Skip to Content

10 Proven Strategies For Cutting Transportation Costs

Are you feeling the pinch when it comes to managing your transportation costs? If so, you’re not alone. Many college students find themselves struggling to keep up with the ever-rising expenses of getting from point A to point B.

Here’s a fact: Americans spend over $9500 on transportation each year – and that number keeps climbing. This article will show you 10 proven strategies to cut those costs dramatically, whether it’s through carpooling with friends or taking advantage of public transportation like New York City buses or Chicago’s metro trains.

Ready to save big? Keep reading!

Strategies to Reduce Transportation Costs

A packed city bus with diverse passengers and urban scenery.

Saving money on getting around is easier than you think. By sharing rides with friends or using buses and trains, you can keep more cash in your pocket.

Carpool with coworkers and friends

Carpooling with coworkers and friends helps you cut down on gas and parking costs. You split the expenses, making it cheaper for everyone. It also lets you use carpool lanes, which can make your trip faster and save more fuel.

I once carpooled to a class project meeting across town, and we saved a lot on gas by splitting the cost four ways.

By sharing rides, you’re not just saving money; you’re also making travel fun. It turns routine drives into a chance to catch up or plan your day. Plus, using apps like Venmo makes splitting costs easy—no need to fuss over exact change or who owes what.

This way of getting around is smart for trips to work, school events, or even concerts where parking can be pricey.

Take advantage of public transportation

Riding the subway, bus, or train can save you lots of money. Cities like New York City, USA have great systems like the New York City subway and Long Island Rail Road. You won’t need to spend on gas, parking, or car maintenance.

Plus, insurance companies often give discounts if you drive less because you use public transport more.

You could get monthly passes which come cheaper for students. These deals are perfect for college kids trying to save a bit extra. I once saved about a hundred bucks in a month just by swapping my car rides for the Chicago Transit Authority trains and buses.

Next up: Plan your route wisely – another smart move to cut down costs.

Plan your route wisely

Use Apple Map or Google Map to stay away from toll roads. This trick saves money. Try putting all your errands together into one trip. It cuts down on how much gas you use.

Picking the quickest way also helps save fuel. I tried this and noticed my car used less gas than usual on a week’s worth of rides. Next, let’s talk about using bike lanes for more savings.

Use designated bike lanes

After planning your route, the next step is biking on designated paths. Riding your bike saves money and helps the earth. It cuts down on cash spent on gas and car upkeep. Bike lanes are made for your safety.

They keep you away from busy car traffic.

Cities have made it easier to bike to places. You can use bike share programs if you don’t own a bike. This way, you avoid high costs like insurance and maintenance tied to cars. Plus, pedaling through these lanes often gets you there faster than driving or waiting in foot traffic during rush hours.

Consider ride-sharing or renting a car

Switching from biking to other options can save time and even more money. Programs like Zipcar and Enterprise Car Share are there for you. They give flexible ways to get around without owning a car.

This is good if you need a vehicle now and then but not all the time.

I once needed a car for a group project across town. Renting through one of these programs was cheaper than taxi or owning my own car. Plus, it was easy to book using their app on my phone—just pick-up, go, and drop-off when done.

It’s smart to check these out for occasional trips where bike lanes or public transport don’t work out.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Vehicle

A fuel-efficient car parked near gas station in a urban setting.

When you pick a car, think about how much gas it uses and what you’ll pay to keep it running. You also need to know how fast its value goes down over time and the cost of insuring it.

Gas mileage

Gas mileage is a big deal if you want to save money. Choosing a hybrid or economy vehicle helps cut down on gas costs. You’ll spend less at gas stations, which means more cash stays in your pocket.

Also, how you drive matters a lot for saving fuel. Avoid quick starts and stops—drive smoothly instead. Keeping your tires filled with the right amount of air improves your car’s fuel efficiency too.

Picking a car with good gas mileage also makes sure you’re not wasting money on extra fuel. It’s smart to think about this when renting a car or looking into auto insurance for different models.

SUVs might look cool but often use more gas than smaller cars or hybrids do. So, going for a ride that’s kinder on fuel can really benefit your budget in the long run.

Insurance costs

Checking on insurance rates can save you money. Look around and compare prices from different companies. You might find a better deal somewhere else. Some insurance places lower their prices if you drive less every month.

So, if you’re not driving much, tell your insurance agent – it could cut down your costs.

Next up, think about the car’s upkeep to keep it running without spending too much.

Maintenance costs

Cars need regular upkeep to run well. This means getting oil changes, making sure air filters are clean, and having tune-ups done. These actions make your car more efficient and can save you money on gas over time.

Also, cleaning out extra stuff from your car makes it lighter. A lighter car needs less gas to move.

Driving carefully also helps lower maintenance costs. Avoid hard stops and starts because they wear your car down faster. Paying attention to how you drive protects your vehicle from early damage.

So, taking care of your car with regular maintenance and good driving habits cuts down what you spend overall on keeping it running smoothly.


Buying a used car can help you save money. New cars lose value fast once you drive them off the lot. This drop in value is what we call depreciation. For example, I bought a used sedan that was already three years old.

It cost much less than a new one would have, and it didn’t lose its value as quickly afterward.

Think about the long-term too. A vehicle’s worth goes down over time. If you get a car that holds its value well, you won’t lose as much money when it’s time to sell or trade it in.

Some cars are known for this—research before buying to find ones with good resale values; consider things like gas mileage and insurance costs too since they add up over time.

Tips for Saving on Travel Costs

Saving on travel costs means finding smart ways to get where you’re going without spending too much. For that, booking flights when they’re cheapest and using buses or trains can keep your wallet happy.

Keep an eye out for special deals on hiring vehicles if you need one, but walking or pedaling might be the better choice sometimes. Find out more tricks to save big!

Book off-peak flights

Fly on Mondays or Tuesdays. This simple trick can lower your ticket cost a lot. Airlines often offer better prices at the start of the week. You’ve seen it before, searching for flights and watching prices change.

Next time, check early in the week.

Travel during less busy times and think about the season too. Summer is usually more expensive because everyone wants to move or vacation then. I tried this myself once, choosing to fly in late April instead of June.

The difference in price was huge! So, if you can be flexible with your dates, do it. It means you have more money for other things like car rentals through affiliate links or grabbing a subway system pass in NYC.

Also, don’t forget airlines have rewards programs—signing up might get you deals that are not available to everyone else.

Utilize public transportation

Public buses or trains can help you save money on gas, places to park, fixing your car, and paying for car insurance. You might also get discounts if you are a student, old-aged, or don’t make a lot of money.

Some jobs give money back for using buses or trains too. Riding the subway in big cities like NYC is cheaper than driving everywhere.

You can use apps like Waze to find out bus times or when the next train is coming. This makes planning easy so you don’t waste time waiting too long. Plus, think about all the studying you can do while someone else drives!

Look for deals on car rentals

Saving money on car rentals can be easy if you know where to look. Before you rent a car, think about what you need. Maybe your hotel offers a free shuttle service. This could save you the cost of renting for a day or two.

Always search for rental car coupons online before booking. You might find a great deal that cuts down the costs significantly.

For trips that take you far from home, renting a car could also save your own vehicle from wear and tear. Websites and apps are out there to help compare prices across different rental companies.

This way, you get the best deal possible without extra effort. Planning ahead means more chances to save, so don’t wait until the last minute to book your ride for long-distance travel.

Walk or bike instead of using ride-sharing services

After checking out car rental deals, you might still want to save more money. Try walking or biking. This choice cuts down on what you spend on gas and keeps your car in better shape for longer.

Plus, it’s good for your health.

I once decided to bike instead of catching a lift with Uber or Lyft to class every day. It was a game-changer. My bank account looked healthier, just like me. And with today’s tech, biking is easier than ever.

You can find bike-sharing programs in many cities, skipping the need for owning one. This move not only saved me money on ride-share services but also made getting around town fun and simple.


Cutting down on how much you spend getting from place to place makes a big difference in your budget. Look into carpooling, public buses and trains, or even biking to save some cash.

Think about what kind of vehicle suits your needs but doesn’t cost too much in gas or upkeep. Hunt for savings when flying by picking less busy times and watching out for deals on car borrowing services.

By using these strategies, managing travel expenses becomes easier, leaving more money in your pocket for other things that matter to you.