Make savings on your car
Here are 1001 tips and tricks for making savings on your car, thereby reducing pollution and saving money.
- Drive a little less
- Avoid useless journeys
- Have your shopping delivered to you
- Car pool
- Alternative transportation modes
- Resell your car
Drive a little less
Instead of parking your car right at your workplace, park it 200 meters away, for instance, and walk the rest of the distance. By doing so, you save 400 m of your car journey each day, or 60 miles per year of 50 work weeks, which saves you some dollars whilst getting you to exercise without you even realizing it.
Avoid useless journeys
Optimize your transport itinerary, e.g. in order to do all your shopping at the same place and on the same day. In the same manner, you could suggest car sharing to your neighbor for doing shopping, for example (you could do the groceries for you and your neighbor one week, and he/she could do it the week after that), or for taking the kids to and back from school.
Have your shopping delivered to you
Have your shopping delivered to you. Although the rates may vary, having your shopping delivered to you has the advantage of saving you time and energy, as well as polluting less. This is because even though the delivery vehicle pollutes a lot due to its size, it is capable of delivering many more goods than 10 or 20 cars going to the supermarket can contain, for the same co2 output.
Just look and observe: most cars are designed for 5 people, and yet they often carry a single person, or two at the very most. One day whilst in town, I counted the number of people in each car for an hour, just for fun. 80% of the time, the car contained just one passenger, two passengers 10-15% of the time, and three or more passengers for only less than 10% of the time...
Indeed, only a few percent of drivers use car pooling on a regular basis. It's silly because car pooling is convivial, pollutes less, and is much cheaper.
As such, I saved $70 by car pooling with 3 other passengers on a return trip between Nancy and Dijon (two cities in France; a journey of 140 miles) whilst getting to chat during the journey.
And instead of emitting 200g of co2 per kilometer, I emitted only 200/4 = 50g - how's this compared to the European government objective of 120g of co2 per kilometer?
A must-read: article on car pooling.
Alternative transportation modes
The car generally constitutes the most inefficient mode of transportation: it is slow, expensive, and highly pollutive (more so than the plane for a single person), extremely dangerous (pollution-related deaths, road accidents), and impractical (repairs to do, garage, having to find a space in town, etc.).
Of course, the car is relatively practical when we have many things or people to transport, or when driving out into the country. But as a general rule:
- Walk for short journeys. Pleasant in summer, practical, and free of charge, walking is a good means of transportation.
- You can get around on a bicycle at an average of 13km/h in urban areas, as opposed to 17 by car (in European city), except that parking your bicycle is quick, free of charge, and you don't risk getting fined for speeding.
- Choose the bus over the car when going into town. The transport times are similar and a bus ticket costs much less (about $1.40) than a car and the parking fee.
- In Europe, with the express trains averaging 60-90 mph and high speed train 125 to 200 mph, the train is not only fast but is also less expensive, safer, and more comfortable than the car.
- For long journeys, choose the plane if you are traveling alone. It's much cheaper with Ryanair, Easyjet (Europe), South West (USA), and the like than taking the car (cf calculate the cost of your car) and guess what? It's safer, more comfortable, faster, and... pollutes less (except for short journeys since the plane consumes a great deal during take-off).
Resell your car
If you are an average American person living alone, you would be earning the average French net salary of $3500 each month, that is, $42 000 per year. Out of this, you would be spending between $5.000 and $10.000 (12 to 24%) on your car - that's the average annual cost of a car, from its purchase to interest on bank loans to fuel...
Why not sell it, even if this means paying 10 or 20 dollars for a taxi once in a while, renting a vehicle when moving house, for shopping or even for the holidays?
If you take a taxi once a week that costs you $20 each time, rent a van for $50 every week for shopping and other weekend outings, and rent a car for $1000 for the holidays, you would spend $4500 in all in the year, i.e. $500 to $5500 in savings, and would have the possibility of changing cars any time...
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