With Gas Prices Surging, AAA Shares Tips for Saving at the Pump

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Gas Price

The gauge on a fuel pump in Coopersburg shows a gasoline purchase totaling more than $100. WIth gas now costing nearly $4.50 a gallon in the Lehigh Valley, such purchases are no longer uncommon.

The average price of a gallon of regular unleaded gasoline in the Lehigh Valley is now a record $4.45, while nationally the average price per gallon has risen to a record $4.31.

The price of gas is not at an all-time high when adjusted for inflation, but it’s still high by most people’s standards, which is why the American Automobile Association (AAA) has shared some tips to try and help reduce the pain many motorists are feeling at the pump.

  • Keep your vehicle in top shape with routine inspections and by keeping your car’s tires properly inflated. Underinflated tires can lower fuel economy.
  • Before you head out on errands, map your route to minimize your mileage. Avoid driving during peak travel times and consider visiting “one-stop shopping” destinations where you can perform multiple tasks, such as banking and grocery shopping.
  • Fuel economy peaks at around 50 mph on most cars, then becomes lower as speeds increase. Reducing your vehicle’s speed on the highway by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14 percent.
  • A car engine consumes one quarter to one-half gallon of fuel per hour when idling, but a warm engine only takes around 10 seconds worth of fuel to restart. Where it’s safe to do so, turn off your engine if you know you will be stopped for more than a minute.
  • Use “fast pass” or “express” toll lanes to avoid unnecessary stops or slowdowns on the highway.
  • Only use premium gas in vehicles for which it is recommended or required. Paying for premium gas for a vehicle that takes regular is a waste of money and is of no benefit to the vehicle.
  • To find the best gas price in your area, consider using the AAA Mobile app for Android or iPhone.

According to a report published this week by MarketWatch, the price of gas would have to reach nearly $7 a gallon to match what it cost in the early 1980s, accounting for inflation.

Gas prices are expected to continue rising due to the war in Ukraine and a recent U.S. ban on Russian liquid fuel imports, although a majority of consumers surveyed by AAA say they plan to change their driving habits or lifestyle now that gas has topped $4 a gallon.

One way to reduce spending on gas is to utilize public transportation, which in the Lehigh Valley is provided by LANTA along a number of bus routes.

The agency announced Thursday that it will continue to offer the the discounted fare structure established during the COVID-19 pandemic, enabling riders to save even more.

“For about the cost of a gallon of gasoline commuters can buy a 31-Day Pass when using any online payment method,” said LANTA Executive Director Owen O’Neil. “That allows passengers to take unlimited bus rides during thirty-one consecutive days.”

According to a LANTA news release, a 31-Day Pass which is normally $60 has been discounted to $10. However, when purchased from LANTA’s online store or its Token Transit app, the fare is further reduced to just $5. A full schedule of bus fares is available at Lantabus.com/fares. As is always the case, seniors ride free on buses in Pennsylvania.

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