The 5 Best Ways to Drive Less

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.

parked bike in front of window that reads "WORK." Drive Less, Bike More.

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.

This Earth Day, Try Driving Less

Earth Day is pretty important to us at Metromile. It might sound contradictory since we work in the car industry, but we pride ourselves on incentivizing customers to drive less since they pay based on the miles they drive. Earth Day is actually a worldwide celebration — it began in 1970 and continues to be recognized in 193 countries. In the spirit of the holiday, here are tips on how to drive less and cut down on your vehicle’s carbon emissions.

drive_less_earth_day

 

Bike to work. The majority of Americans live close to their workplace. So instead of grabbing your keys to start your car in the morning, grab your helmet and start biking. Even biking one day a week can make a big impact. Check out our tips on how to enjoy your bike commute.

Walk more. Get a kickstart to your day by walking to work. You’ll get a bunch of steps in before breakfast and heat up the competition in your step challenge group.

Organize a carpool. Find a friend who lives and works close to you, and take turns driving each other to work. If no one comes to mind, here are some ideas on how to find someone to carpool with. An added bonus is that you can drive in the carpool lane all the way to work!

Or let someone arrange a pool for you. Try UberPOOL or Lyft Line, where you share a ride with other passengers on your way to your destination. This also costs significantly less than a normal Uber ride.

Invest in a hybrid car. They give off fewer carbon emissions and get better gas mileage which is definitely a win for our wildlife (and your wallet).

If these tips work for you and you find yourself driving less, pay-per-mile insurance could be a great fit for you! To learn more, or to see how much you could save, just click here.

Spending & Saving in the City

From new pop-up stores and great nightlife to job opportunities and historical landmarks, city living is exciting and exhilarating on a day-to-day basis. However, it can also be very expensive. Here are some easy ways you can save money, so you can enjoy city living without breaking the bank!

city driving

Create a budget. This may seem obvious, but take some time to look at your take-home pay and monthly expenses. By using a software like Mint, you can create savings goals, categorize expenses, and receive custom alerts when you are close to overspending.

Take public transportation, or opt into a bike-share service. The less you drive your car, the more you’ll save money on gas and car maintenance. If you switch to pay-per-mile insurance, you could save even more money because your bill is based on how much you drive. Read more here.

Walk to your local farmers’ market. Since farmers have more stock of in-season fruits and vegetables, they are able to sell them at a lower price. Bonus tip: if you prefer to buy organic, it’s often cheaper at a farmers’ market than at a grocery store.

Eat in (sometimes). Okay, okay. We know it’s fun to try the trendy new restaurants. You can still budget for a weekly dinner splurge, but spend more time in your kitchen. Plus, leftovers make a great lunch the next day!

Automate savings. Have your bank automatically move cash into your savings on payday. You won’t know it’s not there, so you won’t miss it!

Side hustle. With so many new modern conveniences and resource sharing services, you can side hustle on your time with ridesharing, dog walking, house cleaning and more. Or if you’re crafty, try your hand at selling your art on Etsy.

If you are interesting in saving on car insurance, Metromile could save you $500/year! Try getting a quote to see how much you could save.

Biking 101: The Commute

May is National Bike Month, and what better time to try your hand at a new commute? More than half of Americans live within five miles of their office, which is about a 30 minute bike ride. Biking to work offers many benefits: it saves time and money and is good for the environment. Plus, you’ll getting a workout in!

drive less

If you’re thinking about biking to work, but don’t know what you need or where to get started, we’ve gathered some best practices and good habits for your bike commute:

Bike to Work 101

Get your gear: You don’t need to have a full bicycle kit to ride to work. However, we do recommend wearing a sturdy helmet and finding a reliable bike lock. Many urban offices have a bike room you can store your bike in during the day, so be sure to utilize that if it’s an option.

Test ride: Google Maps offers routes for an optimized bike commute on streets with bike paths. Test your ride in off-commute hours or on a non-work day to get a hang of your route.

Follow the rules of the road: Always bike in the same direction of traffic, and keep a pulse on the cars, bikes and pedestrians around you. Read more bicycle safety tips here.

Good Habits

Keep the phone out of sight: You’ll want to keep your eyes on the road and your ears out for honking, approaching cars and ambulances.

Use clear hand signals: Using your left hand to signal while biking helps communicate your route clearly with the drivers around you.

Dress for the ride: Make sure the drivers around you are aware you are there, and on two wheels. Wear bright colors during the day and reflective gear at night.

National Bike to Work Week is May 16-20, 2016. Bike to Work Day is May 20, 2016.

Don’t have a bike? Many urban areas have bike share programs, which allow riders an allotted time for transportation for a small annual fee. If you find yourself on two wheels more often than four, pay-per-mile car insurance could be a great option for you. Find out more here.

Don’t Drive Much? How to Save (and Even Make) Money

Just because you own a car doesn’t mean you are regularly taking it out for a spin. Perhaps you only use it when you are heading on a road trip, grabbing groceries from the store, or rushing to work when you “didn’t hear your alarm”. When you realize you’ve only clocked 5,000 miles in the past year, you might feel pressed to justify such a large investment. But it’s your car, it’s your way of driving your friends to the beach this weekend. We get it, which is why we compiled some easy ways to keep your car running smoothly and maybe even leverage it to earn some extra cash.

drive less car tips

Try pay-per-mile insurance: If you are a low-mileage driver and drive less than 10,000 miles a year (around 200 each week) you could save a lot of money with pay-per-mile insurance. Your monthly bill is based on the miles you drive, so if you don’t drive much, you won’t pay much. Worried about the occasional road trip? Metromile won’t bill you for more than 250 miles a day (150 in certain states)! If you are interested in seeing how much money you could save, try getting a free insurance quote.

Join a carpool: Chances are you aren’t the only person driving a similar route to work — daily traffic is proof of that. Team up with others in your neighborhood and start a weekly carpool to save on gas and sneak in some valuable work time when you aren’t behind the wheel. There are lots of apps that can aid in this endeavor, like Carma, Ride and even a new pilot from Uber.

Know the basics: There’s no need to spend a lot of time on car maintenance when you aren’t driving much, but there are a few tips to remember in order to avoid costly repairs. Know how to deal with a flat tire and keep your tires properly inflated. It’s also important to change your oil on a regular basis as it keeps your car running smoothly and extends the life of the vehicle. Lastly, fix your brakes if they are squeaky because that likely means the brake lining is starting to wear thin.

Be smart about car storage: If you are leaving your car idle for a long time, the ideal place to store it is in a garage because it prevents theft and also protects against the elements like that blazing summer sun. Garage parking can be expensive, especially in the city, so if you don’t need frequent access to your car you should shop around for the cheapest garage space instead of paying a premium to park in the closest garage. If the most viable option is keeping it outside, consider purchasing waterproof car cover to keep it clean to save on long-term costs of wear and tear.

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Easy Ways to Find a Work Carpool

Did you know that a solo drive to work costs an average of $5,000 a year and that many people spend 250 hours alone in a car? If this applies to you, carpooling can be a great way to save thousands on tolls and gas. It also can give you valuable time back to be productive (checking emails, reading the news) when you’re in the passenger seat. The hassle of finding someone who has a similar route and schedule as you might seem daunting, so we’ve got the low-down on simplifying your carpool strategy.

carpool

Looking for someone to carpool with? Try one of these apps that match you to a driver or rider with a similar route.

Scoop allows you to schedule morning and afternoon commutes either independently or together. Based on your route, schedule and traffic, trips are custom tailored for you and the drivers. If you choose to drive a carpool, that’s more cash in your pocket. Scoop even guarantees you a ride home, so you’ll never have to worry about being stuck at work.

Hitch A Ride helps you connect with colleagues to see who lives nearby – and opens the floor to discuss carpool destinations. Payment terms are negotiated between you and the driver- meaning you can either pay a flat rate or pick up a bagel for them in the morning. You can even connect with your social networks to see where your friends are travelling – and hop in for the ride!

UberPOOL matches riders heading in the same direction, and the trip costs up to 50% less than UberX. If you find yourself frequently hopping in a rideshare to save time on your commute, this is a great alternative. It only adds a few minutes to your ride, and you could meet a new friend.

Riding with a friend or coworker? Follow these tips to make sure it’s a smooth ride:

  • Discuss the pickup point. Is the driver picking everyone up at home? Are you meeting at a convenient location for everyone?
  • If everyone is going to take turns driving, create a schedule that you all agree on. Be flexible if there is a day when someone needs to switch drivers.
  • Decide on payment terms based on mileage and fuel cost. If everyone is taking turns driving equally, you may not need to exchange cash.
  • Make some ground rules and be respectful of them. How long will the driver wait if someone is late? When will you exchange payment? Is talking on cell phones OK?

Need a way to fill the silence? Check out our list of commute-friendly podcasts!

If you are participating in a carpool you’ll likely be driving your car less frequently, so you could really save a lot of money with pay-per-mile car insurance. Learn more and get your free quote here.

Ear Candy: Podcasts for the Daily Commute

Whether driving or using alternative forms of transportation, the monotony of a daily commute can be exhausting. Turn left here, turn right there, sit in stopped traffic for twenty minutes… To make your commute more enjoyable, we’re here with some great podcasts to tune in to. The best part? They’re almost all free. Many will have you on the edge of your seat with suspense or crying because you are laughing so hard.

commuting tips

Serial tells one true story over the course of a season. Each episode, you are given more and more information about the plot and characters, so episodes must be listened to in order. Season one follows an unsolved murder mystery, and season two follows U.S. soldier Bowe Bergdahl, who was captured by the Taliban and is now home. It’s captivating – you won’t want to get out of your car (or bus)!

The Moth records stories told by everyday people, unscripted, to a crowd of storytelling enthusiasts worldwide. The stories are strung together by a common theme into a weekly podcast that comes out on Tuesdays. See if there is a live story slam near you (you can enter to share your own story too).

Stuff You Should Know has something for everyone – from learning how jackhammers work to discovering the origins of dark fairy tales. You can get the lowdown now on their website.

TED Radio Hour circles through many fascinating inventions, approaches, creations and more. They are based on real TED Talks given by speakers on the famed TED stage. Also, check out the TEDTalks: Technology podcast where inventors and researchers in tech share their visions and successes.

Dinner Party Download will get you up-to-date on culture, food and conversation. Guests include creative and comedic celebrities, such as Steve Martin, Jason Schwartzmann, Brie Larson and Olivia Wilde. You’ll be full of conversation starters for your next party.

We’re always looking for new podcasts to add to our library. What are you listening to? Share with us below in the comments. And if your podcast-filled commute has you taking the bus instead of driving, pay-per-mile insurance could be a great option for you! Learn more here.

How to Drive Less (And Save More!) This Year

It’s about that time when those “pie in the sky” resolutions start to fade away. Luckily, you can set new intentions whenever you want! If you are looking for a new (and attainable) goal to work towards this year, we’ve got a great one for you. Start driving less. With a myriad of alternative transportation options (hoverboard, anyone?) it’s easier than ever to reduce your car’s mileage. Driving less will save you a ton of money and also alleviate pollution and traffic. It’s a win for both your wallet and the environment! So without further ado, here are some tips on how to drive less this year.

drive_less_save_more

Get some fresh air. If you live close to where you work, you have the luxury of biking or walking instead of driving. Stop letting excuses like shorter days, tired legs and chillier temperatures prevent you from getting a little exercise every morning. None of these things are deal breakers, and even if you try it once a week or mornings only, that’s still a big improvement from solely relying on your car. Bonus: conquer two goals at once if you resolved to get more fit this year. Your Fitbit will thank you!

Sharing is caring. Chances are you aren’t the only person driving a similar route to work — daily traffic is proof of that. Team up with others in your neighborhood and start a weekly carpool. You won’t have to drive every day, so you’ll save on gas and also sneak in some valuable work or reading time when you aren’t behind the wheel. There are lots of apps that can aid in this endeavor, like Carma and Ride, which match you with nearby commuters. Even tech giants like Uber and Google’s Waze are testing carpooling programs, which could be the driving force needed to make carpooling the norm.

Save money with pay-per-mile car insurance. Now that you are driving less, you could save a ton of money with Metromile. Our pay-per-mile car insurance offering is great for people who drive under 200 miles a week, which happens to be 65% of the U.S.! On average, we are saving our customers $500 a year. Try getting a quick, free quote to see how much you could save.

Give public transit another chance. Maybe you had a bad experience with a bus constantly being late, or assumed public transportation is just too complicated without actually trying it. Cities are working harder than ever to provide reliable and affordable public transportation options, and with transit apps like Quicky and Transit, you’ll be able to accurately gauge bus arrival time, plan routes and more. It’s totally fine to rely on your car when you are running late, but try getting up a few minutes earlier some mornings to catch the bus.

Plan some road trips. We aren’t advocating that you go cold turkey and give up your car entirely. Use some of the money you’re saving and relish in the freedom that owning a car gives you by hitting the open road! Unleash your inner weekend warrior and plan a trip to the mountains for some skiing, or start conjuring plans about where you could drive when the weather gets nicer. Check out our road trip guide for inspiration!

How to Drive Less (And Save More!)

It’s about that time when those “pie in the sky” resolutions start to fade away. Luckily, you can set new intentions whenever you want! If you are looking for a new (and attainable) goal to work towards this year, we’ve got a great one for you. Start driving less. With a myriad of alternative transportation options (hoverboard, anyone?) it’s easier than ever to reduce your car’s mileage. Driving less will save you a ton of money and also alleviate pollution and traffic. It’s a win for both your wallet and the environment! So without further ado, here are some tips on how to drive less this year.

drive_less_save_more

Get some fresh air. If you live close to where you work, you have the luxury of biking or walking instead of driving. Stop letting excuses like shorter days, tired legs and chillier temperatures prevent you from getting a little exercise every morning. None of these things are deal breakers, and even if you try it once a week or mornings only, that’s still a big improvement from solely relying on your car. Bonus: conquer two goals at once if you resolved to get more fit this year. Your Fitbit will thank you!

Sharing is caring. Chances are you aren’t the only person driving a similar route to work — daily traffic is proof of that. Team up with others in your neighborhood and start a weekly carpool. You won’t have to drive every day, so you’ll save on gas and also sneak in some valuable work or reading time when you aren’t behind the wheel. There are lots of apps that can aid in this endeavor, like Carma and Ride, which match you with nearby commuters. Even tech giants like Uber and Google’s Waze are testing carpooling programs, which could be the driving force needed to make carpooling the norm.

Save money with pay-per-mile car insurance. Now that you are driving less, you could save a ton of money with Metromile. Our pay-per-mile car insurance offering is great for people who drive under 200 miles a week, which happens to be 65% of the U.S.! On average, we are saving our customers $500 a year. Try getting a quick, free quote to see how much you could save.

Give public transit another chance. Maybe you had a bad experience with a bus constantly being late, or assumed public transportation is just too complicated without actually trying it. Cities are working harder than ever to provide reliable and affordable public transportation options, and with transit apps like Quicky and Transit, you’ll be able to accurately gauge bus arrival time, plan routes and more. It’s totally fine to rely on your car when you are running late, but try getting up a few minutes earlier some mornings to catch the bus.

Plan some road trips. We aren’t advocating that you go cold turkey and give up your car entirely. Use some of the money you’re saving and relish in the freedom that owning a car gives you by hitting the open road! Unleash your inner weekend warrior and plan a trip to the mountains for some skiing, or start conjuring plans about where you could drive when the weather gets nicer. Check out our road trip guide for inspiration!

Don’t Drive Much? How to Save (and Even Make) Money

Just because you own a car doesn’t mean you are regularly taking it out for a spin. Perhaps you only use it when you are heading on a road trip, grabbing groceries from the store, or rushing to work when you “didn’t hear your alarm”. When you realize you’ve only clocked 5,000 miles in the past year, you might feel pressed to justify such a large investment. But it’s your car, it’s your way of driving your friends to the beach this weekend. We get it, which is why we compiled some easy ways to keep your car running smoothly and maybe even leverage it to earn some extra cash.

drive less car tips

Know the basics: There’s no need to spend a lot of time on car maintenance when you aren’t driving much, but there are a few tips to remember in order to avoid costly repairs. Know how to deal with a flat tire and keep your tires properly inflated. It’s also important to change your oil on a regular basis as it keeps your car running smoothly and extends the life of the vehicle. Lastly, fix your brakes if they are squeaky because that likely means the brake lining is starting to wear thin.

Be smart about car storage: If you are leaving your car idle for a long time, the ideal place to store it is in a garage because it prevents theft and also protects against the elements like that blazing summer sun. Garage parking can be expensive, especially in the city, so if you don’t need frequent access to your car you should shop around for the cheapest garage space instead of paying a premium to park in the closest garage. If the most viable option is keeping it outside, consider purchasing waterproof car cover to keep it clean to save on long-term costs of wear and tear.

Try pay-per-mile insurance: If you are a low-mileage driver and drive less than 10,000 miles a year (around 200 each week) you could save a lot of money with pay-per-mile insurance. Your monthly bill is based on the miles you drive, so if you don’t drive much, you won’t pay much. Worried about the occasional road trip? Metromile won’t bill you for more than 150 miles a day (250 in WA)! If you are interested in seeing how much money you could save, try getting a free insurance quote.

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