As car shoppers navigate record-high vehicle prices, the rising costs of car ownership are extending even beyond the dealer lot to fuel prices, which are climbing fast: According to AAA, the national average for the price of regular gas is $3.61 per gallon compared to $2.72 from the same time in 2021 — an increase of 33%. The average price for premium fuel is $4.22 per gallon and $4.01 per gallon for diesel (up 28% and 37% from the year previous, respectively).
Related: How to Save Gas While Driving
If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, putting the most fuel-efficient models at the top of your shopping list can reduce some of the burden at the pump. Meanwhile, choosing an affordable electric vehicle can eliminate fuel from the equation entirely (though a higher average sticker price still comes as the trade-off).
A new vehicle isn’t your only option to save money, however. Take the steps below to optimize your driving habits and fuel usage, which will add up to less costly fill-ups.