Not knowing how far your car can drive on a tank of gas can lead to running out of gas in inconvenient places. Many cars come with estimates of their gas mileage, but they’re not always accurate. So how many miles per gallon of gas can you drive?
Most vehicles can drive at least 20 miles per gallon of gas. This number can vary greatly depending on factors such as vehicle type, highway or city miles, A/C use and weather. To get the most out of 1 gallon of gas, limit idling and keep your speed steady.
Modern cars on the road today get anywhere from 20-40 miles per gallon of gas. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, the average miles per gallon for a car is just over 24 miles per gallon.
It’s no secret that gas prices are on the rise. The Bureau of Transportation concluded that during January to June 2022, the price of gasoline rose a total of 49%. As a result, many of us are looking for ways to save on gas.
Let’s take a look at the factors that affect how many miles per gallon of gas you can travel. We”ll also touch on some ways to get the most out of every gallon of gas you put in your tank.
If you ever wondered how far can a gallon of gas gets you – then let’s dive into this!
Factors That Affect How Many Miles Per Gallon Your Car Gets
Truth is, there are several factors that can affect how many gallons of gas per mile your car will actually use. Factors such as:
- Wind creates resistance, which requires the engine to work harder, increasing how many gallons a mile your car will use.
- Rapid acceleration after stopping at a traffic light will use more gas than if you speed up gradually.
- Idling due to traffic jams or to warm up your car wastes gas. This will decrease how many miles in a gallon your car can travel, so it’s best to keep idling to a minimum whenever possible.
- Speed will affect how far you can go on a gallon of gasoline. Oak Ridge National Laboratory study found that speeds between 40 and 50 miles per hour is the optimum cruising speed for high fuel economy in cars and light trucks.
- Under inflated tires can reduce your gas mileage by 0.4 percent for every 1-psi drop in pressure.
While 20 miles per gallon might not sound like that much, it’s quite a bit more than cars on the 90’s era could achieve.
But when considering how many miles for 1 gallon of gas can take you, it’s best to account for any changes in weather or driving habits. The last thing you want is to run out of gas when you’re far away from a gas station!
How Do I Figure Out My Car’s Gas Mileage?
Gas mileage estimates listed by car manufacturers aren’t always accurate. They figure out how many gallons a mile the car uses while on a test course with a professional driver. Fact is, these tests don’t always accurately represent real-life situations.
To figure out how many gallons are in a mile for your specific car, you can look at the mileage estimate on your car’s dashboard as you drive.
If your car doesn’t have a screen to show you how many miles to a gallon it’s using, you’ll have to do some simple math to find out.
- Fill up your car’s tank.
- Take note of the odometer reading on your car after you fill it with gas, then drive it for a while (but not until it’s completely empty).
- Take your car back to the gas station. Make sure to write down the odometer reading when you are at the gas station.
- Fill your car’s gas tank all the way full.
- Divide the number of miles driven by the number of gallons you just put in your car’s tank. For example, if you drove 100 miles and it took 10 gallons of gas to fill your tank, your car traveled 10 miles per gallon of gas.
You’ve now figured out how many miles in a gallon your car can drive.
How Many Miles Is A Gallon?
A gallon of gas equals anywhere from 10-30 miles for most cars and light trucks. If you drive an EV, your car will perform better than an 18-wheeler.
Likewise, the way you drive can affect how many miles in a gallon of gas your car will travel. Keeping up on with car maintenance and using cautious driving techniques will help your car travel further on a single gallon of gas.
Part of being a safe driver is knowing how many miles per gallon of gas your car can drive. That way, you’ll know how often you need to stop at a gas station to fill the tank. You’ll also be able to calculate how much gas money it’ll take to go on a road trip or to drive to work each day.
But just remember, while modern vehicles can travel 20 miles per 1 gallon of gas, this estimate is greatly effected by how well the car is maintained, driving style and traveling environment.
Loves anything with a motor and wheels.
Christopher is an automotive technical writer. When he’s not at the local autocross event, he can often be found working on one of his cars. Specializes in automotive class action law, industry trends, and automotive maintenance. Email me direct, or learn more about us