Ways to Use Less Gas (That Go Beyond the Obvious)

Tired of hearing the same gas-saving tips over and over again? Here are some new ways to use less gas:

Skip the Drive-Thru

Gas Pump
Erin Huffstetler

Sit in a drive-thru line, and you'll burn gas. Park and walk into the store, and you'll burn calories. Looks like parking wins.

Park Further Away

Cars Parked
Henrik Sorensen/Stone/Getty Images

Circling is for sharks, vultures and people who don't mind wasting gas. Give up the quest for the perfect parking spot, and settle for one at the back of the lot. You may have to walk a bit further to get to the store, but when did that become a bad thing?

Park in the Shade

Cars parked along the highway above the eastern end of Lumahai Beach
John Fischer

A cooler car means less need for air conditioning and less gas evaporating from your tank. To save even more, invest in a shade for your windshield and tinting for the rest of your windows.

Hang Up and Drive

Woman texting on her cell phone while driving
Michael Krinke/Getty Images

Talking on your cell phone while you drive makes you less aware of how you're driving. You could be breaking every gas-saving rule out there and not even realize it.

Tighten that Gas Cap

Tighten the gas lid
Images by Fabio/Moment/Getty Images

A loose gas cap makes it easy for gas to evaporate from your car. Protect those precious gallons by turning your cap until you hear it click three times.

Shop at Home

Online Shopping for Your Wedding
Tetra Images - Jamie Grill / Getty Images

Free shipping deals are easy to come by these days. Find what you need online, and let your car spend more time in the driveway.

Check the Traffic Reports

Check traffic reports
Getty Images

The less time you spend sitting in traffic, the less gas you'll need to get to your destination, so take a minute to check the traffic report before you head out.

Ditch the Attitude

Road Rage
Digital Vision / Getty Images

Check your bad day at the car door. When you're under the influence of a bad mood you're likely drive faster and brake harder than you normally would.

Travel at Off-Peak Times

Traffic Jam
Digital Vision/Getty Images

Idling in traffic is a big waste of gas and time. Bow out of the bumper-to-bumper madness by doing most of your running around before or after rush hour.

Streamline Your Vehicle

Driving can be a relaxing experience with the right sounds.
Peathegee Inc/Blend Images/Getty Images

Engineers work hard to make cars as aerodynamic as possible, and then we do our best to undo their efforts. Bike racks, car top carriers, flags, giant wreaths – there's no end to the things we'll stick on our vehicles. Unfortunately, all those add-ons add to your wind resistance and your gas consumption. Keep your mods to a minimum, and you could save big.

Ask for Directions

Ask for directions
PhotoAlto / Frederic Cirou / Getty Images

Getting lost stinks. Wasting gas on a bunch of wrong turns stinks even more. If you don't have a GPS to get you on track, stop and ask for directions as soon as you can.

Don't Tailgate

Tailgating another car
Alex Potemkin / Getty Images

When you travel too close to the vehicle in front of you, you have to brake a lot more frequently, and that means more frequent trips to the gas station.

Don't Lane Hop

Highway at night
Cultura Travel/Ben Pipe Photography/Getty Images

Getting ahead of other cars may be what NASCAR is all about, but it's not what regular driving is all about. Give all the lane changes a rest, and you won't need to apply your foot to the accelerator and brake nearly as often.