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A potential tightening of the oil supply, which could begin next month once the U.S. ends oil waivers for certain countries importing from Iran, could also contribute to higher prices within the coming months, since crude oil accounts for more than half of the retail price of U.S. regular gasoline.
The average price of gas in the U.S., as of Thursday, was $2.87 per gallon, according to AAA. That’s up about 25 cents over the past month, and 8 cents when compared with the same period last year.
GasBuddy senior petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan estimated the national gas average could near $3 per gallon within the coming weeks.
The cost of gas was named as the top expense Americans were concerned about this year, considering they spent $388 billion at the pump in 2018.
Here are some tips to lower your gas bill, from the experts at Autotrader and auto research company Kelley Blue Book.
For current car owners
- Make sure tires are inflated, oil is changed as recommended and air filters are replaced regularly. Keeping up with maintenance can help with fuel efficiency.
- What can also improve fuel efficiency is avoiding sharp stops or accelerations, and taking it easy on the gas pedal. Driving 70 miles per hour in a 55 mile-per-hour area reduces fuel efficiency by 17 percent, experts noted.
- Consider taking public transportation or carpools, even if it just a couple of times per week.
For car shoppers
- Consider vehicles with a smaller engine to get the best miles per gallon. You could also opt for the turbocharged version, which experts say will give you a balance of performance and fuel efficiency.
- Only choose a four-wheel-drive or all-wheel-drive option if you need it, since they add weight and reduce fuel economy.
- Think about getting a smaller vehicle, like a subcompact SUV or even a smaller car.
- Also consider a hybrid or electric vehicle.