Tonneau Covers Can Save Pickup Drivers Money

Studies have shown that a tonneau cover installed aftermarket can lead to substantial savings on fuel for pickup truck drivers. In an era when fuel prices continue to fluctuate, drivers will no doubt jump at any opportunity to save some money.

A light-duty pickup truck averages about 10 percent below a compact car in miles per gallon efficiency. Those who drive these vehicles are often in search of ways to make their fuel go farther. While many believe the only effective way to increase fuel efficiency is by making improvements under the hood, the addition of a tonneau cover is a good tactic.

The more the drag on the vehicle, the harder it will have to work to push through the air -- and thus the more fuel it will have to use to move. Aerodynamic features on many cars help to reduce the drag coefficiency and improve performance. An open truck bed can cause drag. But installation of a tonneau cover helps reduce the drag coefficiency of the vehicle, keeping the air from flowing into the truck bed and against the tailgate.

Estimates suggest that a tonneau cover alone can improve MPG by 6 to 8 percent. For a driver who travels 15,000 miles per year, paying an average of $3 per gallon, on a vehicle that offers 15 MPG, that's an annual cost savings of $180, or 60 gallons. A $300 tonneau cover would pay for itself in less than two years.

Whether a truck driver prefers a hard or soft tonneau cover, the savings still add up. Talk to an aftermarket retailer about adding a cover to a pickup and improving fuel efficiency as a result.