How to calculate gas for a trip?


Jumping in the car and just driving sounds like an amazing vacation. Road trips have become extremely popular, especially with the pandemic shutting the doors to much of the world. Of course, many people know well how to plan a road trip, however, many of us still don’t know what to expect, especially when it comes to the cost of gas. Road trips can be really expensive, but they don’t have to be. You just need to find out how much gas you will use and get tips on saving money on gas prices. Calculating the cost of gas is a good way to reduce travel expenses and there are many different methods you can choose from – e.g., by hand or using an online gas calculator. So, how to calculate gas for a trip?

How to calculate fuel costs for your trip

If you want to quickly calculate the cost of gas for a trip, follow the example of these four easy steps:

  1. Check your miles per gallon

You can just fill up the car's gas tank and set the trip odometer to zero. Then, you should drive as normal until it’s time to stop for gas again. When you next refuel your car, read the number of miles you have driven. Another way to calculate the miles per gallon is to check the owner’s car manual to discover the gas tank size. Then, reset the trip odometer and start driving. When you finally get to “E” with a low mile range left, you should divide the total gallons your car holds by the mile you have driven.

  1. Research the trip distance

You do check the distance using your navigation app or other free online map resources. Such tools enable you to estimate the number of miles your journey will be. You just need to enter your starting address and your final destination, and you will be able to see the total miles of your entire road trip. Make sure that the route it is plotting out is likely to be the one you will take.

  1. Check the price of gas

Don’t forget that prices can fluctuate a lot over time and vary by region. If you are looking for a tool that will help you find the best gas prices, you may consider using the free GasBuddy application. Users update the app in real-time, so the gas prices are accurate in most cases.

  1. Calculate gas for your trip

First, you need to divide the distance of the route by your miles per gallon figure. This process will help you verify how many gallons of gas you need. Once you have the number of gallons, multiply it by the price of gas.

Gas mileage calculator

If you don’t want to calculate fuel cost manually, you can use a simple gas cost calculator. There are several such tools on the net – they give a user the cost of a trip and even directions and information for savings on gas. A very popular option – GasBuddy allows you to enter starting location, destination, and stop-offs, and choose whether you want to calculate a one-way or round-trip. You can also select some details related to your car. As a result, you will be provided with the trip cost, distance, and projected gallons of fuel used. The app is currently the leader in gas trip estimation for most vehicles in everyday use.

Can you save anything on gas?

There are many ways to reduce the gas costs for your vehicle on your road trip. Below, we’ve gathered the most popular ones:

  • Avoid driving during peak hours. Rush hour traffic is usually a major drain on fuel efficiency. Try to choose less congested routes to use less fuel whenever possible.
  • Keep your car fit. Don’t neglect regular maintenance, otherwise, your car may not run efficiently. If you keep up with oil changes, filter replacements, tire rotations, etc., you will maximize fuel efficiency while driving long distances.
  • Try to drive at a steady speed. This will help you maintain optimal fuel efficiency. Quick acceleration or braking reduces overall fuel economy significantly. This is especially important when you drive long distances. If you want to make sure you maintain an even speed, you can use cruise control. While using cruise control, make sure not to exceed posted speed limits. This may result in fines and other penalties.
  • Use cheaper stations while filling up. There are many stations offering discounts and loyalty programs – it’s a great opportunity to save some money.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated to reduce your vehicle’s fuel consumption during a road trip. Did you know that underinflated tires can increase fuel usage by up to 3%? Make sure you check your tires before you start your journey.
  • Plan ahead. Last but not least – plan your route – this can help you avoid traffic and reduce the amount of fuel you use.

Why plan your road trip ahead?

As the last point, let’s introduce some benefits of planning ahead when calculating the cost of gasoline for your trip. Simply speaking, planning is extremely helpful if you want to save time, and money, and avoid stress during your trip. While planning, you can carefully compare gas prices at different stations and at the same time, use more than one fuel cost calculator. You will also save time as you will not have to make many stops along your route for refueling. Finally, having an accurate estimate may eliminate any worries about your vehicle running out of gas during the trip.


May 16, 2023


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