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Getting Around Gas Prices

Gas prices in B.C. are higher than they have ever been, as you have probably noticed. Participating in car-pools, transiting to work or even hopping on your bike are great solutions to save money on gas. For those of us who have no option but to continue driving everywhere, however, there are small changes we can make to save at the pump.

The man refueling the car

Extending Gas Mileage

If you live in a multi-car household, try to choose the right car for the kind of driving that you will be doing.  If you know that you will be driving in the city, try to choose a smaller vehicle with a smaller engine.  This will be more fuel-efficient.

Another way to extend gas mileage is to keep your car empty of unnecessary stuff.  Sure, it may seem convenient to store your soccer bag and your other miscellaneous items in your trunk.  However, every extra pound uses up just that little bit more gas.

If your car requires a special type of gas other than Regular, make sure you opt for that every time.  It seems more expensive, but your car won’t run as efficiently without the right kind of gas in it. Additionally, ensure that your tire pressure is at a good level.  “Studies have shown that an increase of 2 psi increases your mpg (miles per gallon) by at least 1%.”

Hybrid Handiness

One great option for people considering purchasing a new vehicle is to opt for a hybrid.  This vehicle operates both on gas and electricity, reducing the overall amount of gas that the car requires to run.  The Mitsubishi Mirage starts at $13,795 and is the most fuel-efficient hybrid available in Canada. Mirage owners are estimated to spend an average of $950 per year on fuel.  This is compared with non-hybrid vehicle owners, who usually spend about $1,510.

Electric Excellence

Obviously, electric car owners do not spend any money on gas.  One concern for those considering going electric is the lack of range due to charging station limitations.  However, the Nissan Leaf was voted the best electric car in Canada due to its “versatility, range, and daily drivability.” It has a range of 242 kilometers.

Of course, with electric cars, what you don’t pay in gas you may pay towards the cost of the car.  The Leaf starts at $36,798.  Compare this with the Nissan Altima, a non-electric or hybrid vehicle, which starts at $27,998. The question then becomes, how much money would it save you on gas?

Well, if Canadians spend an average of $1,510 per year on gas, after just five years you would have made up for the extra nine-grand that you spent on your electric car by not having to pay for gas.  In other words, as long as you plan to drive your electric vehicle for more than five years, it seems to be your best bet these days to save cash at the pump.