5 Fuel Efficient Driving Techniques That Really Work

Everyone’s trying to save money on gas these days. But did you know that your own driving habits can actually affect your fuel consumption by as much as 25 percent? Check out these five tips for fuel efficient driving and watch the savings add up:

1. Don’t be a lead foot. Putting the “pedal to the metal” wastes gas because the harder you accelerate the more fuel waste. Press the accelerator pedal gently. A good rule of thumb for optimal fuel efficient driving is to take about five seconds to accelerate your vehicle up to 15 miles per hour from a stop. For a manual transmission, use a moderate throttle position and shift between 2,000 and 2,500 RPMs.

2. Keep it steady. Dips in speed combined with spurts of acceleration can increase your fuel use by up to 20 percent. One easy fuel efficient driving technique is using cruise control on the highway.

3. Stay alert. Keep your vehicle's momentum by planning your maneuvers ahead of time. Pay attention to the road ahead, anticipate the movements of pedestrians and other drivers, and keep a safe distance from the car in front of you. This will save you gas and keep you safer on the road.

4. Don’t slam on the brakes. Sometimes, to avoid an accident, you have no choice. But in regular driving situations, coasting toward a stop sign or red light helps you conserve fuel and save money. It’s not only a fuel efficient driving habit, it’s also easier on your tires and brakes, which helps you save on maintenance and repair costs.

5. Slow down. While every model is different, most vehicles' gas mileage starts to tank at speeds above 50 mph. Look at it like this: every 5 MPH you drive over 50 MPH is like paying an extra quarter for a gallon of gas. Slowing down can also save you money on those speeding tickets and insurance costs.

Aside from exercising these fuel efficient driving techniques, keeping your tires properly inflated and following your vehicle’s maintenance schedule will also help you save money on gas.

  1. Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price, excludes the Delivery, Processing and Handling Fee of $810 for Cars, $860 for Small/Medium Trucks (Sienna, RAV4, Highlander Gas, Highlander HV, FJ Cruiser, 4Runner, Tacoma and Venza), and $995 for Large Trucks (Land Cruiser, Tundra and Sequoia). (Historically, vehicle manufacturers and distributors have charged a separate fee for processing, handling and delivering vehicles to dealerships. Toyota's charge for these services is called the "Delivery, Processing and Handling Fee" and is based on the value of the processing, handling and delivery services Toyota provides as well as Toyota's overall pricing structure. Toyota may make a profit on the Delivery, Processing and Handling Fee.) Excludes taxes, license, title and available or regionally required equipment. The Delivery, Processing and Handling Fee in AL, AR, FL, GA, LA, MS, NC, OK, SC and TX will be higher. Actual dealer price will vary.
  2. 2014 EPA-estimated mileage. Actual mileage will vary.
  3. EPA-estimated driving range 103 miles when vehicle is fully charged. Excludes driving conditions. Actual mileage will vary.
  4. 2014 EPA-estimated mpg equivalent. Actual mpge will vary based on driving habits, charging practice, battery age, weather, temperature and road/traffic conditions. Battery capacity will decrease with time and use. For more information on mpge and range, please see www.fueleconomy.gov.
  5. 2014 EPA-estimated combined miles per gasoline gallon equivalent. Estimate includes consumption of electricity and gasoline energy during EV Mode operation. Actual results will vary for many reasons including driving conditions and how you drive and maintain your vehicle.
  6. 2014 EPA-estimated 51 city/49 highway/50 combined mpg estimates for Prius Plug-in. Actual mileage will vary