When it comes to gas prices, we’re in uncharted territory.
According to AAA, the average price of gas in the United States reached $4.33 on March 11 – the highest in history. GasBuddy says the weekly rise of 49 cents per gallon in early March was the second highest week-to-week increase on record, second only to the week following the Hurricane Katrina catastrophe in 2005.
Everyone’s feeling the pinch — especially rideshare drivers who depend on their cars to make a living.
How the Ridesharing Industry Is Responding to High Fuel Prices
With gas prices at nearly $6 per gallon in some parts of the country, Uber and Lyft have added temporary fuel surcharges to help their drivers.
On March 16, Lyft announced it would be adding a 55-cent fuel surcharge on each ride that will go directly from riders to drivers. The driver will receive 100% of the surcharge. Lyft said the surcharge would be in effect for at least the next 60 days.
Lyft’s move followed Uber’s announcement that riders will begin paying fuel surcharges of either 45 cents or 55 cents on each Uber trip, or 35 or 45 cents on each UberEats order, depending on their location. All of that money will go directly to drivers. Uber also said it would reassess the surcharge after 60 days.
Uber gave one caveat: The surcharge will not apply to rides beginning in New York City or to UberEats deliveries within the city because of a 5.3% increase to the city’s minimum earning standards that Uber drivers received this month.
Other Ways to Save on Gas
Whether you’re a rideshare driver or not, there’s no better time to get creative on ways to save on gas.
Save at the Pump
Here are just a few of the many ways you can save at the pump:
- Use apps like GasBuddy or Waze to help you find the cheapest gas in your area.
- Skip the premium gas, which isn’t beneficial for most cars.
- Join a fuel rewards program or use a rewards credit card.
Treat Your Car Well
A well-maintained car won’t use as much gas.
- Keep your tires inflated properly. Underinflated tires can lower your gas mileage and cost you about 2 cents per gallon, according to the U.S. Department of Energy.
- Lighten your car by removing anything you don’t use or need, like bicycle racks or sports equipment in the trunk. The heavier the car, the more gas it uses.
- Use the right oil. The U.S. DOE says using the wrong grade of oil can cost you 4 to 7 cents per gallon.
Robert Bruce is a senior writer for The Penny Hoarder.