Drivers prepare for higher gas prices

March 10, 2015 08:24 AM

Drivers are almost always looking for ways to save on something as expensive as a car. Whether they're looking for the cheapest gas prices or cashing in on incentives when buying a vehicle, motorists pay attention to the bottom line - and try to make that figure as small as possible. Much of this can be tied to limiting the amount drivers spend on fuel. Unfortunately, gas prices are mostly out of their hands, leaving motorists to find other ways of saving. 

Fuel costs set to increase
According to the latest report from AAA, gas prices are expected to grow throughout the month of March. These expenses have increased for more than 35 consecutive days following months of decline, and the national average has reached $2.43 per gallon. Although that represents a jump of about 13 cents from the previous week, it's still considerably lower than it was at this time last year. 

"Paying $2 for gas will seem like a distant memory for most drivers in the coming weeks," said Avery Ash, an AAA spokesman. "Gasoline remains much cheaper than in recent years, but drivers may not appreciate that fact given the steep increase in price over the past month." 

The uptick in prices in early spring is to be expected. This is the time of year when most refineries conduct maintenance, which slows production, according to AAA. Crude oil costs are also higher during these weeks. All of these factors come together to contribute to the price increase. 

Keep total expenses low
Just because gas prices are going up doesn't mean motorists have to resign themselves to paying more. In fact, those who go the extra mile and invest in vehicle maintenance could reap the benefits of enhanced fuel efficiency. When cars are not given the right attention, many aspects under the hood may not operate as efficiently as they should, which in turn increases the gas needed. 

Drivers who want to save should make sure they are sticking to the recommended scheduled maintenance. Basic upkeep will have car systems running smoothly, reducing the amount of gas that's used. As prices creep higher, this is one of the best ways of limiting costs, but motorists have to be willing to invest in their vehicle's performance. While a fuel injection cleaning or similar task may cost money, the long-term savings make it a worthwhile investment. 

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