How to cut the cost of travel

We all have to places to get to, but how you choose to travel can have a big impact on your finances, the environment, and even your health. So how do you know whether you’re making smart travel decisions? We’ve come up with a helpful guide on how to save money whilst getting from A to B.

Car Tyre

1. Check your tyre pressures regularly

One of the most efficient ways to save money without making any significant changes to your lifestyle is by being kind to your car. For example, by making sure your tyres are properly inflated. If you have under inflated tyres, your fuel consumption will be higher as they’ll be more friction between the tyres and the road. Just think how hard it is to ride a bicycle with flat tyres!

To make sure your tyres are sufficiently inflated, you should first check in your car’s manual to find the recommended tyre pressures. It’s worth noting that sometimes these can vary between front and back tyres depending on your make and model of car. Many petrol stations and garages offer ‘free air’ via a machine that will first take a pressure reading from each tyre, before inflating them to the appropriate level.

So the next time you’re filling up the tank, why not get into the habit of checking your type pressure at the same time?

man cycling sunny

2. Invest in a bike

If you want to get fit and cut costs at the same time, why not invest in a bicycle? A good way to start is by replacing short car journeys or bus rides, with cycle rides while you build up your fitness levels. Once you’ve bought a bike, riding it is completely free – so no fuel costs! It won’t be long before you start to notice how much you’re saving. And not only will you be saving money, but you’ll also be getting significantly fitter and helping to save the environment, as your carbon footprint becomes significantly smaller – it’s a win win win!

3. Share taxis where possible

Taxis are an extremely convenient way of getting around and can release you from the hassles that come with owning your own car e.g. insurance, maintenance, parking etc. If you live in or near a big City, apps like Uber also make it simple to request a taxi at the click of a button and have it arrive on your doorstep within minutes. The only downside to this modern convenience is that the easier it is for you to summon a taxi at short notice, the more likely you are to use them regularly – and this comes with a cost.

If you’re looking to cut travel costs, but you’re not prepared to give up taxis altogether, consider sharing your taxi rides with other people to split the cost. There are now plenty of travel companies that offer cheaper taxi rates if you’re travelling in pairs. These companies pair you with other people who are travelling the same way as you, so that you each pay only a fraction of the price.

And the next time you go to book an Uber, why not give the UberPOOL option a go? Once you start seeing how much you could save, chances are you won’t look back.

driving in sun

4. Keep an eye on your revs

Another handy tip is to make sure you keep a close eye on your revs, as lower revs can help you make significant savings on fuel consumption. The best way to do this is to always make sure you’re driving in the right gear – sounds simple, but it could result in notable savings. To maximise fuel savings, the Energy Saving Trust recommends moving to a higher gear before you reach 2,500 revs in a petrol car, and 2,000 in a diesel car. According to UK Road Safety, changing gears like this can help you achieve a 15% fuel saving.

So next time you go to spend your hard earned money at the petrol station, consider keeping your revs down and your tyre pressures up. These simple tasks will help you keep more of your hard earned pennies in your pocket.

5. Book train journeys in advance

Planning to take a lengthy train journey next month to visit family? Then make sure you book your train tickets in advance? By simply planning ahead, you could cut the cost of your train ticket in half. If you regularly make long journeys off-peak, you might also want to consider investing in a rail card – there are a number of different types and if you’re lucky enough to be over 60 you can qualify for the Senior Railcard. You’ll get ⅓ off most journeys you make, leading to massive savings over the course of a year. Some readers may even find that their Railcard can pay for itself on their very first trip if they are travelling a long distance.

6. Walk more

Walking is a great way to increase cardiovascular fitness, free your mind and keep a healthy bank balance. Why not note down all the journeys you make on a regular basis and decide which ones are within a reasonable walking distance? If you want to start slowly, pick the two shortest journeys and try walking them a couple of times a week. Once you start feeling the physical and financial benefits of walking more, you should feel more motivated to keep up your new habit and increase the length and frequency of your walks.

One of the best things about walking is it doesn’t cost a thing and you don’t need anything other than yourself and a pair of comfy shoes to do it. So where will you walk to next?

Any tips of your own to share?

We all know there is no magic bullet for keeping the finances in good shape, but by making small changes to simple everyday habits you might be surprised at how quickly it all adds up.

If you’ve got some great tips – please email them to [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you.

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