These days, travel isn’t always something you can avoid, and buy at the times when you’ve saved up enough money for everything you need. The truth is that we all need to get around, whether we need to go and pick up the grocery shopping, or simply get to work. The good news is that if you’re clever about the way that you travel, there are numerous ways that you can start to save money.
Here, we’ll look at just some of the things you can do to cut down on travel costs, from reducing the expenses of public transport, to comparing your car and insurance costs.
Cut Down your Car Insurance
If you travel to most places by car, then the best thing you can do is to reduce your insurance costs. Looking online and using price comparison sites to reduce your car insurance should help you to access the best possible deal, while still making sure that you get the level of insurance you need most.
Keep in mind that there are some insurers in the market today who do not allow their products to appear with price comparison websites, so you may need to check the different prices available separately.
Consider Trade-in for more Economical Car
Buying a completely new car might seem slightly overkill if all you’re looking to do is cut down on your monthly costs. However, if you’re running a particularly old car and use it a lot for commuting to and from work – the money saved can be significant.
I can appreciate that funding a new car can be somewhat difficult. Although these days there are lots of options around for financing your vehicle from outright purchase right through to hire-purchase with balloon payments and such.
Some of the newer models of car are up to 10x economical than those 5 – 10 years old. Especially if you go down the electric car route. Sometimes you need to spend a lot to save a lot but overall over a few years the savings are huge.
However if you aren’t in a position to buy another car you can save a little by looking to servicing and MOT ‘ing your car together. My garages offers a discount by doing them together so I save each year booking it in that way when my MOT is due for renewal.
Work on your Fuel Economy
If a new car isn’t an option, one of the other simplest ways that you can reduce the amount you spend as you travel, is to work on your fuel economy. Saving just five pence per liter on the price of your fuel could lead to £100 in savings for the average driver. Remember that many supermarkets will give you a discount on their petrol when you’re shopping in store.
Additionally, you can save a surprising amount of cash by upgrading and improving the way you drive. Some tests have found that the average driver could go as much as 10% further on a single tank of fuel if they change a few habits. All you need to do to save fuel is:
- Make sure that you don’t drive too fast
- Make sure that you’re driving in the right gear
- Remove your roof rack when possible
- Don’t over-rev your engine
- Avoid using air conditioning whenever possible.
- Get your car serviced when it’s due
- Make sure that your tyres are at the right pressure
- Don’t start and stop your car aggressively, try to smooth out braking and acceleration
Car Clubs and Car Sharing
Other ways to save money in your transport, include car sharing and car clubs. If you commute to work by car, sharing your journey and the cost of travel with other people on the same route can be useful. This is particularly effective if you can find other workmates who live nearby.
Additionally, car clubs are solutions that allow you to hire cars by the hour each day. These clubs have cars that are located in special parking spaces around the city, so it’s likely that there’s something near you. You basically get into the car using a special card, so it’s easier than having to visit a rental office all the time. Additionally, you only have to pay for fuel and usage, so that means that you save more money on insurance, breakdown cover, repairs, regular servicing, car tax, and more.
Saving on Public Transport
Usually, sticking to public transport is much cheaper than driving, but there are also ways that you can save cash when you use this option too. For instance:
- Check the prices of advance tickets: Sometimes you can save money if you buy the day or week before.
- Make sure that you look at the price for buying long-term tickets in advance. For instance, could you save money if you got access to your train or bus for three months rather than a month at a time?
- Look into season tickets and other deals for when you need to travel regularly.
- Keep an eye out for special offers, deals, and discounts.
- Get a rail card if you use the train regularly. You can get a third off the cost of many routes, so you could end up saving about £20 on tickets that would have cost you £60 otherwise. Many people find that rail cards pay for themselves after a couple of trips.
- Split your tickets: Sometimes if you make longer journeys, it’s much cheaper to buy several different tickets, than one. Look around and see what’s available to you.
- Think about using a coach instead of a train. Although a coach or bus can take longer to get you to your chosen destination than a train, the price is usually much cheaper if you don’t mind spending the extra time.
At the same time, remember that one of the easiest ways to reduce your travel costs is to choose free options. Grab a lift from a friend, ride your bike to work, or if your destination isn’t too far away, simply try walking instead!