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DANIEL SUCAR
The 1019 Report

Local Journalism Initiative

According to experts, there are a many ways to lower your gas bill, beyond spending thousands of dollars on a new fuel-efficient car or electric vehicle.

For Moshe Lander, a senior lecturer in economics at Concordia University in Montreal, saving money on fuel can be as simple as taking public transit more often, or carpooling to work.

“We live in a culture where it’s normal to just hop in the car and go,” Lander said. “If you’re dealing with high gas prices, think about walking to the grocery store, and then taking an Uber or public transit back. You can save a couple of bucks here, and a couple of bucks there. And it all adds up.”

Meanwhile, CAA-Quebec spokesperson Nicolas Ryan offered a few other suggestions. Among them, he advised drivers to coast their vehicle to a stop, rather than slamming on the brakes. Citing data from Natural Resources Canada, he said abrupt starts and hard stops increase fuel consumption by 40 per cent, while only reducing travel time by 4 per cent.

Ryan also suggested that drivers get rid of dead weight in their cars and removing ski or bike racks, stop unnecessarily idling, use cruise control on highways, and slow down a little. On that last tip, he pointed to how driving at 100 km/h instead of 120 km/h consumes 20 per cent less fuel.

Finally, Lander cautioned drivers against going out of their way for cheaper gas, as driving out of your way to the cheapest gas station might not lead to major savings in the long run. Instead, he recommends checking comparator apps – like GasBuddy – only when already heading out on a set route, like the daily commute to work. That way, drivers can find the best bang for their buck, without travelling too far.

“My simplest advice is: Think about where you need to go, and make some adjustments to your driving,” Lander said. “If you’re squeezing, you have alternatives. You might not like the alternatives; but they’re there.”

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