ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Gas prices in New York are nearly double what they were a year ago, with no signs of coming down anytime soon. According to AAA, New Yorkers are paying an average of $5.09 per gallon of gas compared to the national average of $4.97.

In an effort to save money, drivers can carpool, switch to mass transit or purchase a new fuel-efficient vehicle. However, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection (DCP) realizes that many consumers lack carpooling options, cannot utilize mass transit, or afford to purchase a new car.

DCP has recommended some ways to help New Yorkers save money every time they fill up. DCP said these suggestions along with the ‘Gas Tax Suspension‘ can add up to real savings at the pump.

Cents at the Pump

  • Wait until your gas gauge reads ¼ tank before filling up in warmer weather. Your car can get better gas mileage with a lighter load, keeping the tank full can waste money.
  • Choose the lowest octane recommended for your car.
  • Compare prices advertised on the gas station sign and on the pump to make sure they are the same.
  • Double-check that the price per gallon remains the same throughout the entire time you are pumping.
  • Make sure the gas pump reads $0 before you begin fueling and stops running when you finish pumping.
  • Know the size of your gas tank to ensure you are getting what you are paying for at the pump.
  • Ask your gas station if they have different prices for payment in cash or credit.
  • Use a gas price tracking app to compare prices at local gas stations in your area.
  • Avoid filling up right before a holiday or weekend when gas prices tend to be higher.
  • Watch for scams. Approach alleged fuel-saving programs, devices, or chemicals with skepticism. Remember that if it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

On the Road

  • Cut back on needless driving. Make lists of errands and try to keep them all in similar locations.
  • Maintain your car in good condition. You will get better gas mileage if you have the oil changed and tire pressure checked regularly, or a tune-up from a certified mechanic.
  • Clean out your car with only what is necessary. Extra weight in your car lowers your gas mileage. Consider removing roof racks and towing devices when not in use.
  • Change your driving habits. You will get better gas mileage if you do not accelerate fast or overuse your brakes, commonly referred to as “riding your brakes.” To save gas, stay at or under the speed limit while driving. Consider using cruise control when practicable, and do not idle your car in a parking lot or driveway.
  • Use maps, internet directions, or a GPS system to ensure you are taking the most efficient route when traveling.