Rising inflation is affecting everything from the price of groceries to the cost of fuel. With many of us back to work in person on a regular basis, it’s worth exploring ways to reduce your commuting costs. Here are five options to consider.
Driving directly from home to the office and back is convenient, but it can get costly, particularly if you’re driving long distances. You can reduce the amount you’re spending on gas and the wear and tear on your vehicle if you join a carpool group. Arrange one with neighbours or colleagues so that everyone takes a turn picking up and dropping off passengers.
As a recent How We Live report from Aviva Canada found, although more Canadians are enjoying the return to office post-pandemic and the ability to maintain a work-life balance, commuting is not something they’re enjoying. With traffic patterns returning to pre-pandemic levels, a potential bonus of carpooling is that you might have enough passengers to take advantage of high occupancy lanes on the highway. Plus, you’ll have some company along for the ride.
Ride your bike
Towns and cities across the country are steadily expanding their network of dedicated, protected bike lanes to make it safer for people to use this healthy alternative to driving. Still, you should always wear a helmet and reflective gear, and have a loud bell and bright lights on the front and rear of your bike when you ride. If your route is too long, you might be able to bring your bike on local transit, so you only have to pedal partway.
For many residents who cringe at the thought of being stuck in gridlocked traffic, public transit clearly is the better way. You can save money on daily commuting by buying a monthly pass or using an electronic fare card instead of paying cash.
Tune up the car
If getting to work by car is your only practical option, there are still things you can do to reduce the cost of commuting. First, you should have an annual inspection. Yes, this costs money, but it can help identify potential problems before you have a major breakdown, and it will ensure the engine is running efficiently. You should also regularly check that your tires are properly inflated and remove any excess weight – like a hockey bag – from the car when it’s not needed to improve fuel efficiency.
While driving, avoid speeding up and braking hard between lights. This burns excess fuel and adds wear to your brake pads. Using cruise control when it’s safe to do so also increases fuel efficiency.
Drive safe to save
Another cost-saving option that’s growing in popularity are artificial-intelligence-powered telematics programs used by insurance companies to reward safe driving. For example, the Aviva Journey app, available in Ontario, rewards safe drivers who can save on their monthly premiums without compromising coverage.