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Gas Price Rises - Time to Drive Smart


With crude oil prices climbing to $80 a barrel recently, it�s time to dust off those fuel-miser ideas you were using back when gasoline was going for $4 a gallon.

Gasoline prices are marching northward again, in lockstep with the price of crude oil, which has gone from just over $30 a barrel last winter to $80 a barrel recently. It’s time to dust off those fuel-miser ideas you were using back when gasoline was going for $4 a gallon. According to consumer gurus, there are some simple ways to save on gas that every driver should know, no matter what the price of a gallon is.

One of the easiest ways to save is to shop around. You can do that without even getting in your car by going to Web sites like Gasbuddy.com, where you’ll find the cheapest gas on the routes you regularly travel. Another way to save is to find a gas station that charges less if you pay with cash. Charging credit card customers more for gas was common when credit cards first came on the scene; now it’s back and the price can be as much as a nickel or more higher if you use plastic. You can also check out your local warehouse club. Many Costco, Sam’s Club, and BJ’s outlets sell gas at discounted prices. You may have to join to get the low prices but your savings on gas will help offset the membership fee.

The most expensive way to cut down on fuel consumption is get a fuel-efficient car. Although hybrids are pricey, some still qualify for a hefty tax credit. The more popular the vehicle, the faster the credit phases out, so it’s no longer available on cars like the Toyota Prius, but a Cadillac Escalade, a Chevy Tahoe, or a GMC Sierra will still fetch you a $2,200 tax break.

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Victor J. Dzau, MD, gives expert advice
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