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31 Days and 31 Ways to Save: Saving on Your Transportation Costs

May 14, 2011

This week I got to hang out with part of the wonderful team that are Ford Canada. We talked car safety and checked out the latest innovation from Ford-the world’s first real inflatable seat belts. As the evening progressed we not only talked safety but fuel efficiency and ways to save on your family transportation costs.

Aren’t you tired of how much we are spending to get from one place to another? Right now I am glad I am not a car owner. Thankfully I live near enough to the subway system in Toronto (TTC) and the commuter line(Go Transit) as well. But what about my friends who own cars? How can they save? Here are some suggestions:

First of all when buying a car think not only of the car costs but of ALL the costs involved and make sure you get a deal that is well within your budget. Things to consider: car loan or cash, insurance, the history of repairs on that make and model, fuel consumption and maintenance. All these are part of your transportation costs. Comparison shop, read reports and get more then one quote when it comes to insurance. If you possibly can try and avoid going into debt to buy a vehicle. I have owned a few cars – all were bought used and served me well.

Once you have your car you need to think maintenance. A properly looked after car saves you money in the long run. Make sure you are changing you oil and checking your filters. I even took a basic car care course so I could help maintain my own vehicle, so yes I can do all the basic maintenance. Make sure you check your tire pressure as well. By thinking ahead and taking care of your car you will save over the long haul.

Now you are ready for the road. But wait before you get in the car, ask the question is the car needed for this trip or could I walk it? or take public transit? Car owners you do not need to use your car to go everywhere. Think about your driving. If you are commuting into the heart of Toronto for work, could you save on gas and parking but taking the TTC or GO? Trust me, carry some tunes or something to read and you are there alot more rested and relaxed instead of the hustle and bustle of the drive in and you save cash. Yes it takes a wee bit longer sometimes but not much.

Once on the road plan your trips so you minimize the number of outings ie: get all your errands done on one trip. Instead of doing them over 2 or 3 trips out of the house.

When you are buying gas be mindful don’t overfill your tank. Make sure your cap is on nice and tight as well so you don’t lose gasoline. As well for the best consumption do not let your tank go under 1/4 full. Going on fumes is not good for your car.

If you are going on the highway use your cruise control. Did you know you save 7% more gasoline if you use it?

What are some of the other ways that you save on your transportation costs? I would love to hear them.

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