Getting the most out of your mileage is about more than published fuel economy ratings. The way you drive can dramatically affect how many kilometres you can drive on a tank of gas. And with rising gas prices, many people are turning to a technique known as “hypermiling” or “ecomodding” to save money and reduce carbon footprint.

Hardcore devotees like Wayne Gerdes, who is credited with inventing the term “hypermiling” back in the early 2000s, have gone to extremes to double or even triple their vehicle’s posted fuel economy (like eschewing left turns to avoid idling during the wait for oncoming traffic to pass). About a decade ago, Lorraine Sommerfeld and a couple of friends managed to drive from Halifax to Vancouver using 4.5 tanks of gas.

And while many people associate hypermiling with hybrid or EV vehicles, any vehicle’s fuel economy can benefit from conscious efforts to boost efficiency – saving the environment and cash at the pumps.

It starts with regular maintenance. Keeping tires properly inflated, replacing air filters as recommended, and getting regular tune-ups can all help keep your vehicle running smoothly and improve efficiency.

Removing excess weight from your vehicle can also make a difference. Extra weight in your trunk or backseat can reduce your mileage, so remove unnecessary items from your vehicle to lighten the load.

Behind the wheel, hypermiling techniques come down to the simple act of driving smoothly. Of course, efficiency should be secondary to safety, but many core gas-saving techniques achieve both: Tailgating is a massive efficiency destroyer, so experts advise leaving a gap of seven to 10 seconds to the car in front. Keeping well behind the bumper in front of you helps you to look further ahead, anticipate traffic flows and maintain momentum. Avoiding sudden stops and starts, rapid acceleration, and speeding, also contribute to saving fuel.

If you’re ready to start today, five quick hypermiling tips are:

  • Drive at or under the posted limit
  • Maintain a steady speed
  • Accelerate gradually
  • Brake slowly (or better yet, coast to a stop)
  • Plan your route to avoid traffic

From regular maintenance to driving techniques, small changes can make a big difference. With rising gas prices and growing environmental concerns, hypermiling is a smart choice for both your wallet and the planet. So, give it a try and see how much you can save.