In times like these, every dollar counts, and it is essential to save money wherever you can. With gas prices soaring, public transport is a great money-saving option.
Other ways to reduce transportation costs include driving an economical car and using your bike to get around. It does not matter how you like to travel, and there are many ways to save money.
For all the money-saving hacks, here is your ultimate guide to the ten best ways to save money on your commute or when you’re moving you and your family from A to B.
1. Get Back on Your Bike
We all know that getting regular exercise, such as cycling, is excellent for your health. But it turns out it is an eco-friendly option that also benefits your wallet.
Many modern cities encourage you to swap your four wheels for two with dedicated bike lanes on the road, bike-share programs, and pay-as-you-ride bikes and scooters.
Cycling to work is not for everyone, so do your research before you start peddling. You need to assess your health, the distances you will be traveling and consider your safety as you share the road with other motorists.
2. Share the Trip with Your Friends and Colleagues
Car-pooling has long been the domain of school drop-offs and pick-ups, but there is no reason why you cannot get together with friends or colleagues to share your commute.
You will save on the cost of gas, but rotating cars will also reduce your maintenance costs.
If you have a forward-thinking company, you may also have access to ride-sharing programs, some of which provide a company car for the ride!
Most urban freeways have a dedicated carpool lane, making it a time-saving option.
3. Walk Wherever Possible
Not all of us live within walking distance to our workplace, but it is an excellent option for your wallet, health, and headspace for those of us who do.
Walking gives you time to think and listen to your favorite podcast or the latest hits, but it also lets you see details of the world around you that you miss when you whizz past in a car or on the bus.
4. Buy a Second-Hand Car
New cars depreciate fast – up to 60% in the first four years after purchase. So, ditch the new-car aspirations and be content with a used car that will get you where you are going just as well and leave you with more money in your pocket.
5. Use Public Transport
Using public transport will save you money on gas, car maintenance, and parking, but it will often also save you time that would otherwise be spent in peak-hour traffic jams.
You do not have to ditch the car altogether – you can replace parts of your trip with public transport or choose to use the train or bus just a couple of days per week.
Some public transport services even encourage you to bring your bike along so that you can pedal away when you have finished your trip.
Once you are on the bus or train, you can also relax, catch up on your favorite show, or even get some extra work done.
6. Research Your Car Insurance
You do not necessarily get what you pay for when it comes to car insurance. However, as one of the highest costs of running a car, it pays to do your research.
Start by Choosing Your Car Wisely
Some cars have higher repair costs, and insurers will charge more to cover those that will be more expensive to repair. This is also true for cars that are more likely to be stolen, such as luxury brands and sports cars.
Stick to the straightforward, cheap models to get the most out of your insurance.
Review Your Coverage
Some insurance companies have a lot to offer, but you might not need everything. Make sure you are not paying for cover you do not need.
For example, you do not need gap insurance if you have an older car and might not want to pay for comprehensive or collision insurance.
Ask For Discounts
If you have a good driving record and rarely make a claim, ask your insurer to discount your policy.
Some insurance companies also provide house and contents cover, so you can save money by bundling them into a policy that includes your car.
7. Minimize your Fuel Costs
Nobody likes seeing the counter tick over as we refuel our car. And with world oil prices unlikely to go down in the future, there are several ways you can reduce your fuel costs:
Reduce How Far You Drive
This might seem like a no-brainer, but you can use apps like Badger Maps, Road Warrior, and route4Me to help you avoid traffic jams and find the fastest route.
Going easy on the air conditioner will also help you use less fuel, plan your trips to do multiple things at once, and walk less.
Buy When the Fuel Cycle is Low
Fuel prices fluctuate regularly, making you fill up during the trough rather than the peak. Apps like Gas Buddy, Gas Guru, and Waze are a great way to help you keep track.
Subscribe to Reward Programs
Your loyalty is valuable to fuel companies, and fuel cards will see you save over the long term.
Take it Easy on the Road
You increase your fuel economy if you drive at the speed limit or even a little under.
The same can be said for laying off the brakes. When you brake and accelerate in a rush, you burn more fuel than if you were calm and careful.
8. Rent a Car for Occasional Trips
One of the highest transportation costs for car owners is maintaining a second car. However, if you can get by with just one car in the family, you will save money on maintenance, repairs, insurance, and fuel costs.
If you still need a second car for occasional trips, you can hire a car or use a rideshare service instead of owning a second car.
9. Make Friends with Your Mechanic
Looking after your car is a great way to save money in the long term. However, while it might seem like a good idea to skip your scheduled service, you will probably be paying more for more extensive and more costly repairs in the long term.
At-home car maintenance is also a great way to reduce costs. For example, keep your tires at the correct pressure and know how to change the oil, so your car is in the best shape.
10. Limit Your Financing
If you need to use finance to buy your car, limiting the amount of money you need to borrow makes sense. More money means more interest that you will need to pay back.
So, make the highest down payment you can afford and negotiate to shorten the length of your loan as much as possible.
Your car depreciates over time, and you do not want to owe more money than it is worth. Always buy a car within your budget and consider how long it will take to pay off and how much you will pay to service the loan.
And do not forget to shop around and compare prices from multiple finance providers.
Are you trying to save money on transportation costs? Now you have ten great tips to help you save money on your commute.
Image credit: [Monkey Business]