New fuel labels on 2013 cars will help consumers save


This is a guest post by Ross Insurance Agency, one of the insurance agency members of Renaissance Alliance.
The introduction of new cars every spring and summer is an annual rite of passage.Potential buyers eagerly watch for new models, makes, technologies, and innovations – as well as for the new price tag. Increasingly, one of the important features that consumers look for is good fuel economy and “green” technologies that help to minimize the vehicle’s impact on the environment. This year, consumers will have a helpful new tool to help with these concerns when buying a new car.
Beginning with 2013 models, all new vehicles will feature a revamped fuel economy and environmental impact label. The new labels were developed by the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency. They represent a major change designed to give consumers actionable information, more comparison tools, and better benchmarks for potential savings.
new-fuel-economy-label.JPG
The big number in the label’s upper left is combined mileage, while city and highway mileage is included in smaller type. There is also information about the mileage range for all cars of that class so if you are buying a mid-size car,you can see the range of options and how this specific car stacks up. Another useful feature on the upper right of the label is an estimate of the additional money you will save or spend on fuel over a five year period. The label also includes an estimated annual fuel cost,and rates the vehicle for environmental impact. Finally, the label also includes a QR Code which will launch much more detailed information and additional tools if you have downloaded a scanner app on your smartphone.
There are also new labels for hybrids and electric vehicles that offer additional information specific to those vehicles, such as driving ranges. And for skeptics who think that these alternative fuel vehicles are a passing fad, a quick glance at a sample label for the electric vehicles is pretty eye-opening: An annual fuel cost of $600? Wow.
If you buy a new car this year, make sure you get the best coverage for your auto insurance in Massachusetts – look for a Renaissance Alliance Agency!

Tips to save money on the high cost of gas


Gas prices are going crazy and many predict that things could get considerably worse over the summer months before they get better. Some industry experts are predicting that prices could rise as high as $6 a gallon – ouch! Here are some tips to help you save money.
Shop around for prices
Online tools like GasBuddy.com or GasPriceWatch monitor prices and allow you to get the best deal in your geographic area.
Track usage over time to improve performance
Fuelly is a free site that lets you track, share, and compare your gas mileage.To date, 48,208 Fuelly users have tracked 1,274,693 fuel-ups in 65,192 vehicles over 359,298,581 miles of driving. Tracking your usage over time can help you monitor changes to your driving habits. Plus, the site has many user submitted tips for fuel economy. Site users vote on how effective they found the tips.
Rideshare; consider starting a carpoolclub
Carpool with friends, relatives or colleagues. Consider starting a carpool with work friends. Or check e-Ride Share and Carpool Connect to find others in your area who might want to carpool.
Change driving habits to improve fuel economy
Consumer Reports offers tips for how to get the best gas mileage. Click to read the details, but here’s an overview of the pointers.

  • Drive at a moderate speed
  • Drive smoothly
  • Reduce unnecessary drag
  • Don’t use premium fuel if you don’t have to
  • Minimize driving with a cold engine
  • Keep tires properly inflated
  • Buy tires with lower rolling resistance
  • Avoid idling for long periods

Go green and healthy with pedal power
Why not ride your bike to work? It’s a pretty economical way to travel, and you’ll improve your health too.
More tools
FuelEconomy.gov – this site provides gas saving tips, vehicle fuel ratings, comparative tools, and more.
How to Get Better Fuel Economy – advice for improving economy on an existing vehicle as well as for how to buy a fuel-efficient vehicle.
Edmunds – Fuel Economy and Green Cars – a variety of articles and tools. Don’t miss their road test of 4 fuel-efficiency iPhone apps.