AAA answers questions about gas prices, offers money-saving tips
By AAA of Western and Central New York
Nearly 49 million Americans are driving to their Thanksgiving destinations this week between Wednesday and Sunday, a slight increase from 2021. Despite higher gas prices, travelers are hitting the road in a big way this holiday, for what is expected to be the third-busiest Thanksgiving since 2000.
The national average for a gallon of regular gasoline this morning is $3.64, down 12 cents from the previous week. In New York, the average is $3.84, down 6 cents over the same period.
The current national average of $3.64 represents the highest recorded price motorists have paid for Thanksgiving travel, 23 cents higher than last year. But when it comes to vacations and holiday getaways, Americans will travel regardless and make cutbacks in other areas.
How Can I Stretch My Fuel Dollars?
√ Tires & Maintenance – Keep your vehicle in top shape with routine inspections, and make sure your tires are properly inflated.
√ Plan Ahead – Map your route to minimize unnecessary turnarounds and backtracking. Avoid peak traffic times. Combine errands and go to "one-stop shops” where you can do multiple tasks.
√ Watch Your Speed – Fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speeds increase. Reducing highway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
√ Avoid Excessive Idling – 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 safe to do so, shut off your engine if you will be stopped for more than a minute.
√ Use "Fast Pass" or “Express” Toll Lanes – Avoiding unnecessary stops or slowdowns on the highway helps save fuel.
√ Anticipate Road Conditions – Watch the traffic ahead and "time" stoplights to maintain momentum and avoid unnecessary stop-and-go.
√ Regular vs. Premium – If regular gas is recommended for your vehicle, choosing premium when your car doesn’t require it will only cost you money and doesn’t improve fuel economy.
As a AAA member, you can receive discounts at the pump when you fill up at Shell stations. It’s easy and free! Simply register for Fuel Rewards at Shell to save 30¢ per gallon on your first fill-up when you join the program by Dec. 31, 2023, and make your first transaction within 30 days. After that, enjoy Gold Status every day with no minimum fill-up requirements, and save 5¢ per gallon – up to 20 gallons – at participating Shell stations.
As upstate New York’s largest member services organization, AAA Western and Central New York provides more than 887,000 members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive-related services. Since its founding in 1900, AAA has been a leading advocate for the safety and security of all travelers. Visit AAA at www.AAA.com.