Transportation is a sizable expense. On average, the cost of driving accounts for 10 to 15 percent of personal income in America. Making the right decisions about car purchases and using public transport can save you big dollars.
Research carefully if you need to buy car. Pay attention to safety, insurance, gas mileage, registration, repairs and maintenance. Make decisions to buy a car based on the long-term cost, not just the sticker price.
Avoid financing your car. A car depreciates substantially over time. It is not an investment. So it does not make much sense financially to borrow money to pay for a car. If you have to buy a car, buy a cheap one that you can afford. Buying a good used car is cost-effective since you pay less for the car and for the insurance. Leasing a car is also not recommended since the cost for leasing often exceeds borrowing money to buy a car.
Sell your car if it is too costly to operate due to insurance, gas or costs of repairs or maintenance. Keep the number of cars you own to a minimum.
Service your car regularly. This will reduce the cost of repairs or unexpected breakdowns in the long run.
Use carpool, bus or train to get to work. Driving during rush hours is not only costly but also unpleasant. Take into account commuting costs when you consider where to live or to work. If you live close to the office, you can bike and walk to work instead.
Research parking options before you drive to a certain location. In many places, parking is expensive and difficult to find. You may find a much cheaper parking lot just two blocks away from where you want to get to.