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BCAA Gas Price Index: B.C. drivers more tolerant of higher gas prices than rest of Canada but make changes to save money

Aggressive driving guzzles the most gas

May 18, 2017



Burnaby, B.C., May 18, 2017 - The BCAA Gas Price Index released today shows that B.C. drivers love driving and have a greater tolerance for high gas prices compared to the rest of Canada. However, they’ll make changes to their driving style and lifestyle to save money.

To help, BCAA offers driving tips to save gas, targeting aggressive driving as a big culprit for gas guzzling.

According to the Index:

  • B.C. motorists will spend less on other things before they choose to drive less frequently:
  • 18% delay paying for everyday essentials.
  • 28% spend less on leisure activities.
  • British Columbians will change the type of car they drive (8%) and are more likely to change their main mode of transportation to cycling or transit (19%) compared to the rest of Canada (16%). 

“Although we have a higher tolerance for high prices, we don’t do ourselves any favours with aggressive driving that not only guzzles gas and is hard on our cars but makes our roads unsafe,” says Stu Miller, BCAA’s Senior Manager of Automotive Operations.   

With Victoria Day long weekend approaching, gas prices are expected to rise across the province. BCAA offers tips to help B.C. drivers avoid making ‘guzzler moves’— both on and off the road:

Pedal-punching starts

Research shows that rapid acceleration from standstill and hard braking only saves one minute for every half hour of driving but causes a 37 per cent jump in fuel consumption. 

Miller recommends taking a more gradual start and trying to anticipate and prepare earlier to allow a gentler slow down. Gradual braking also minimizes brake wear and tear which can save you from costly, more frequent replacement or repairs.

Aggressive acceleration

Constant accelerations while driving uses more fuel and doesn’t get you there faster, says Miller. He adds that consistency is key. “Driving steadily and maintaining a consistent speed within the speed limit minimizes the work your engine has to do which means it uses less fuel.”


Tailgating is not only unsafe but affects fuel economy as you’re constantly accelerating and braking in order to react to speed changes of the vehicle in front. Keep enough distance between you and the car ahead to allow yourself to travel at a consistent speed and to slow down gradually. 

Traffic weaving

Weaving (changing lanes excessively to pass vehicles) wastes fuel as you’re braking and accelerating hard—and frequently. Stay in one lane as much as possible. And if you’re familiar with the traffic patterns along your route, choose a lane that is less likely to have cars making turns.

Other gas-saving methods include:

Check your tire pressure at least once a month. An under-inflated tire burns more fuel because it increases the rolling resistance of the tires, making your car work harder to maintain its speed, accelerate or start moving again from standstill. The recommended tire pressure for your vehicle can be found on the tire-information label located on the edge of the driver’s door—or in your owner’s manual.

Service your vehicle regularly. It may be tempting but don’t delay your vehicle’s scheduled maintenance to save money. Maintenance ensures all components of your car work are working efficiently to reduce strain on your engine, meaning it won’t use as much fuel to work properly.

Lighten the weight. Clean out the trunk, cargo areas and passenger compartments. Less weight means less work for your engine and better gas efficiency. If you have a lot to transport, remember to secure items safely and distribute the weight evenly to help your car operate efficiently.

More easy gas-saving tips are at and include turning off electronics and climate controls before you cut the engine, avoiding unnecessary idling, and using the appropriate fuel for your car.


About BCAA Gas Price Index

Members Say is an ongoing market research study by CAA National. The survey addresses current issues relevant to CAA’s various lines of business and public affairs initiatives. CAA commissioned Earnscliffe Strategy Group to conduct an online panel survey of 2,000 Canadians. The final sample was 2,010 respondents. The survey was in field from February 17 until February 24, 2017. Quotas were set for club region, age, and gender; weights were applied to ensure the sample matched the demographic composition of the general population. Questions were asked of all respondents, except where otherwise specified. Tracking results are shown for questions that have been asked in the past.

About BCAA

The most trusted organization in British Columbia by its Members, BCAA serves 1 in 3 B.C. households with industry-leading products including home, auto and travel insurance, roadside assistance, Evo Car Share and full auto service at BCAA’s Auto Service Centres. BCAA has a long history focused on keeping kids safe on the road and at play through safety programs such as its School Safety Patrol, Community Child Car Seat Program and most recently, BCAA Play Here which, in its first year, provided $260,000 to revitalize kids’ play spaces in B.C. Please visit