Get Hyped for Hypermiling

Get Hyped for Hypermiling
Get stoked to learn about how to save on gas!

In case you haven’t noticed, gas prices have SOARED this last month. Even at Costco, it’s over $5 a gallon! Unfortunately, we can’t escape these gas hikes. As a part-time home health PT, I physically can’t work without my car. So what do we do during these crazy times? Hypermiling, of course!

When I drive, sometimes I will watch how many MPG I’m getting during my drive to make sure I’m being fuel efficient. It’s a fun game I like to play that also saves me money. This reminded me of a great article I read a while back from Mr. Money Mustache about the power of hypermiling.

What is Hypermiling?

Driving is way more fun when you’re being fuel efficient! Photo from

Hypermiling is the way you decrease fuel usage for your car while you drive. There are some tactics you can use, other than riding your bicycle or switching to an EV, to maximize your fuel efficiency. Mr. Money Mustache‘s no-nonsense style of writing what a great intro to hypermiling, but here is my summary of his article in a “do and don’t” list version for you:

DO Keep Your MPH Under 65

Anything over 65 MPH and you’re just wasting gas, which leads to you wasting money. Somewhere between 25 and 65 MPH is where your car will drive most fuel efficiently. If you’re doing a super long road trip, it’s not really worth the money you would save to stay below 65 mph if it adds extra time on the road.

When we drive to Mammoth from Southern California, once I hit 395, I crank it up to 75 mph. Because I just want to get to the mountain! But if I’m just driving across town, and I have given myself plenty of time to get to my destination, you’ll find me on the right hand side cruising no higher than 65 mph. Sorry, LA drivers, but this Hawaii girl still drives like she’s back on the island, and saving gas and money while I’m at it.

DON’T Use Your Brake Too Often

Please don’t take this as my way of encouraging speeding. Because that is the opposite of what I’m trying to say. What I’m encouraging is the coasting. According to Mr. Money Mustache:

When you’re accelerating away from a light, you’re getting about 9MPG and burning fuel at $15 per hour. When you’re coasting, you are getting 60-100 MPG. If you are accelerating half the time, and manage to coast the other half, you’ll still average under 18MPG in this situation. So you need to coast more than half the time.”

This is something I try to do when I know I have a bunch of lights coming my way. If it’s been green for a while, I’ll coast to the best of my ability before putting my brake on. Coasting is a great way to practice hypermiling. This is because the chances of the light turning red is pretty high at this point. By pre-planning when I’ll need to stop, I will purposely coast to a stop. By not pushing on the accelerator, you’re not using gas. Which means you’re saving money!

DO Drive With a Warm Engine

This is important if you live somewhere that can get really cold during the winter months. Running your car on a cold engine, as in right when you turn it on first thing in the morning, is not fuel efficient.

So first thing in the morning, don’t start driving until the temperature gauge gets to the optimal level. Then, if you’re out and about running errands, consolidate them as much as possible to keep the engine warm. Don’t just run one errand, go home for a few hours, and then go do another errand, if you can help it. If you get it all done in one fell swoop, then you can be much more gas AND time efficient while doing this hypermiling hack.

DON’T Run Your Engine When Idle

I’ve met some home health allied health professionals that will park and sit in their car and do their notes and prepare for their session… while the car is still running! This is a HUGE waste of gas, because you’re not even moving.

Mr. Money Mustache points out in his after that “…you are wasting $0.60 to $1.80 in fuel per hour of idling, and you save fuel by shutting off the engine for any event longer than ten seconds.1 And this article was written in 2011, so imagine how much you’re actually wasting right now in March 2022!

So if you have to wait longer than 10 seconds, just shut your engine off. This is true especially if you’re waiting for your spouse who ran into the store, or waiting to pick up your kid from soccer practice. If you eat fast food, don’t sit in a drive through lane! Just park the car and go inside to grab your food. And if you are at a traffic light that you know will take forever to turn green, you should probably turn off your engine for that as well.

DO Empty Out Your Car

Are you hauling random stuff around town in your car that could easily be kept in your home, but are too lazy to bring it into the house? The heavier your car, the harder it has to work to get your to your destination. This means you should clean out your car of anything you don’t need on a day to day basis if you wan’t to be the most fuel efficient. Also, if your only using your car for local trips, feel free to take out that heavy spare tire. With cell phones and AAA, why are we still lugging around this extra weight?

Aerodynamics play a roll too, albeit a small one. If you have roof racks, only drive with them if you’re actually using them. According to Mr. Money Mustache, “…a typical rack wastes over $100 per year of fuel.”1 This was a shock for me to read, as I always drive with my roof racks but only use it a handful of times a year.

DON’T Buy A Big Ass Car… Without Doing Your Research

I know I’m gonna get some heat for this, but hear me out. Some people, like my brother who is a carpenter, needs a pickup for work. So you may not be able to avoid this. But do your research! The Ram 1500 Big Horn V8, a pickup, gets 17 mpg overall… but another pick, like the Hyundai Santa Cruz SEL Premium, gets 24 mpg overall!2 That is a HUGE difference compared to the reformer, and they both at serve the same purpose of providing you with a pickup truck.

Also, if possible, don’t use a car at all. My husband and I are also fortunate enough to live only 4 miles from his work, so he can ride his bike to the clinic. We planned this strategically so that we can save on gas, and it has really helped us since we moved. Try to run as many errands as you can without using a car. Walking, biking, even riding public transportation can be helpful!

In conclusion, gas prices right now suck. And it doesn’t look like it’s going to get better anytime soon. The little things you can do every day can help to save you money in the long run. And saving money is always fun 😉

If you’d like to find other ways to save money, check out these other blog posts:

Note: I am not a certified financial advisor/planner or a certified financial analyst or a CPA or an accountant or a lawyer. Remember, I am an allied health professional, just like you!This website/blog is for entertainment and educational purposes only. Please consult with your financial advisor(s) regarding your personal finance, investment, and tax matters. 


  1. Hypermiling: Expert driving to save 25% on gas by Mr. Money Mustache
  2. Cars, SUVs, and Trucks With the Best Fuel Economy by Consumer Reports

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