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At the Pump: 10 Gasoline Cheats Every Car Owner Should Know

As we stood at the pump, we watched poor saps around us wince as they pumped their vehicles full of petrol. Maybe they were grimacing over the recent holiday price hikes, or perhaps they realized their driving habits were the reason they were there for the fourth time that week. Whatever the reason, no one was smiling. Here we were filling up at almost a dollar below the advertised price, and everyone around us was missing out.

There are plenty of ways to cut corners when it comes to buying gas. Most people just don’t how to capitalize upon these angles. It might require a little bit of planning and some shopping on your end, but with enough research, a few well-timed fill-ups, and a splash of proper maintenance etiquette, you might be surprised by how much money you will save.

For those of us willing to do what it takes to save on a fill up, there are a few ways to cheat the pump. Although not everyone has the ability to utilize all of the following tips at once, if you’re able to roll a few of them together, the outcome should be noticeable.

1. Late night fill-ups help you save up

A Shell gas station in Europe from decades past shows a stylish approach to fueling up

A Shell gas station in Europe from decades past shows a stylish approach to fueling up A Shell gas station in Europe from decades past shows a stylish approach to fueling up that most areas of the world will never see again. | Shell via Facebook

It might sound silly, but hitting the pump after midnight or right before dawn is going to save you some cash. What most people don’t know is many gas stations hike up their prices during the day, and once traffic slows to a crawl after midnight they drop prices to attract as many customers as possible.

USA Today covered this a while back, and while we aren’t saying you should set your alarm to fill up at 4:37 a.m. once a week, it is worth doing if you work odd hours or are driving through the night. Plus, gasoline is denser when it’s cold, so topping off your tank when it is cool out is going to give you a hair more product for the same price.

And it’s not just the time of the night, but the day of the week that matters …

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