My Beautiful Wickedness

Want to drive fast? It’ll cost ya.
June 22, 2008, 8:39 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Here’s a persuasive reason to slow down. According to, every 5 mph over 60 is like adding $0.30 per gallon. So, if you feel like paying $5 a gallon to get to your job, slick, go right ahead and drive 75 mph. Me, I’ll be in the right-hand lane with my peanut butter sandwich in a brown paper bag, putting along at 55.


7 Comments so far
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I’ve been testing this with my own car and it hasn’t been working. A friend told me that it could be that my car was designed to have optimal gas mileage at a higher rate of speed. He is knowledgeable on such things and I am not, so… Anyhoo, I have noticed that my gas mileage difference is nearly zero when comparing:
1. Not going over 60 mph (and mostly 55mph)
2. Not going over 65 mph
3. Not going over 70.

Each time, I averaged 27 mpg. Not unless I go over 70 do I see a decline (down to 25 mpg and sometimes a little lower if I cruise more around 80). Matters are complicated by having an AWD car that gets worst gas mileage (and it’s an auto transmission), but I’m still getting on the high end of the fuel ratings for the car. So I drive pretty much the speed limit so as not to get run over by speeding cars (Nashville drivers can be merciless!).

Though I do wish that more heavy trucks and semis would drive at 55 because I’m certain they would get better mileage (thereby reducing demand and, in turn reducing prices).

Comment by Lesley

Yeah, I think this is predicated on the assumption that you’re driving a mid-size sedan. I drive a subcompact that gets about 30 mpg highway, so I don’t see a big drop-off increasing from 60-65, but lose about 12% if I go 70 or above. The weight of the car makes a big difference, especially in city driving where momentum is continually shifting.

Comment by bridgett

According to the most authoritative source on auto mechanics – Click and Clack – those fuel numbers are still based on studies done in the 1970s. Given changes in weight, engine performance, and body design they figure the numbers are probably a touch low, but still said anything over 70 is probably costing you money and fuel. Their suggestion was to monitor your own car as the best way to figure out that optimal point of speed and fuel consumption.

I wonder when the electric car for 6’6″, 350 lb guys is coming out?

Comment by Gerald

Luggage racks, people, luggage racks.

I was told by a friend who’s pretty smart about most everything that luggage racks, ski racks, whatever that create drag on the car are major knocks (on the order of 10%) on fuel economy, on the highway.

I have a small truck with a cap and and until I put the ladder rack on it was getting about 23-25 mpg. Now it’s just about 20. Of course shit gasoline does not help–and there is lots of shit gasoline around these days.

Comment by democommie

No luggage rack here. If you’re close enough to Canada, go over and get some Canadian gasoline. It’s got slightly higher lead than US gas and your car will run like sixty on it.

Comment by bridgett


I’m in Oswego. Canada is close, but I’d have to be moving at something like the speed of the space shuttle to clear Lake Ontario–besides it would prolly raise hell with the suspension when I landed!

Comment by democommie

I’ve done some research and documented my findings are

There’s a calculator you can use to see how much you’ll save based on how much you slow down.

Comment by Shane

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