Owning a driving a car is expensive, so it comes as no surprise that money can be saved by driving less.
But, that’s often a much easier thing to say than to practice.
Many people find that drastic changes in their driving habits simply aren’t possible, so they end up changing nothing. I believe that you can save money by adding together a few smaller changes in habits. Let me know what you think of the following ideas:
- Combine trips – We’ve all heard it before, but it bears repeating, and as the top recommendation. Consider that when we leave our neighborhood, it takes 0.2 miles to navigate through the streets just to get to the subdivision entrance, and at least 1.5 miles before we get to any place that is a destination for us. That’s 3.4 miles round trip every time we leave the neighborhood. Count the number of times you drive in and out of your driveway in a given week and see what it adds up to. In our case, if we could cut just two trips a week, that’s over 350 miles a year we’d be cutting off. That’s over a tank of gas, a tenth of the life of an oil change, 1% of the life of your tires…well, you get the point.
- Bike – If you live somewhere where riding a bike is safe and you can get back and forth to where you want to go, why not give it a whirl for short trips? In our case, the 1.7 miles I mentioned actually leads us to the drugstore, so if we have to go pick something up there, and we have the time, maybe we could hop on the bike.
- Hitch a ride – If you have people you know that live close by, and you have a good enough relationship with them where it wouldn’t seem odd to tag along for certain things, why not drive together occasionally? You could come out ahead and save some mileage.
- Share kid pickup and drop-off – If you drop your kids off and pick them up, chances are you have at least one neighbor doing the same thing. Why not split this duty which will save you some mileage and some money?
- Carpool – My father-in-law lives 25 miles from work, so he drives 50 miles each day if he goes by himself. He found that two co-workers live fairly close by, so now they carpool three days a week. They each take a turn driving after they meet at a central location. It takes 75 miles a week off of his driving. Nothing to sneeze at!
- Walk – Just like with bike riding, you can get back and forth on your feet. Plus, it’s great exercise and offers fresh air for the better times of the year.
Will any of these things save you thousands? Probably not. But it could be in the hundreds, and not only in gas but when you factor in things like oil changes, other maintenance and the simple cost of depreciation on your car, every mile you don’t drive leaves money in your pocket.
Thank you for reading.