Some people don’t have the good fortune of living close to their workplaces. In that case, they do what is necessary to survive without having to move and typically engage in long, costly commutes. If you’re in this situation as well, there are some things you can do so that getting to and from work doesn’t take such a big bite out of your budget.

Buy a Fuel-Efficient Vehicle

Perhaps your commute costs more than you’d like because you have a very old car that doesn’t get reasonable gas mileage. That’s a compelling reason to think about getting a better car that gets more miles to the gallon than the one you have now. You might think this suggestion is one of the extreme possibilities you could try, but it makes a lot of sense if you think you’ll be buying a better vehicle within the next year or two anyway.

Before investing in a new car, research to see which ones are best for the driving your commute usually requires. Cars have different fuel economy ratings based on in-town driving and interstate trips. Pay attention to those numbers and find one that suits your commuting route, whether it involves long stretches of road or lots of stop-and-go traffic.

How to Save Money as a Frequent Car-Based Commuter

Consider Car Sharing Programs

Many cities — and especially those located in metropolitan areas — have programs that allow you to pick a car from a designated parking area, get inside it to travel to work, then return the vehicle to the same place you found it or another dedicated spot for those shared cars.

Car sharing programs allow you to get to work handily without paying for vehicle maintenance or insurance. They also benefit the environment by resulting in fewer cars on our nation’s roads and allowing people to use hybrid automobiles in some cases.

Inquire About Working Longer or Different Hours

If it feels like you spend more time in the car than at work, talk to your boss about the possibility of working longer hours, so every commute becomes more cost-effective. It’s important to realize how that approach may impact your family, especially if the people in your household look forward to spending time with you when you’re not at work. Although you may extend the amount of time spent at the office, though, you’ll probably have the advantage of working fewer days.

When working for a more prolonged duration is not feasible, see if you could start working earlier or later and miss the periods of heaviest traffic. That option doesn’t always save money, but it could, especially if you typically spend the majority of your commutes stuck in traffic. Congested roads can be hard on your car, making you spend more on maintenance and potentially investing in things like brake repairs.

Look for Ways to Save on Insurance Coverage

Car insurance is mandatory in most states, so it’s not wise to try and drive without it and hope you won’t get caught. That’s a risky move that could result in sizeable fines. It’s worthwhile to meet with a local provider of auto insurance and talk to that representative about ways to reduce your rates. You might get discounts for driving safely or deciding to get your life and health insurance from the same company that insures your vehicle.

Companies also might offer money-saving opportunities to people who show evidence of passing a defensive driving course. Knowing how to stay safe in the presence of other drivers could save you money, then, and it’s especially advantageous to have that insight as a commuter.

This list of suggestions proves that saving money while commuting in a car is not impossible. Try implementing these tips soon and seeing if they give your bank account balance a boost over time.

Talk to me in the comments, please:

How do you save money on buying a car?