Real talk: we all want to save money when it comes to our cars. But it can feel impossible with gas and maintenance costs and repairs. We get it. So we compiled our best tips to help you actually SAVE money when you drive. Whether you’re headed out on a road trip or just trying to shave a few dollars off your commuting expenses, there’s plenty you can do to save some cash! Check out these 7 surprisingly painless tips.

Related: See if you can save money with Esurance. Get a free quote.

1. Download an app to track your driving

There are apps that can help you drive more efficiently by tracking your habits. Case in point: DriveSense®, our free mobile app, which draws maps of your driving behavior and patterns, gives you trip tips, and even provides weekly recaps. And the best part? DriveSense can not only help keep you safe on the roads, but it can save you money as well. It’s free for anyone to use. But if you’re an Esurance policyholder, you’ll score an instant discount.

2. Keep a steady pace

We get it: everyone’s in a rush. But accelerating quickly and driving fast causes your car’s fuel consumption to surge. In fact, lead-footed drivers pay as much as $1 more per gallon when filling up.

3. Don’t leave the car on

If you’re waiting in the car, turn off the engine. Idling can waste gas, as well as add toxins to the air. Plus, did you know that idling for longer than 10 seconds uses more fuel than it takes to restart the engine?

4. Check websites to save money on gas

Rather than pulling over at the first gas station you see when the tank is running low, consider using an app or a website like Fuelcaster® to check on prices before deciding where and when to fill up. Fuelcaster can let you know whether it’s cheaper to buy gas today or wait until tomorrow. With a little foresight, filling up your car can cost less.

5. Get regular tune-ups

Staying on top of car maintenance can help your whip run smoother and more efficiently overall. Things like making sure the tires are in good shape and properly inflated, the engine is functioning as it should be, the air filters are clean, and all the car’s crucial fluids like oil and coolant are topped off will help save money in the long run. And to keep even more dough in your pocket, you can even tackle of some of the tasks yourself.

6. Park in the shade

Overheating can cause damage to your car’s engine. Watch the temperature gauge as you drive and try not to leave your car in the sun for long periods of time. Aiming to park in the shade can also help keep your car’s engine in tip-top shape.

7. Consider a hybrid

If you’re in the market for a new car, think about getting a hybrid — or simply a smaller, more fuel-efficient one. Either option can reduce pain at the pump.

Get good coverage

Of course, the best way to avoid huge, unexpected expenses on the road is to ensure you have good insurance. Check in periodically with your insurer to see what kinds of discounts you can receive and find ways to lower the cost of your current plan.

Ready to see if you could save time, paperwork, and dollars? Get a free quote today!

DIY hacks | For your car | Safe and smart

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about Hannah

Hannah Fairbanks is a freelance writer living in San Francisco with her husband and 2 daughters. When she’s not writing, you might find her reading, packing bento box lunches for her kids, and making sure she gets in at least 10,000 Fitbit steps a day.