How to Save Gas on Family Car Trips

Making a point to save gas on family trips will allow you to enjoy the journey more. Don't miss the tips we'll share in today's article.
How to Save Gas on Family Car Trips
María José Roldán

Written and verified by the psychopedagogue María José Roldán.

Last update: 17 March, 2023

When it’s time to hit the road, all expenses are scrutinized in detail. It’s important not to splurge too much in order not to go above the budget that was initially planned. In this regard, it’s also essential to learn how to save gas on family car trips.

Discover how to save gas when traveling by car

Here are a series of recommendations so that when you have to take a family car trip, the cost of gas can be the least of your worries. Even if the destination is far from your home, with these tips, you can achieve it!

Maintain an appropriate speed

It’s important to avoid accelerating and decelerating on a regular basis. In fact, always going at a steady speed is the best way to reduce fuel consumption. Also, for example, it’s cheaper to go 60 miles per hour than 90. It’s better to arrive a little later and with a few more dollars in your pocket.

Refuel in the morning

Maybe you’ve never thought about what time you put gas in your vehicle before. You never cared if you did it in the morning, afternoon, or at night. The reality is that it’s better to do it first thing in the morning because the tanks are cold and the fuel is denser.

Filling up in the morning can help you save gas.
Filling up in the morning allows you to put more gas in your car for less money because the tanks are cold and the fuel is denser.

Don’t overfill

Many people don’t realize how important it is not to overfill your talk. They think that because the vehicle has a certain capacity, it’s okay to overfill it. But, in reality, a car that’s overfilled is capable of consuming up to 40% more gasoline. Therefore, whenever possible, the less you fill it, the better.

When starting the car, don’t accelerate

There are people who have the habit of stepping on the accelerator whenever the car is starting. However, this is a bad habit that’s best left aside, especially if you have a diesel car. In this case, when you start, you should wait a few seconds before allowing the car to start moving. If you have a stick shift, always use first gear and shift to second as soon as possible, but avoid starting in second gear, even if it’s downhill.

Keep a safe distance

It’s essential that whenever you’re on the road, you maintain a safe distance between your car and others. This way, you’ll have a better field of vision and will be able to see up to 3 vehicles ahead and behind you. The moment you detect an obstacle or notice the cars in front of you start to slow down, you’ll have time to lift your foot off the accelerator. In addition to avoiding an accident, you’ll also save gas.

Keep your car in good condition

To drive on the road, you need to keep your car in good condition. This means that you have to pass periodic revisions and, if something breaks down, you need to fix it. If you don’t take care of the vehicle properly, it’ll use more gas than you think.

A mechanic fixing a car.
Keeping your car in good condition is key for your family’s safety and also for your pocketbook, as it will surely use less fuel.

Don’t use heating and air conditioning too much

We know that when it’s cold or hot, using heating and air conditioning is a good option. In addition to being comfortable, it immediately allows a pleasant temperature inside the vehicle. However, turning on the heat and air conditioning increases fuel consumption by 25%. It’s therefore a good idea to wear clothes that match the climate and always make rational use of your car’s heating and air conditioning. This will save you a lot of money.

Windows should be rolled up

It’s normal to see many drivers on the road with the windows down. Sometimes they do it to put their arm out and drive more comfortably, and sometimes they do it to let air inside the vehicle. However, you should know that this will cause your car to use 5% more fuel  because the air slows the car down. Therefore, it’s better to always have the windows up, or at least whenever possible.

Be careful and save gas!

Now that we’ve told you how to save gas on family car trips, you’ll have some extra money that will come in handy for your family vacations. And if you always keep this in mind, then you’ll be able to save a lot more throughout the year.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Ripol, Sainz, M. (2017) ¿Cuánto falta? Viajar en coche con niños por Europa (Viajar en libertad) Editorial: Alhena Media

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.