How to Save Money on Gas With or Without the Federal Gas Tax Holiday

The recent uptick in gasoline prices is now felt almost across the board.

According to AAA, the national average for a gallon of gas is currently $4.94, after topping $5 per gallon for the first time earlier this month. The price at this time last year was $3.07 a gallon.

According to a recent report by Dailypay, which surveyed more than 2,000 adults in May, the increase has put serious pressure on most workers’ ability to cover their expenses and save for the future.

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The report finds that hourly workers are having an even harder time. Roughly 81% said higher gas prices had a negative impact on their ability to pay for basic needs.

As a result, 44% of households earning less than $100,000 a year said they were saving less or not at all compared to the previous year.

To meet their needs, 22% of hourly workers said they had to take out a payday loan, one of the most expensive ways to borrow.

To provide some immediate relief from prices at the pump, President Joe Biden asked Congress to temporarily suspend the federal gas tax for three months. The federal tax is 18.4 cents per gallon for regular gasoline and 24.4 cents per gallon for diesel.

“Will it help? Yes, but having said that, I don’t think there’s much chance of success,” said Patrick De Haan, head of petroleum analysis at GasBuddy. “There’s a lot of politics intertwined here.”

Furthermore, if a gas tax holiday coincides with a rise in wholesale fuel prices, consumers will not see much of an impact at the pump because the tax move will be offset by higher costs, De Haan said.

On the upside, prices have already begun to fall due to the fall in oil prices, which is the major component in gasoline.

“We have already seen a drop in prices, which is good news,” De Haan said. By the 4th of July weekend, “I hope we’re somewhere 5 to 15 cents less.”

4 ways to save gas

There are ways to shield yourself somewhat from prices at the pump, with or without the federal gas tax holiday. Consumer savings expert Andrea Voroch has these four tips:

  1. Track gas prices. Apps like GasBuddy, Gas Guru and AAA TripTik can track the cheapest price per gallon at nearby gas stations. Depending on where you fill, you can save up to 30 cents per gallon. Even though the difference may not seem like much, it can add up to hundreds of dollars a year.
  2. Pay with cash. The price per gallon for credit card transactions can be as high as 10 cents to 15 cents per gallon. Pay with cash instead of getting a lower price or use a cash-back credit card to earn up to 2% on those charges. CNBC’s Select has a full roundup of the best cards to fuel up on based on your consumer habits.
  3. Drive strategically. Carpooling for work and school or sports practice can dramatically reduce your time on the road. You can also find ride shares using sites like ZimRide, RideJoy or, Woroch advised. Plus, order online and look for free delivery to cut the cost of groceries, takeout and other daily essentials.
  4. Sign up for loyalty programs. In addition, loyalty programs, which many major gas station chains have, can help offset the price at the pump. Some grocery store chains may also offer cents-per-gallon rewards. For example, Kroger and Shop & Stop give out Fuel Points for every $1 spent on groceries, which can be redeemed at participating gas stations.

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