Fuel efficiency: The only true way to beat high gas prices

In today’s super-connected world, it’s possible to hop on the Internet, or even flip open an app on your phone, to find which gas station is offering the lowest prices on gas in your neck of the woods. While this might be a fun pastime, and you may end up saving a few dollars, it’s not likely to result in noticeable and significant savings at the pump – especially if you’re driving any significant distance to get to that filling station.

Improving your fuel efficiency is the one true way to combat climbing gas prices, and this can be done in a number of ways, from upgrading to a more fuel-efficient vehicle to changing your driving habits. Here are a few ways you can experience significant savings through getting more from each tank of gas:

* Upgrade to a fuel efficient vehicle. This may be the most cost-prohibitive option, but it also carries the biggest potential for return on investment. The good news is that many of the most fuel-efficient options are also cheaper when compared to larger vehicles with lower fuel-efficiency ratings. Many hybrids and alternative fuel vehicles also offer tax-rebate incentives, making them more affordable (check with your tax accountant for more details). And in a time where automobile sales aren’t what they used to be, dealers are eager to sell more cars, so there are good deals to be found.

* Make your trips count. If buying a new vehicle isn’t an option, think of ways you can cut down on the amount you’re driving. If one of your co-workers lives near you, see if you can figure out a carpooling plan. Planning your week to consolidate trips for running errands can also significantly reduce the amount of miles you drive.

* Practice good driving habits. Abiding by freeway speed limits not only keeps you from getting a ticket, but can keep your miles-per-gallon ratio in a good place. Once you creep over 65 miles per hour, fuel efficiency tends to nosedive. Easing into stops and starts can also ensure that your car isn’t using more gas than what’s needed to get you from point A to point B.

* Make sure your car is in top running shape. Regular checkups can make sure you are addressing issues that could be affecting your gas mileage. Even something as simple as making sure your tires are inflated to the right pressure can make a noticeable difference in fuel efficiency.