Simple tips that can save you on gas this summer

Summer getaways have many Americans on the road this year. But there are ways to fill up the tank without breaking the bank. NBC’s Kelli Grant offers a few simple tips.

“Being a smart driver can help. No aggressive stop and starts and sticking to the speed limit,” said Grant. But you can see an even bigger impact by being a smart consumer.

Grant suggests mapping out your trips. Apps like GasBuddy and AAA Triptik help you find the cheapest gas prices along your planned route.

“In a given city, there can be a price gap of as much as .50 cents a gallon between the highest and the best price,"said Grant. “You may not have to go more than a block or two out of your way.”

There’s also which can tell you if you’re better off filling up today or tomorrow, based on where prices are heading. Grant suggests loading your wallet. Some stations offer better prices depending on how you pay. You could save five or ten cents a gallon by paying with cash. Walmart offers ten to fifteen cents off per gallon with a store gift card or credit card.

To save even more cash take your road trip in June. Patrick Dehann, with said he expects process will hit their low point in mid to late June. Prices tend to go up in July and August once hurricane season is underway.

“Extreme heat and long drives can be tough on cars,” said Grant.

Cracked hoses, leaky radiators, underinflated tires and dirty filters can significantly lower your fuel efficiency.

Grant also suggests you get your vehicle checked out before you start your vacation.