How to Minimize and Save on Transportation Costs: Owning an automobile is expensive in nature but living without a car isn’t entirely inexpensive either. Transportation costs constitute a significant part of most American’s budget.
While few are fortunate to live be living close to churches, shops, school, etc; allowing them to walk, most people dedicate about 15-20% of their household budget to transportation. But a few tricks can help you significantly cut down the transportation expenses.
Walk Whenever Possible
Most Americans prefer to drive a car rather than walk, even when the distance is short. Research has shown that people tend to drive if the distance cannot be covered by walking for 15 minutes, especially if they own an automobile and can find parking easily. Walking instead of driving is great for the environment and saves money. In addition, it is a great and easy method to achieve sound health. It also allows you to soak in the environment and think.
Opt for 2-wheelers
Many communities have introduced open bike lanes and bike sharing programs to encourage the use of city bicycle. It allows one to enjoy significant health benefits and save money as well. For people who are not enthusiastic about bicycling to work, motorcycles and mopeds are a great alternative, much cheaper than automobiles. In many Asiana and European countries, motorcycles are extremely popular.
Utilize Public Transportation
Fuel, parking and maintenance of a car, all added up could exceed the food budget or certain families. If you don’t wish to give up your car completely, you should utilize public transportation for some of your trips. Bus, rail and many other commuter systems are available that could help you save a lot.
Sharing rides has been a common practice for a long time. Especially for people travel regularly from and to the same location, carpooling is especially beneficial. For instance, co-workers living nearby can share a ride or parents can arrange to chip rides with other parents. The cost is easily split by passengers paying an agreed amount or by switching cars and rotating drivers from time to time.
Rent When Needed
If you need a car temporarily for a special occasion, consider renting it. You can easily rent cars for weekends trips or vacations too. To get the best deal, keep a track of the special discounts offered by the rental companies and know what tricks they practice adding extra costs and make more profits.
Make a Purchase Smartly
To reduce the ownership cost of an automobile, keep the following things in mind:
- Operating a single car is far less expensive than operating two cars
- Smaller Models are more affordable than larger ones
- Opting for a used car is less expensive than a new one
- Skip dealer products and extended warranty where possible
Select a Decent Financing Package
You can avail an auto financing package from a number of sources like credit unions, banks, finance companies associated with the manufacturer, commercial finance companies and others. Check your credit rating and determine the best possible finance deal for you so that you do not have to splurge excessively on interest.
Make a Smart Auto Insurance Decision
One major cost of owning a car is automobile insurance. It is, however, necessary, as most state laws demand some kind of liability of comprehensive insurance. Thus, to take a wise decision and decrease your insurance expense, you can follow these simple steps:
- Choose a car with a high rating and low insurance premium
- Understand what factors affect the premium rate
- Pay attention to your coverage needs
- Opt for a higher deductible insurance policy
- Uphold a sound driving record and ask for discounts
- Keep a decent credit score and check rates annually
Conduct Proper Maintenance
Proper vehicle maintenance will ensure reliable and safe operation of your car and prevent the decline of the car’s value. Regular cleaning and detailing will add to the resale value of the car significantly. Here are some tips that will help you save money and maintain car operation:
- Stick to an independent, reliable car mechanic
- Follow the maintenance schedule recommended by the manufacturer
- Consider a membership with the American Automobile Association
- Maintain proper tire pressure
- Practice DIY maintenance for simple issues
Reduce Fuel Costs
The cost of gasoline is ever rising and one must implement ways to reduce the fuel consumption and in turn the cost. Here are some tips to save money on gas:
- Opt for the most efficient and shortest route to reduce the total miles driven
- Make smart fuel purchases
- Increase the miles drive per gallon
- Use the recommended gasoline grade
There is no debating that automobiles have also been an integral part of the American lifestyle. The car is one of the most significant purchases for most Americans. However, increased ownership costs along with packed highways and streets, heightened parking fees and sky-high gasoline prices have made it exceedingly costly, where the benefits are no more at par with the cost.