(BPT) - High prices continue to be a concern for many Americans, especially when it comes to driving and automotive decisions. Nearly three-quarters (72%) of Americans say that current gas prices - which tend to rise even higher during the summer months - have a major-to-moderate impact on their daily driving habits, according to Hankook Tire's latest Gauge Index survey.
But what can be done about it? While Hankook found that half (49%) of Americans have driven less in the last 30 days due to inflation, that's not always realistic. Here are a few ways to help ease the effect of high prices, not just on our wallets, but also on our odometers:
1. Find alternate routes.
Some Americans are turning to alternate modes of getting around, such as public transportation. However, the Gauge found that while younger drivers are more inclined to do so (19% of Gen Z and 17% of Millennials have taken public transportation to offset higher prices), older generations are less likely (7% of Gen X and 2% of Boomers). This could be due to any number of factors - location, mobility or simply preference. For those who regularly get behind the wheel, seek out alternate routes that are more direct or have fewer stoplights. This could increase fuel efficiency, and in turn save money at the pump.
2. Be mindful about maintenance.
While financial concerns are high, conducting routine vehicle maintenance can help avoid more costly repairs down the road. Fortunately, most of us aren't avoiding maintenance appointments. Hankook found 80% of drivers are keeping their routine maintenance appointments despite the increased price of such services.
3. Take note of your tires.
Be sure to consider your tires, too. Maintaining tires with proper inflation and regular rotation can help them last longer, safely. When the time does come to replace them, look at your mileage warranty and see if you qualify for any savings. And when purchasing, consider a tire with low rolling resistance to help with overall fuel efficiency.
4. Hit the road, not the skies.
With the summer travel season upon us, it's no secret that taking a vacation isn't always friendly on the wallet. In fact, 1 in 4 Americans (26%) have delayed or canceled travel plans due to inflation and the increased price of travel. However, you don't have to scrap your summer getaway altogether! In the spirit of seeking alternative routes, consider taking a road trip instead of a flight, which offers more control over cost, not to mention destination.
5. Steer towards savings.
When prices are high, the first thing many do is avoid large purchases. Car buying is a prime example: currently, only 25% of Americans consider themselves very-to-extremely likely to purchase or lease a new vehicle in the next six months. But many large purchases also come with opportunities to save. Whether you're in the market for a whole new vehicle, or simply need to buy new tires, keep an eye out for rebates, sales, and other opportunities to lower the cost, especially for purchases that are needed now.
There are many ways to minimize the impact of high prices when it comes to your vehicle. Think smarter, not harder, about when and where you're going, as well as the purchases you need to make to get there.