idling.
- Use the air-conditioning on the highway, but roll the windows down in town. Cooling your car cuts into your gas mileage either way, but the drag on your car’s aerodynamics caused by an open window increases the faster you go. It’s better to keep them closed while maintaining higher speeds.
Other ways to save on auto expenses
Of course, gas isn’t the only expense you need to worry about as a driver. Monthly payments, maintenance fees, and car insurance all play a role in the cost of owning a car. Insurance is particularly important when thinking about traveling farther distances, as road and insurance laws change greatly from state to state.
Luckily, you can find all the coverage you need at the best price with Jerry. Jerry can find you all types of car insurance and compares prices from up to 45 companies so you know you’re getting the best deal available.