Save money on your commute
Posted on 28 May 2021
Many workplaces will be opening back up soon, so lots of us will have to start thinking about commuting again. Or perhaps you never stopped attending your workplace but you’re still looking for ways to cut costs.
No matter how you get to work, here’s some tips to save money.
Cycle to work
Cycling – it improves your fitness, makes you feel good, saves you money and it’s kind to the planet. What’s not to like? And you can always get the bus or drive on days when it’s raining or you have heavy bags to carry.
Check if your workplace offers a Cycle to Work scheme – getting a new bike this way will save you about 30% compared to buying it from a retailer.
Walk or run
Now the weather is nicer, consider walking or even running to work. It gives you a chance to get some exercise in early doors and decompress and after a busy day. As with cycling, you can swap in and out depending on weather.
Rather than several people driving to work individually, you club together in one car, take it in turns to be the designated driver throughout the week and split the expenses between you. These people you share with may well be colleagues, or perhaps neighbours and friends who commute between a similar A and B – even coupling up with your significant other constitutes car sharing.
Be sparing with the air con because it uses fuel up to keep you cool – but don’t leave it switched off all the time either, or you’ll just wreck the system. At 40mph and under it’s more economical to drive with the window open than use air conditioning anyway.
Accelerating and braking hard wastes energy, so look ahead and anticipate the moves of others. By reading the road ahead you’ll be able to drive more smoothly, cutting fuel consumption in the process.
Check tyre pressures
Your car’s engine has to work harder if your tyres are under-inflated – just a few PSI can make all the difference. Under-inflated tyres also wear out more quickly, so check your tyre pressures regularly to save maintenance and fuel costs.
Cut weight and drag
The more your car weighs, the harder its engine has to work. Also, items such as roof bars and bike racks will upset the aerodynamics. So keep your boot clear of junk and don’t leave anything attached to the outside of the car if it’s not being used.
If you regularly take trains, buses, trams or the Underground then you’ll know all about using season tickets and railcards to get the best price. Some employers offer loans to cover the cost of a corporate season ticket. They then deduct the cost from your wage in monthly instalments before tax. Corporate season tickets are often cheaper than normal season tickets, and you can typically use them outside of work hours.
See if it’s possible to travel outside of peak times. Bus and train fares usually reduce after 9am, once rush hour is over. If you can move your shift to later in the day, you may find that your fare is a lot cheaper.