Save money on fuel by using public transport
Do you remember that time when fuel prices at the petrol station didn’t make you feel sick! No, me neither.
The cost of petrol at our pumps only ever seems to go one way – up! The impact this has on our wallets and purses is not good! Let’s do something about it…
The daily commute
The daily commute to and from work is a great area to save money on fuel. Firstly, sitting in a car every morning and night in traffic is a nightmare. A new survey has revealed that the average UK daily commute to and from work is around 47 minutes. How we decide to take this daily commute is clearly going to have a significant impact on our finances.
Let’s look at one example at how we can save money on fuel. Let’s focus on my home town and consider the daily commute from the residential area of Tynemouth into the city centre of Newcastle, UK.
We have already followed moneystepper tips elsewhere and bought a nice economical vehicle! Our car therefore has a purchase price of less than £1,300. theaa.com estimates that standing charges to run a car (insurance, road tax, breakdown cover and depreciation) totals £2,292 per year. We then add the “per mile” cost (cost of gas, tyres, service labour and replacement parts).
The daily commute from Tynemouth to Newcastle in this example is 9.6 miles each way. Over a year, this totals 4,608 miles. Again, according to theaa.com, this equals £1,074 per year.
Finally, we need to add in parking in the city center. An annual 5 day (Monday-Friday) parking pass costs £1,034.
If we add all these costs together, we get £4,400 each year for our daily commute!
However, if we take the metro (whereby we have a 4 minute walk between the house and metro station and a 1 minute walk between the metro station and work) an annual pass costs £958.
You could try to save money on fuel by driving that extra mile to a different petrol station. However, the impact is minimal. However, if you try to save money on fuel by ditching the car, the results are much more significant. Thi annual difference of £3,442 (with the impact of compound interest over 25 years) equates to just less than £200,000.
I haven’t got the time…
One common argument against taking public transport is the time it takes. Let’s look at our example. According to googlemaps, the drive takes 19 minutes. In rush hour, this is estimated to be significantly longer. The car park we use is also 2 minutes away from where we work. Therefore, we shall estimate the commute at 30 minutes.
The metro does take longer at 35 minutes, plus our 5 minutes working time. This 10 minutes should not be the deciding factor in your decision. The £200,000 figure above should! Just think about the times you have to spend time in traffic jams, behind accidents, when you can’t find a parking space. They all add up.
Can I better use my time?
The daily average commute equates to 188 hours of time. The average commuter spends this time following the radio, or listening to the same songs on the mp3 player or staring out of the window. This is wasted time.
This time could be spent listening to audio recordings in the car or a portable device. In fact, actively listening to the right professional learning audio books (especially about personal finance, investment, saving, property, etc) during a commute over a period of a few years can equate to a full university education.
You should also try to keep up to date with any changes or new matters related to anything which affects your wealth. Subscribing to free daily/weekly podcasts in your chosen area of interest is a great way to increase your knowledge. It can also ensure that you keep abreast of anything new which may assist or hamper you in your goal of wealth creation.
Money saving tips
- If at all possible, ditch the car and take public transport. You will save money on fuel amounting to £200k over 25 years.
- During your commute, listen to professional learning audio books or relevant podcasts to further your education.
- Consider the environmental benefit that taking public transport can have.
- Consider the benefits of Hybrid Cars and the fuel you can save compared to traditional petrol/diesel cars
- If you possibly can, go the “extra mile” and cycle to and from work. Better for your health, wealth and the environment!