Rising fuel prices means those heading out on road trips this year are being forced to make adjustments. A recent survey conducted by CAA South Central Ontario has found that rising gas prices are having an impact on road trip plans now that gas is higher than $2 per litre.
Seventy-six per cent of those surveyed say they have a road trip planned within the province this year, while 26 per cent are planning an out-of-province road trip, and 23 per cent are planning to drive to the US.
Of those who are planning a road trip, 64 per cent of these respondents said gas prices are likely to impact their road trip plans. While some are limiting the number of trips they take overall or driving shorter distances, some travelers are planning around gas prices, and others are adjusting their budget to accommodate fuel prices during their trip.
As we transition into summer, there are easy ways to save money on fuel. This includes controlling speed and limiting hard stopping, avoiding unnecessary idling, and being mindful of your vehicle’s temperature.
Savings can also start at the pump, as CAA Members save 3 cents per litre when filling up at select Shell gas stations.
More summer fuel saving tips:
- Don’t start your car until you need to – your vehicle will “loosen up” as you drive.
- Turn off your vehicle if you’re going to be waiting for longer than a stoplight.
- Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard braking.
- Fuel economy peaks between 80-90km/h. Use cruise control to maintain your speed to get more distance out of your fuel tank.
- Gradually cool down your vehicle by first rolling down your windows to air out the vehicle, then turn on your air conditioning gradually. Close your windows and sunroof when highway driving, and use a window shade when the car is parked to help keep the vehicle cooler
- Keep your tires at the manufacturer’s recommended pressure. Set a reminder on your phone to check it monthly.
- Plan your route to avoid backtracking and unnecessary mileage.
Planning is essential to ensure road trip safety. “We recommend you plan routes ahead of time and share them with someone, bring a map as a backup to your GPS, and check the weather ahead of time,” says Kaitlynn Furse, Director of Corporate Communications, CAA South Central Ontario.
“We recommend a daily driving maximum of 800km per day with 15-minute breaks every two hours to ensure you are well rested before you get behind the wheel.”
Be sure to pack your CAA membership or download the CAA app for peace of mind on the road.
As a part of planning a trip, it’s important to ensure your vehicle is safe and reliable. Here are some ways to get your car road trip ready:
- Check your tires. Ensure the tire pressure meets the manufacturer’s recommendations to improve your vehicle’s handling and extend the life cycle of your tires.
- Top up your fluids. Consider packing extra summer washer fluid and change your oil if you are close to your regularly scheduled appointment.
- Clean your windshield. Clean any debris inside and out and replace worn wiper blades.
- Check your lights. Make sure your headlights, brake lights and turn signals are working properly. If you have kids, teach them about road safety by involving them in the process.
- Test the battery. Intense heat can cause just as much havoc on your car battery as the frigid cold. If your battery is older than three years, have a professional test your car battery and replace it. CAA Battery Service will test, boost or replace your battery.
- Pack an emergency roadside kit. Whether you buy a pre-assembled kit or create your own, it should include a few essentials like a flashlight, jumper cables, working jack cellphone battery charger, water and non-perishable food.
- Double check your licence plates are renewed. Doing a quick spot-check online is easy and will help you avoid the risk of getting a ticket. Renewing your licence plate is free.
For CAA Members, when you run out of gas, a limited supply of gasoline will be delivered to your disabled vehicle to enable you to reach the nearest open service station, or in accordance with towing service provisions, a tow will be provided to a facility where fuel is available. Specific brands or octane ratings cannot be promised.
CAA surveyed 1,697 respondents via a CAA Member Matters Panel in South Central Ontario from May 27 to June 5, 2022.