One simple truth about saving money on transportation
A car will almost always cost you more than the value it brings. Saving money on transportation is easiest if you don’t use a car.
If you agree with this statement, then, most likely you already have optimised your transportation costs. If you do not agree with the statement, or you feel like you have some room for improvement, then the article is for you.
Saving money on transportation can be hard because of complicated transport systems and large distances. Nonetheless, it’s not impossible.
Complicated doesn’t describe it
Everyone’s commuting problems and challenges are different. There is no one-fits-all solution. However, you just can make use of the 3 simple rules of transportation:
- A car is always a liability, not an asset.
- Use a car only in rural areas and large cities.
- For everything in between, don’t use a car.
A car is always a liability, not an asset
If you already own a car, you probably don’t need to be told that a car is a costly liability. You not only pay the initial price, insurance, any customizations, but also for any problem your car will experience (and it will) in the future. A weird sound or an unstable part can set you back hundreds if not thousands of euros or dollars.
What’s even worse, is the unstable price of oil. OPEC can decide at any time to limit the supply of oil. If it happens, you will have to pay much more for gas because of the limited supply. Of course, the price of oil can also fall, but such an event is hard to predict.
I don’t recommend buying a car if you can’t pay the initial price of the car and insurance outright. Otherwise, you are very likely to run into huge debts, which will offset any savings you have.
The only instance when a car crosses the asset territory is when there is no other way to reach your workplace. Otherwise, you are better off not having a car.
Use a car only in rural areas and large cities
Your car will bring you the most value for its price, when you use it in outlier regions.
For rural and small town areas, a car is the most sensible choice. Without a car, you would have to travel long distances in areas where public transportation is scarce.
If you live in a large city or a megalopolis, without a car, you will have to cross large distances by using public transportation. Public transportation in large cities often does not reach areas far away from the city centre and is prone to breakdowns. A car in a large city will save you valuable time.
For everything in between, don’t use a car
If you live somewhere the size of a small town and a large city, you most likely will save money by not using a car. Public transportation, bicycles, motorbikes and walking are best suited for the areas in-between.
If you are looking to save the largest amount possible on transportation, a bicycle is your best bet. The initial price of a bicycle is very low, and a bicycle has almost no maintenance costs. What’s even better, you will save money on potential gym memberships, expensive diets and weight loss charlatans simply by commuting by a bicycle. Even after a week of bicycle riding, you will feel like you have more energy. After a month or so, you will notice how much better your body looks! And that result will be achieved without having to waster hundreds on expensive gym memberships.
Although public transportation has many problems associated with it, it is always cheaper than using a car to commute. What’s even better is that by buying a monthly or a yearly ticket, you can save on ticket costs. Public transportation arrival and departure times are scheduled by looking into the needs of the users. Even if public transportation does not arrive frequently enough, you can always write an email to a relevant department or a company with a request for more frequent arrivals.
The most important out-take
Even if you feel that one mode of transportation is better than the others for you, don’t forget to calculate and compare the costs of all modes of transportation in your local area. You might be surprised with the results. If not, you would have done the most important step in saving money: always checking and calculating twice!
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