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Consumer Reports: Saving money on summer road trips

Posted at 7:25 AM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-15 08:25:50-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF/CONSUMER REPORTS) — Despite the record high gas prices, a whopping 90 percent of us have travel plans this summer.

If you're hitting the road, you already know you're going to be paying a lot more for gas. But be prepared for other surprises like those unexpected bumps on the road!

“When you’re filling up in an unfamiliar places, apps and websites like Gas Guru and Waze can help with real-time prices at nearby gas stations,” Alex Knizek, Consumer Reports Auto Editor said.

And Consumer Reports says you should also think about how you’ll pay for that gas.

“While many gas stations will offer a lower price if you pay with cash, a credit card with cash-back rewards on gas could actually be a better deal, especially if paying more on gas than you typically would a month!” Knizek said.

While you won't be charged to "check-a bag" when road tripping, it is still a good idea to pack light so your car isn’t heavier and therefore less fuel efficient than it needs to be.

“And you can make your car more fuel efficient by reducing aerodynamic drag! You can take off your roof rack or bike rack if you’re not using them," he said. "And don’t hate me, but if you just stick to the speed limit you’ll save fuel!”

Consumer Reports' tests show that cruising at 75 mph instead of 65 mph can cost 6 miles-per-gallon or more and driving the speed limit is also safer.

Speaking of safety, if you have mechanical trouble or a flat tire far from home, you’ll appreciate having roadside assistance and it may save you money!

Paying out of pocket for long-haul towing can run in the hundreds of dollars, while most roadside assistance plans cost around $35 to $120 per year.

Some newer cars come with roadside assistance for a period, and a few credit cards and auto insurance policies include it. Just make sure you're covered before you hit the road.