How to Save on Gas in Canada

How to Save on Gas in Canada

How to Save on Gas in Canada
Reading Time: 5 mins

The average Canadian spends about 3.2% ($1,510) of their annual income on gas. That’s a significant amount that you may be wishing that you could spend elsewhere.

If so, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together a complete guide on how to save on gas in Canada. Keep reading to learn what drivers like you can do to reduce gas costs and free up your budget for the other important parts of your life.

How much can you really save on gas?

We’re going to show you a number of ways to save money on gas. But before diving into that, let’s figure out exactly how much money you can save by optimizing your fuel consumption.

The answer to this question depends on how much you drive. Some reports indicate that you can save around $400 per year just by driving at 100 km/h on the highway instead of 120 km/h. 

Other research indicates that drivers can save about $768 per year by choosing a car that offers that offers 9.4L/100 km instead of 11.8L/100 km.

Ultimately, people who drive the most can save the most on gas. The exact amount will be different for everyone, but the more of the following tips you embrace, the greater you can expect your annual savings to be.

Search before you buy

Gas prices can fluctuate markedly at stations that are within a five-block radius of one another. 

Depending on how large your tank is, that means you could be paying as much as $10 extra every time you fill up your car. You can imagine how quickly that would add up over the course of months, let alone years.

That’s why one of the best ways to save on gas in Canada is to search before you buy. There are several websites and mobile apps that Canadian drivers can use to find gas prices at local stations. Below are three of our favorites.

Gas Buddy

Gas Buddy is a mobile app for iOS and Android devices. It features user-verified gas prices at nearby stations. It’s a quick way to find the best gas prices in your area and choose the station that will save you the most money.

Waze

Waze is very similar to Gas Buddy in that it relies on users to submit gas prices and verify that they’re correct. We like it because the app also gives you directions and tells you about things like obstacles on the road and police cars in the area while you’re driving.

CAA

The Canadian Automobile Association (CAA) also has an app that provides up-to-date gas prices in your area, but you can only use it if you’re a member of CAA or an affiliated organization.

Join a membership club

Another way to save money is to join a membership club. There are two major types of membership programs that are worth looking into.

The first is a gas station rewards program. Large oil companies (and some smaller ones) offer customer rewards programs and even credit cards that provide discounts on gas.

Examples of these types of programs include:

  • Petro-Points at Petro-Canada
  • Esso Extra
  • Shell Fuel Rewards

Joining one of these programs is a simple way to save money on gas. You simply input your customer rewards number or pay with the appropriate credit card and watch the savings roll in. 

The second type of membership club that’s worth looking into is membership with a warehouse store that also sells gas, such as Costco. 

These warehouses typically undercut local gas stations by 10–15 cents per litre. So even though membership may cost you $50–$60 per year, you can more than make up for that by refilling your tank at the warehouse store’s pumps.

Optimize your car for fuel savings

There are also lots of ways that you can improve your car’s fuel efficiency. Let’s take a look at three things you can do to optimize your car for fuel savings. 

Take unnecessary items out of your car

The more weight that your car carries, the harder it has to work while you’re driving it, so a simple way to start reducing your gas usage is to remove heavy objects from your trunk and other areas of your car when they don’t need to be there.

Keep your tires inflated at the right level

When you keep your car’s tires filled with the proper amount of air, you reduce the friction that they create when your car is moving. This can help improve your fuel efficiency.

Another thing that’s relevant for Canadian drivers is that you should use winter tires only during the winter. That’s because they create more friction, which reduces gas mileage, so you don’t want to use them unless you need them.

Take good care of your engine

Keeping your engine tuned helps your car run optimally and saves fuel. So, another way to save on gas is to make sure that you’re always using clean air filters and have the right type of motor oil in your vehicle.

Change your driving habits

The way that you drive can have a major impact on how much has your car needs to operate. Here are four ways you can change your driving habits to save money on gas.

Drive at moderate speeds

The fuel efficiency your car offers declines quite rapidly once you get above about 100 km/h. Simply remaining at this speed on the highway instead of going as fast as conditions allow could save you a lot of gas.

Determine IF AC or Open Windows are better for your fuel consumption

The most fuel-efficient way to keep yourself cool while you drive depends on the type of car you have. Aerodynamic cars (such as sports cars and sedans) will burn more gas if you roll down the windows, so these drivers should use the air conditioner instead. 

But the aerodynamics of large trucks and SUVs won’t be significantly affected when drivers roll down the windows, so these drivers should choose windows instead of the air conditioner to keep themselves cool while they drive.

Combine short trips

Engines are more fuel efficient when they’re already warmed up, so Canadian drivers can also save money on gas by completing all their small trips at once instead of making each trip separately.

Don’t spend too long warming up your car

The Canadian winter can be brutal in some areas. Many drivers prefer to warm their cars up during the coldest months so they don’t have to sit in a freezing cold vehicle while driving themselves to work in the morning.

There’s nothing wrong with doing this. But warming your car up for too long can burn more gas than you might expect. To optimize your fuel efficiency, you should really try to warm your car up for only about 30 seconds; at the very least, you can try to get as close to that number as possible.

Pick the right car

Perhaps the most effective way to save money on gas is buying the right car. This won’t be a realistic solution for everyone. But when the time comes to purchase a new vehicle, if saving on gas is your top priority, you’re going to want to go with one of the following options.

Hybrid cars

Hybrid cars use both gas and electric systems for power. They offer much better gas mileage than automobiles that are completely gas powered.

Electric cars

Electric cars are the creme-de-la-creme of fuel efficiency since they don’t even use gas. To power these cars, you plug them into a charging station, which you can build into your home.

There are a few downsides to electric cars. For example, the range of an electric car is somewhat limited. It can also be difficult to find charging stations while traveling. But if fuel efficiency is all that you care about, then an electric car is definitely the way to go.

Rideshare as often as you can

Sharing a ride with someone else is one of the very best ways to save money on gas. It essentially cuts your costs in half (or even more depending on how many people are in your carpool). 

In an ideal world, you can find someone who lives close by and works either in the same building as you or one that’s close enough to warrant carpooling. If you can do that, you’ll cut a significant piece out of your monthly expenses.

The bottom line on saving gas in Canada

The information above shows that there are plenty of ways to save on gas in Canada. Some of these methods are more effective than others, but the bottom line is that if you’re committed, there’s absolutely no reason why you can’t lower your fuel bill.

Good luck and happy driving.

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