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Best Websites to Help You Save Money on Gas

Jun 19, 2008
With gas prices going up, people everywhere are concerned about their fuel consumption. The internet has responded with a slew of web sites offering all sorts of services to help. You can track how much fuel you use, find the cheapest gas and even share your records on fuel consumption to see how you stack up against other drivers.

FuelFrog, www.fuelfrog.com

FuelFrog lets you create a free account, input how much you paid for your last tank of gas and how many miles you traveled. Over time, you can gain insight into how gas prices change in your city and how your car's gas mileage changes. What's more, FuelFrog is integrated with Twitter. You can use Twitter to tell FuelFrog about your fuel usage and check the FuelFrog feed to see what's going on in the world of gas.

Drive Smarter Challenge, drivesmarterchallenge.org

The Alliance To Save Energy has created a slick little Flash show that helps you calculate exactly how much money you can save when you adopt various energy-saving strategies. You enter your car's make, model and year and the site will tell you in dollars and cents how much you can expect to see in actual savings when you adopt such fuel-efficient strategies as not speeding or reducing the junk in your trunk.

We were amazed to see in real dollars what a difference it makes to drive various models of car or truck. For example, using the parameters for gas prices built into the web site and comparing two different wagons, we found that a motorist driving a fuel-efficient 2008 Volkswagen Passat can expect to save around $450 a year. A driver with a pricier 2008 Mercedes-Benz E63 -not exactly famed for fuel efficiency--can save $750 a year.

GasBuddy http://www.gasbuddy.com/

It happens to all of us--we top off our tank only to drive away and find that just a few block further down there's a station selling the same gas for 20% less. GasBuddy says it can save you from that tragic situation by showing you the lowest prices for gas in your city. We checked it out, and did indeed find we could save a whopping 20 cents a gallon by going just a couple of blocks out of our way on the drive home. With gas prices changing daily, that's a big incentive for checking this web site before you fill up.

Federal Trade Commission, http://www.ftc.gov/ftc/oilgas/

If you just want to drown your sorrows in an overdose of information, check out this consumer-friendly section of the Federal Trade Commission's web site which includes:

A Gasoline Column -The gasoline column is planned to be a series of reports aimed at answering motorist's questions about the rapid increases in the price of gasoline. The site claims information is drawn from public sources, filtered through the FTC's experience and knowledge base to help consumers make informed choices in the marketplace.

Consumer Information - This section of the web site has links to a range of consumer publications about ways to improve fuel efficiency, become knowledgeable about octane ratings, and help boost gas mileage. It also cautions consumers about "gas-saving" gadgets that may cost more money than they wind up saving.

One interesting feature of the FTC web site is an animated car that allows users to click on any of six parts to get detailed information about how each can help them save gas.

Clicking on the car's steering wheel, for example, brings up tips such as, "Stay within the posted speed limits. Gas mileage decreases rapidly at speeds above 60 miles per hour," and "Use overdrive gears and cruise control when appropriate. They improve fuel economy when you're driving on the highway." The idea is to give consumers some hands-on tips to help them gain control over the amount of gas they are using.

Updated Reports and Releases - The site has links to Commission reports on the oil and gas industry, as well as links to every press release on FTC enforcement actions related to petroleum. There are also links to recent congressional testimony on the oil industry and gas prices.
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