Lower Your Costs

Walk

  • For short trips, leave your car behind and go by foot. Visit the Pedestrian and Bicycle Information Center to learn about pedestrian safety and how to encourage walking in your community.
  • Choose restaurants and shops that you can reach by foot. Type your address into Walk Score to find nearby destinations.

Bike

  • Learn how to bike safely with the League of American Bicyclists’ tips and resources.
  • Get car-free directions with Google Maps. Choose “Walking” or “Bicycling” from the pull-down menu instead of the default “By car.”
  • Biking is great exercise. Use an app like Map My Ride to track your route along with speed, distance, and even how many calories you’ll burn.

Take public transit

  • Leave the car at home and plan your trip with Google Transit. It’s as easy as getting driving directions! You can also find this transit trip planner under “Get Directions” in Google Maps.
  • Ask your employer about public transportation benefits. Under federal law, employers can cover up to $130 of your transit expenses tax-free.
  • Get a transit pass. According to the American Public Transportation Association, households that regularly use public transportation save more than $9,000 a year.

Share a car

  • Join a carsharing program, like Enterprise Carshare, which can save you thousands.
  • Carpool. If you share the drive with just one other person, you’ll reduce your fuel costs by half. And you can use the high-occupancy vehicle lane!

If you have to drive…

Spend less on your car

  • Find out the direct and indirect costs of your driving, and see where you can improve, with this calculator from commutesolutions.org.
  • Before buying a car, calculate its true cost at edmunds.com. This calculator will tell you a car’s cost over time, including maintenance, fuel and insurance.
  • Reduce your insurance premium, which is likely based in part on your annual mileage. If you reduce your driving, your insurance cost could go down.
  • Skip rush hour. If you can, adjust your work hours to avoid traffic.
  • Use the grade of gas (regular, premium, etc.) that your car’s owner’s manual recommends. Most cars run fine on regular, so using a higher grade is a waste of money.

Be more fuel efficient

  • When buying a new car, visit the EPA Green Vehicle Guide to research your most fuel-efficient options.
  • Slow down on the highway. Driving 65 mph instead of 75 mph reduces your fuel cost by 13%. Visit www.fueleconomy.gov for more suggestions.
  • If you know you’ll be idling for more than a minute, turn off your engine to save gas.
  • For long trips or regular commutes, make sure to drive your most fuel-efficient car.

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