Considering a Used SUV? How to Significantly Reduce Fuel Costs

By: Christine Harrell

If you're contemplating buying a used SUV but are concerned about gas mileage, consider this; with proper care and maintenance you can reduce the amount you spend on gas significantly while still enjoying the benefits of an SUV. With their roomy interiors, extra seating, and advanced entertainment options, SUV's fit the lifestyle of American families. If you ask most SUV owners, the pleasure and convenience of owning an SUV is well worth a few extra dollars at the gas tank. However, by following a few simple tips, you can achieve fuel efficiency that rivals that of many car and minivan owners.

Choose an SUV wisely:The single most important measure you can take toward lowering the price you'll pay for gas is to do your research ahead of time. Buying a preowned SUV is not only more economical in terms of sticker price, but buying used also gives you the opportunity to really dig in to research and consumer reviews about how a particular model performs in terms of gas mileage.

Not all SUV's are created equal in terms of gas mileage. The used Lexus SUV has consistently ranked top among SUV's for best gas mileage. But Lexus didn't stop there. In 2005, Lexus released the gas and electric hybrid SUV and pre-sold 9,000 of the vehicles before it was even released. Soon, these preowned Lexus SUV's will become available for second owners who can enjoy low vehicle cost and low gas prices.

Keep tires at the right pressure:For such a simple task, keeping the tires on your used SUV inflated properly has an incredible impact on gas mileage. Tires with low air pressure can reduce the fuel efficiency of your SUV by 6%, or $0.18 per gallon at $3 per gallon. When the tires of a used SUV are low, the engine has to exert more pressure to move the weight of the vehicle.

For a buck or two you can purchase a tire gauge that will turn your used SUV into a savings piggy bank. Get in the habit of checking the tires at least once per month before you leave your driveway while the tires are still cold and you'll be amazed at how much you'll be saving compared to other SUV owners.

Set the cruise control:Driving fast and carefree is fun, but if you don't feel it's worth an extra $0.25 per gallon, keeping speed under control can save you a great deal of cash. At speeds above 55 miles per hour, fuel efficiency drops drastically according to published statistics from the Environmental Protection Agency.

While most speed limits in the US are set at 65 miles per hour, many drivers push the limits to 80 or 85 miles per hour which is not only hazardous, but a gas mileage killer. Get in the habit of setting your cruise control, then sit back, relax, and enjoy your used SUV and the fact that you're saving money.

Remain conscious of your driving habits"Fast acceleration can increase the gas consumption of your preowned SUV by up to 40% - that's $1.20 per gallon with today's $3 gas prices! Nearly half of the energy to fuel your used SUV is used during acceleration and aggressive starts drive this percentage up even further.

What's more, all of those impatient drivers who feel the need to put the pedal to the metal reach their destination only about 4% faster than patient drivers who arrive with more gas in the tank and more money their pocket. Today's SUV's are built to be enjoyed with surround sound televisions, televisions for the kids, and navigational systems. Instead of being in a rush to get to your destination, enjoy the creature comforts of your used SUV and keep your $1.20 per gallon in your pocket.

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