- Gas prices have been steadily rising across the U.S. for at least five straight weeks, according to MarketWatch.
- The average gas price is currently about $2.619, while the record low of 2019 to date stands at $2.241.
- Drivers can reduce the amount they pay at the pump by shopping around for the lowest rates, using good driving habits, and regularly tuning up their vehicle.
After a period of relatively low gas prices across the U.S., these numbers are steadily starting to rise. MarketWatch reported that gas prices could reach close to $3 a gallon on average by spring. The lowest recorded average of 2019 to date was $2.241 on Jan. 7, according to GasBuddy.
As of March 22, the U.S. average is about $2.619 a gallon, which is 21.4 cents higher than last month’s average of $2.405. Florida, Michigan and Illinois have seen the biggest price surges.
Gas prices will rise and fall depending on several different factors. They are largely determined by crude oil prices and the level of supply and demand. Seasonal demand also plays a role with gas prices often rising in the spring before peaking during the summer months.
3 Ways to Save Money at the Pump
For consumers feeling a pinch on their wallet, there are ways to save on gas. A report from GasBuddy found that on average, drivers overpay by at least 20 cents due to poor planning.
Here are three ways drivers can save money at the pump and find cheap gas:
Shop Around for the Best Prices
Drivers often spend more money on gas because they choose the most convenient place to stop. But drivers can save money simply by shopping around to find the best prices.
Avoid stopping at gas stations that are right off the highway as those tend to cost more. And free apps like GasBuddy, AAA Mobile and Gas Guru provide resources to help drivers find the lowest gas prices.
Related: Best Gas Credit Cards
Practice Good Driving Habits
Consumer Reports found that slower drivers can see better fuel efficiency. In its tests involving vehicles from three makers, increasing the speed to 75 miles per hour reduced fuel efficiency by 5 to 7 mpg.
Unnecessary braking also drains a car’s overall fuel efficiency. By refraining from unnecessary braking, drivers could avoid reducing their gas mileage by up to 40 percent.
Stay on Top of Car Maintenance
Drivers can maximize their car’s fuel efficiency just by taking proper care of their vehicle. The U.S. Department of Energy found that a poorly tuned engine consumes more fuel.
So just getting a regular tuneup could boost your overall fuel economy. This includes things like making sure the tires are properly inflated and aligned and keeping the air filters clean.
Find out which major cities offer some of the lowest gas prices in the U.S.
More on Saving Money
- Are These 8 Costly Car Repairs Worth the Money?
- Expert Tips for Getting the Best Car Insurance Rates
- Save More in 2019 With the Best Budgeting Apps
- Watch: Car Repairs and Maintenance You Can Really Do Yourself
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Gas Prices Are Climbing — Here Are 3 Ways to Save Money at the Pump