Do you want to save more money on gas? Of course you do – as drivers, it’s our biggest expense! Here’s our mega-guide on the absolute best ways to save money on gas. Senior RSG contributor Paula Gibbins breaks it all down for us below, including tips on vehicles, driving in traffic, and the best gas apps.
Ways to Save Money On Gas
Rideshare drivers go through one thing probably more than anything else…gas. We’re filling our tanks constantly, sometimes every day of the week if we’re busy. So, something we’ll always jump on is any way to save money on gas.
Below, I’ve put together a bunch of ways to save on gas. Some are driving techniques while others are ways to actually save at the pump. Put as many to use as you can to if they make sense for your needs.
My top recommendation for saving money on gas is to our link to signup.
How to Save Money on Gas in Traffic
Some new vehicles are equipped with an engine that will essentially shut off when you’re stopped for a certain length of time and will turn back on as you lift your foot off the brake. I used to have a Chevy Malibu with that feature and it was pretty handy.
It got a little annoying sometimes because in the summer it basically turned off my air conditioning. Also, and if you’re at a red light for a long time, it could get hot, so I’d purposely let up off the brake to get the air back on again. But, it was a good way to save money on gas.
If your car doesn’t have a feature like that, here are some ways for you to save gas:
1) Shift to Neutral
If you are stuck in bumper to bumper traffic and are literally not going anywhere anytime soon, shift into neutral to save money on gas. Doing this will lower your RPM and therefore lessen how much gas is being used to keep your car going.
2) Avoid Braking Hard
It’s easy to slam on the brakes too much, especially during morning or evening rush hour, but try to avoid it as much as possible. The hard braking is going to eat up fuel and cost you in the long run. Plus you’re wearing out your brake pads faster, which will be an added expense down the road.
3) Check Your Tire Pressure
Ok, you can’t do this while actively in traffic, but if you make sure your tires are inflated to the ideal pressure, you’ll get better fuel economy and a smoother ride overall. This is one of my top tips for saving money on gas!
Check out even more car maintenance tips here.
4) Try to Avoid Traffic
I know sometimes this is not possible at all, but whenever you can, try to avoid where you know a traffic jam will be. Avoiding traffic is a great way to save gas. I recommend using an app like Waze that is updated by people like you in traffic, so you know when slow downs are and if there are accidents along your route.
You can even set it up to follow the fastest route, and it will update your journey as you go. Though, I must say, tread lightly with this. Some passengers prefer going the way they know versus the way your GPS is telling you to go. To make them comfortable, bite the bullet and go whichever way they are asking you to go.
How To Save Money on Gas at the Gas Station
1) Gas Rebate Apps
If you’re looking for the best ways to save money on gas, then pay attention because this is a topic I’ve written about a few times. I’ll make this brief and leave the links for you to browse if you want to learn more: GetUpside vs GasBuddy: Which Gas App is Better?
In a nutshell, there is an app called GetUpside and an app/card combo called GasBuddy. If you’re lucky, you can utilize both at the pump for even more savings. Click here to read our GetUpside app review.
Click here to download GetUpside, our top recommend app if you’re trying to save money on gas.
How it works is that GetUpside shows you gas prices of nearby participating stations that will offer a discount, up to 25 cents off per gallon or more. You “claim” the discount in the app and go to that gas station, pump your gas, and submit your receipt for cash back. Some of the gas stations don’t even require you to upload a receipt – you get your cashback immediately!
After you accrue your cashback in the app, then you can cash it out to your Paypal account, or you can have a check sent to you, or you can cash out via the various gift cards available in the app.
We also wrote about a few other gas apps that can save you money at the pump, which you can read here: These 8 Best Gas Apps Will Save You Lots of Money on Gas.
2) Traffic Apps
Even using apps like Waze to find the cheapest gas nearby is super helpful when you’re constantly on the road and often in neighborhoods you aren’t necessarily familiar with. If you need gas fast before getting back on the road, apps like Waze, GetUpside, AAA and Gas Guru can find you the cheapest prices nearby.
3) Gas Rewards Programs
If you want to save even more gas than I also recommend looking into gas reward programs that are available at gas stations near you. We also wrote another article on this topic that you can read here: Best Gas Reward Programs That’ll Save You Dollars at the Pump
And if you have a membership at Costco or Sam’s Club, you’ll already be saving on gas because they tend to have the cheapest prices around.
Buying the Right Vehicle to Save on Gas
If you drive a lot, like I do, then you should consider saving money on gas by buying a good fuel-efficient vehicle that makes your driving worthwhile. Personally, I drive a minivan and it’s a gas guzzler.
I’m not happy at all with the 19mpg average I get, but it’s better than most larger SUVs and other big vehicles. I don’t drive for Uber full-time, but if I did, I’d definitely consider getting a more efficient vehicle to save more on gas.
My husband uses his Toyota Camry and gets a decent 28mpg. He’d love to upgrade to a hybrid, however, when the time comes to get a new car. If you’re just driving the lowest level of Uber and Lyft, you can get by with a smaller, more efficient vehicle and save a lot of money on gas.
Check out our article on the best cars for rideshare drivers here.
Questions I Get About Saving Money on Gas as an Uber Driver
Is it better to fill up your gas tank in the morning or evening?
This is more or less an old wives’ tale, but take it or leave it as you will. Some say that it’s better to fill up your tank in the morning, that you’ll be getting more bang for your buck because the gas evaporates throughout the day since it’s sitting out in the sun.
The idea is that the molecules of the gas will be smaller and therefore more dense in the morning when it’s cooler, giving you a better fill up. Whether this is true or not I will leave up to you.
Is it cheaper to pay cash for gas?
Perhaps. This all depends on if you pay off your credit cards right away or allow them to accrue interest. If you’re only ever using a credit card that you can’t pay off every month, you’ll be paying more for that gas than you might think.
Even with a low interest rate, you’re still paying more if that interest is building. I’d suggest using cash or using a debit card option that basically acts as cash. It’s always cheaper to spend money you have than to spend money you don’t have. Use credit wisely.
If you do decide to use a credit card, make sure you get one of these top gas credit cards with cash back!
How can I make my gas last longer?
This goes along with some of the driving suggestions above. If you avoid hard braking and idling in traffic, you’ll make your tank last longer. Another suggestion is to use the cruise control option if your vehicle has it (unless there’s adverse weather).
It will help keep you driving steadier, which will help with your fuel consumption. Speeding up and slowing down constantly will use up more fuel and this simple feature will help prevent that.
Also, go the speed limit. When you’re shopping for a car, the MPG advertised is often assuming you’re driving at 55mph. As your speed increases from there, you’re wasting gas at a faster rate. So, whenever possible, aim for the sweet spot of 55mph. I know that’s not always possible on the freeway, but if the speed limit is 55, stay in the right lane and cruise at that speed.
If your passenger gets impatient with you driving “too slow”, simply point out that you’re not going to speed because it’s not worth you getting a ticket over since driving is your livelihood.
Does driving faster use more gas?
As I mentioned above, basically the answer is “yes”. 55mph is ideal. Obviously, if the speed limit is 35, don’t do 55! But, use your best judgment, and whenever able, keep closer to the 55mph zone to get better gas mileage.
Is a gas credit card worth it?
In my opinion, yes — if you have the right card. In our family, we use the GoBank card from Uber. We get automatic cash back everytime we fill up and we can only use the amount that’s on the card in the first place.
There’s no interest fees and you can cash out your earnings to the card and it waives the 50 cent cash out fee. Keep in mind what I mentioned above about cash versus credit though. The card we use doesn’t have interest, so I feel comfortable using it, knowing upfront what I’m spending.
Here are our top recommendations for the best gas credit cards.
Can you pay cash for gas?
Absolutely! But, you’ll need to get out of your car and pay inside. Cash should be accepted at all gas stations. Just be sure to put your blinders up when you go inside to pay.
There’s always going to be delicious looking treats and deals trying to get you to spend more. If you only want gas, stick to your guns and just pay for your gas and leave.
Are hybrid cars good for long distance driving?
That completely depends on which hybrid you’ve got. Some only use electricity for shorter trips before the gas kicks in. You might also consider all electric vehicles. Some have ranges up to 259 miles, giving you a great day of driving in before having to charge up overnight.
Learn more about our favorite hybrid and electric vehicle options here: The 5 Best Electric Vehicles for Uber and Lyft Drivers.
How do you save money at the pump? Let us know in the comments below!
-Paula @ RSG