While not everyone can afford a new car, ditching an old clunker for a more modern, fuel-efficient vehicle is one of the most significant ways to save money on gas. Fuel savings only increase if you choose a hybrid or electric vehicle. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) estimates that trading in a car that gets 20 miles (32.2 kilometers) per gallon for one that gets 30 miles (48.3 kilometers) per gallon can save you $945 per year in fuel, and that's with gas prices at $3.78 per gallon. Over a few years, you might be able to make up the difference in price between your old car and your new one. With prices on the rise, a fuel-efficient vehicle will save even more cash over time.
Depending on your car's current mileage and what car you're considering, you may also be able to save enough in fuel costs to justify the higher car payments. To see what you'd save by switching to a more fuel-efficient vehicle, check out the DOE's handy fuel costs calculator.
So, what's the No. 1 way to save on fuel? Check out some tips for ways to get around without cranking that engine.