AAA Alabama debunks gas saving misconceptions

Price shopping helps create more competition in the marketplace, AAA said.
Price shopping helps create more competition in the marketplace, AAA said.(WSFA 12 News)
Published: Jul. 17, 2022 at 5:56 PM CDT
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MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - While the price of crude oil has dropped, the average cost of gasoline in Alabama still hovers at over $4 a gallon.

With many drivers looking to save, AAA is debunking some common gas-saving misconceptions.

You may have heard cutting off your car’s air conditioning and rolling down the windows can help you save on gasoline, but Clay Ingram with AAA Alabama said it only works on occasion.

If you are driving below 35 mph, you may save a few bucks.

“If you’re driving faster than 35 mph, and have the windows down, then the drag that you’re creating, actually does cause your gas mileage to decrease,” Ingram said.

Some people may think buying only a few gallons of fuel at a time will help. The theory is that the extra weight of a full tank of gas slows you down.

“There’s not enough of a difference in that extra little bit of weight to really affect your miles per gallon,” he said.

A longtime misconception is that if you buy gasoline early in the morning before it gets too hot out, you’re getting more gas for your dollar. People think the fuel is more condensed.

“That’s completely untrue,” Ingram said. “Nothing to that at all.”

Others may believe that if everyone bought gas on the same day of the week, it would cause prices to drop.

“That’s not true either,” he said. “We’re basically still buying the same amount of gas, and that’s the most important part of that equation is how much gas we buy.”

There is a way to bring gas prices down – price shopping. It creates more competition in the marketplace.

“It really does work,” Ingram added. “In fact, the more people that we have that engage in that behavior, the more of an impact it has.”

It’s just up to consumers to chip in.

The expert believes the public isn’t doing enough regarding price shopping to bring gas costs down. He said people play an important role in putting pressure on gas companies.

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