Whether it’s work or pleasure, getting from A to B is one of the more regular things we have to do, or rather, in today’s road traffic, try to do! The cost of fuel, the price of tickets, and the number of road users seem to increase every day. But what if we could reduce that burden? A few simple alternatives, a re-think or just plain acknowledgment that we really should change our behavior will do just that.
What you should be doing already….
- Buying a weekly, monthly, or even yearly travel card
You can typically save anything up to 40% on your travel costs by paying for your travel upfront. If the time you travel isn’t that important, why not buy an off-peak travel card? You will save even more!
- Get on your bike / Buy a cheap bike
Free and excellent for one’s figure, not to mention reducing the pollution in the air and reducing how much petrol you need to keep buying to justify those short journeys. Sure it might feel difficult the first time you ride a bike but before long the pounds will fall off your waist and into your pocket!
- Walking for a change
It’s surprising how little we walk because we think our destination is too far away. We only assume that because we are so used to taking the car for every trip and before we know it, we take the car even for the shortest journey. If the prospect of walking doesn’t tempt you, think about this – people who walk for 20 minutes a day, on average, lose up to 300 calories doing so!
- Make a pledge to only use the car when necessary and only for long journeys
Think about the journeys you make in the car and how much these smaller journeys are costing you in fuel. What extra mileage are these journeys adding to the general wear and tear of your car when you could be walking or cycling instead?
- Car share with someone every alternate week
If you work, share the drive to work with a colleague or if no one lives in your area, join a car-pool club. By carpooling on alternative days or weeks, you will almost half your fuel costs, reduce your mileage (important for car insurance!), and get to relax on the way to and from work.
- Buy train tickets in advance and online
Many train service providers provide great discounts if you are prepared to think in advance about your journey and book the tickets online without having to speak to a call center operator. Some train operators even offer cheap upgrades to first-class if you book online. Check out the website of the training provider you use and you may be surprised. There are many coupons offers available on train or bus tickets.
- Shop around for car insurance the moment your renewal notice arrives in the post
If you have to use your car, always shop around for cheaper insurance the moment you receive your renewal notice. Often people leave it to the last minute and end up staying with the same car insurance company year in year out. While there’s nothing wrong with doing this if you are happy with the service, spending twenty minutes on a price comparison website may mean you end up finding something cheaper available without a doubt. If you don’t find any cheaper insurance, call your current insurer and tell them you are considering another insurer who is cheaper. You’ll be surprised at how many insurers suddenly come up with a discount!
A friend of mine recently reduced her car insurance renewal premium by £400 because she used a price comparison website to get a better quote. Many insurance companies do not reward loyal customers; don’t be afraid to move on.
- Review your use of the car
When was the last time you checked how many miles you were clocking up in a year? Stating accurate mileage when insuring your car use can help reduce your premiums with some insurers.
- Understand your car air conditioning
Did you know that when driving your car with the air conditioning on it uses an incredible amount of fuel? Estimates put extra fuel use as high as 10% in some older cars! Turn it off unless you really need it or open the windows instead. If you must have it on, use the recycle air option; this will re-circulate already cooled air meaning the system thermostat isn’t switching on so often.
- Plan and pack a lunch
If you know you have to travel during a lunchtime period, always ensure you have made food for your journey. Service stations, train stations, and airports are extremely overpriced and you will save yourself a small fortune by thinking ahead and making some sandwiches, and bringing your own drinks.