Save On Gas During Your Holiday Travels
I found a post by Trent at The Simple Dollar to be very enlightening. As part of his Pennies or Dollars series Trent analyzed whether driving the speed limit could save money. According to Trent, it does.
I have slowly been expanding my lifestyle to include a weekly latte and a bi-monthly haircut. My frugal focus is transferring from a “cents” concentration to “voluntary simplicity.” I still do some silly things like cut rubber bands off of broccoli to wrap around soap dispensers, wash my hair with baking soda, etc. However, I don’t experience guilt over using my dryer or purchasing a magazine on occasion.
Being a number cruncher at heart I had to find this out for myself.
According to Trent, cars get 1.5% less gas mileage for every mile over 55 miles per hour. My car is a 2005 Hyundai Sonata V6 and is quoted at 25 miles per gallon highway. I drive 26 highway miles each way on my daily commute. Gas in Iowa cost me $3.16 per gallon this morning. I usually drive 72 mph on the highway.
So technically, when I drive my car at 65 mph I am only getting about 21.25 mpg. When I drive 72 mph I am only getting 18.625 mpg
- 72 (regular speed) – 55 (quoted speed) = 17 miles
- 17 miles x 1.5 (percent deduction for each mile over 55) = 25.5%
- 1- 25.5 = .745
- 25 (quoted mpg) x .745 = 18.625 mpg
How much money do I save my decreasing my mileage to 65 mph?
- 26 x 2 = 52 miles round trip
- 52 / 18.625 = 2.79 gallons of gas at 72 mph
- 52 / 21.25 = 2.45 gallons of gas at 65 mph
- 2.79 x $3.16 (cost per gallon) = $8.82 traveling 52 miles at 72 mph
- 2.45 x $3.16 = $7.74 traveling 52 miles at 65 mph
- $8.82 – $7.74 = $1.08 saved daily
According to my calculations, I save $5.40 over the course of a week- enough to break even on my Friday morning latte. Over the course of a year (182 day contract) I save $196.56- a considerable savings.
I think driving a little slower is worth a free latte! And I don’t mind being in my car with a good audiobook.
Is it worth the extra time? It takes me 4.67 minutes longer to get to work when I drive 65 mph vs. 72 mph. Because I save $1.08 during that time, it makes my hourly wage $13.88.