Do you remember how exciting it was to be 16 and driving for the first time? At the time, all you can think about is driving more, it takes years before you start to brainstorm ways to drive less. In fact, almost everyone fondly remembers their first car and the excitement it provided. Driving is supposed to be fun, after all. Driving is supposed to give you the freedom to do all the things that you want to do in your life.
And yet, driving’s become a stress-laden chore for most. You drive to and from work, to the grocery store, to the dry cleaner –gas prices keep inching up, and parking lots seem to always be full.
The truth is; we probably rely too much on our vehicles. Cutting down on how much you drive daily can help stimulate a healthier lifestyle, reduce stress, and save a ton of cash on car insurance with usage-based insurance models. And it’s not too hard to do if you’re willing to make a few changes.So here are five of the best ways to drive a little less, to save a little more money.
1. Drive Less: Live Closer to the Places You Go Most
This is probably an obvious tip but try to at least live closer to your work. Getting to work is usually the biggest transportation need in anyone’s life; by moving closer to your job, you allow yourself to save a lot of mileage and even some sleep.
And who wouldn’t like more sleep?
Of course, many businesses are situated in bustling downtown areas where housing is limited and costly. If you cannot live near your job, consider moving closer to commonly visited resources. Try to find a place near your favorite grocery store or close to your child’s school to cut down on the morning commute. The more destinations you can walk to, the less you’ll need to load up the car.
2. Drive Less: Give Up Shopping as a Hobby
Have you ever gone to the store just to browse? I think we’re all guilty there.
Window shopping is a favorite pastime of nearly everyone. There’s a pleasant easiness to just walking around aimlessly and looking around to see whatever catches your interest. And who knows – you may just find that special something on a whim!
The problem with this is it adds unnecessary miles on your odometer if you’re in the habit of shopping or browsing to fight boredom. Try to save your window shopping trips for when you actually need to make purchases.
3. Drive Less: In fact, Shop Online
For those times when you genuinely need to make a purchase, you won’t need to get in the car if you consider shopping online. Modern online retailers are very competitive with brick-and-mortar locations, often even writing-off the price of shipping so they can pass the savings on to you.
Of course, there are items like furniture and clothing which you ought to see in person before buying. However, you can get great savings on electronics, entertainment media, and even groceries without having to drive so much as a mile down the road.
4. Drive Less: Entertain at Home
Open floor plans in houses are all the rage nowadays for a reason; they allow you to entertain at home and keep everyone included in a larger space. If you’re looking to drive less, save the mileage by inviting friends and family over to spend an evening at your place.
Not only will this save your car some cumulative wear and tear, it will also save a lot of cash by skipping the costly restaurant and night-life bills. You can even make it a point to carpool with friends if you’d like to take turns entertaining.
5. Drive Less: Use Alternate Transportation
Many towns and cities have excellent public transportation systems that you can utilize. And if you’ve not ridden a bus since school, you might want to give it a shot. Studies show that riding public transportation or biking reduces stress and even provides health benefits. And that shouldn’t be too surprising if you’ve ever sat white-knuckled in rush hour traffic.
These alternative forms of transportation provide exercise, reduce stress, and save you money; they’ll keep your waistline trim and your sanity intact. According to the Department of Transportation, the average American spends 334 hours driving per year. Factor gas and insurance…and it’s a lot. But if you’re willing to make an effort to reduce your driving, you can save a ton of green and live a healthier and easier life.
Learn more about Metromile’s pay-per-mile insurance offering and get a free quote here.
Samantha Tung is a contributing author and Media Specialist for Caliber Collision.