October 17, 2018

Do Hybrid Cars Actually Save You Money?

A hybrid vehicle is one with both an electric engine and an internal combustion engine (petrol, diesel or LPG). These vehicles are an increasingly popular choice for their fuel efficiency and low emissions. Petrol-powered cars travel an average of 14,000 km per year, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This means that a typical hybrid will pay for itself through fuel savings after 5-7 years.

Your savings will not be as good if you drive mostly at fast speeds, like when you are on a freeway, but in slow traffic, this is where you can save money. The greater your mileage, the greater your savings.

Aside from fuel, here are some factors to think of when buying a hybrid car:

Capital costs

Hybrid cars are not cheap. You have to pay an extra $3000 to $4000 to buy one.

Resale

Compared to conventional cars, hybrids don’t have a great resale value due to some concerns about battery life.

Tires

Hybrids have added weight so tires get worn out quicker compared to normal cars, but the difference is small.

Parking

Australia hasn’t offered discounts for hybrids unlike in the UK where parking fees are slashed by 20% if you park a hybrid car.

Brakes

Braking systems feed energy back into the car battery. Hybrids are easier on the brakes than a normal car so you don’t need to service your brakes as frequently.

Servicing

Hybrid systems are reliable. But since they have two engines, complexity is added to the equation and complex systems are not cheap to fix. So, servicing is more expensive on hybrids. Battery replacement can range from $1000 to $6000.

Registration

A hybrid car doesn’t have registration discounts. Registration fees often rise along with the price of the hybrid car.

Insurance

Insurance procedures between hybrids and conventional cars are pretty much the same. However, much like registration fees, insurance costs are affected by the price of the car.

If you’re considering buying a hybrid car to save money, make sure to do your research first. Check the features first and see if those meet your needs and if you can really expect to save money.

Do you have other ideas when it comes to hybrid card and cheap transportation? Share your insights in the comments section.

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Cheap Ways to Travel Across Europe

When you travel, one aspect that takes a big chunk of your holiday budget is transportation. That’s why many travellers seek cheap modes of transportation while on a holiday to save some cash. The cost of transportation obviously differs depending on the location. For instance, tourists in Australia would often say it’s expensive to take a vacation in the outback. If going to Australia is expensive, what about in other countries or regions? Imagine the costs to go to Europe, for instance.

But don’t worry. There are several ways to go on a vacation in Europe without breaking the bank. Here are some cheap travel ideas:

Avoid travelling on weekends

If you want to save money on airfares, consider travelling in the middle of the week. Also, check the late night flights especially if you don’t mind reaching your destination at odd hours. Sure, travelling on a weekday seems like the sensible option, but if time permits, you can get significant savings if you travel on a Saturday or Sunday.

Plan your trip

No matter where you’re going, it’s best to book in advance, and do your research about your destination. In most cases, scrambling to get tickets immediately will set you back hundreds of dollars compared to booking in advance. This also holds true for accommodation. Take note that prices tend to go higher during the summer season in Europe, so make sure to book early.

Take advantage of free walking tours

Want cheap transportation options? How about walking around European cities for free? Most cities offer free walking tours which are an ideal activity if you want to see Europe’s beauty from a local perspective. Not only will you be able to save money but walking is a great exercise to burn calories. It’s also a great avenue to meeting new friends!

Check travel review websites

Look at sites such as TripAdvisor. They have a wide array of firsthand reviews from other travellers. They will be able to tell you the cheap transportation modes across Europe, as well as tips on how to get the most out of your trip without shelling out a lot of money, not only in terms of getting around cities but also on food, tours, sites that are free to visit, and hotels.

Do you know other cheap ways to travel across Europe? Share your cheap transportation tips in the comments section.

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Cheap Ways to Get to Major Airports in Australia

With the ever-rising costs of commodities and services, it’s not surprising that a lot of people are thinking of ways to save money. For instance, in transportation, car-related costs can be expensive. Taking the bus or train makes more sense if you want to save money. Cheap transportation methods are also fast and convenient.

However, the same cannot be said when going to major airports in Australia. Designated airport public transport can be more expensive than standard public transport fares. The good thing is, you can do something about it. If you have time and you’re travelling light, you can have extra cash to pay for your meal when you get to the airport.

Here are cheap ways to get to major airports in Australia:

Sydney

Instead of taking the train which costs about $16 to go between domestic/international and Central Station, you can do ride share pick-ups at the Sydney Airport. For domestic, you can go to the Priority Pick-up Zone. For international, go to the Express Pick-up Zone.

Brisbane

When you book online, the Brisbane Airtrain that connects the airport to Brisbane Central costs around $17. Otherwise, it’s $18. You can look into Con-X-ion private bus transfers. Expect to pay $15 from centrally located accommodation, one way. If you need roundtrip transfers, expect to shell out $27.

If you’re not pressed for time, you can take a train from Toombul then take the 590 bus that will go to Garden City. Alight at the Skygate Shopping Centre and take a free TBus Shuttle to the airport.

Melbourne

The SkyBus is the only cheap transportation method that you can use when you’re in Tullamarine. This public transport takes you straight into the city. A one-way ticket sets you back $18.

Adelaide

There are several cheap forms of transportation that you can take. For instance, you can take the Jetexpress that will go straight to the city. There’s also the JetBus, an all-stops route covering Glenelg, West Beach and the city.

Perth

The cheapest transportation that you can take is the bus. From Terminal 1 or 2, you can take the 380 bus. From Terminal 3 or 4, make sure to take the 40 bus. Using the SmartCard, a one-way ride costs less than $10.

Do you know other cheap means of transport to get to major airports in Australia? Share your tips in the comments section.

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ofo – The World’s Largest Bike-sharing Platform

Whether you drive your own car or take the bus or train, transportation expenses can account for a relatively large chunk of your weekly budget. That is why a lot of people look for cheap transportation alternatives. Depending on where you need to go, you can leave your car and take the bus instead. If your destination is less than a kilometre from your house then walking is another option. For others, biking is their best bet.

The good thing is, there are several ways to go about it. You can buy and use your own bike, or go for ofo, the world’s largest bike-sharing platform.

In this article, let’s get to know more about ofo:

ofo is the first and biggest station-free bike sharing platform in the world. It was recently launched in Adelaide, Australia, the first destination in this part of the world. It is the first company of its kind to get officially licensed to operate in the country. While it chose Adelaide as its entry point, there are plans to have presence around the country.

There are many bike-sharing platforms available nowadays, so what makes ofo stand out from the rest? This platform offers better bikes that can be used through the ofo app. Users just need to download the app and get the passwords for the bike locks. ofo lays out parking zones in Adelaide so users can leave the bikes there. Of course, there will be helmets in accordance to the required helmet laws in the country.

Compared to its competitors, ofo offers cheaper rates. There will be a regular fee for the membership. It started out with only 50 bikes in Adelaide. If it becomes successful, ofo may soon release more bikes to be used around Australia.

Australia may not be a country you’d think of when it comes to being cycling-friendly. However, more and more people are starting to see the benefits of cycling. In fact, there are insurers that recognize the health benefits of this activity by offering lower premiums or discounts.

With ofo’s presence in Adelaide, it can become another cheap transportation alternative. Not only is it easy on the wallet, it’s also environment-friendly and good for your health. You may check out other resources to know more about this bike-sharing platform.

Do you have other ideas when it comes to cheap transportation? Share your insights in the comments section.

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Trading Your Old Car In or Selling It Privately

Many people opt for cheap transportation such as buses and trains for their daily commute, while others prefer to drive their own car. Having your own vehicle has its share of both benefits and disadvantages, but we can agree that it offers convenience.

If you drive a car there may come a time when you need to upgrade. Either your current car is already old, or you want something better. Whatever the reason is, you can either trade your old car or sell it privately.

To know which option is better, let’s take a look at what it takes to upgrade your car based on its features:

Trading In Your Old Car

This is the easiest route when it comes to upgrading your car. However, just like anything else, it comes with a price. Bear in mind that this is business, and car dealers obviously need to make money out of the transaction. In the end, you may trade your old car in for a lower price than you could have received through a private sale.

But what makes this a better option for you? You may need a new car right away, and you’re trading the old one in because it no longer meets your transportation needs. For one thing, trading your old car in is ideal if you don’t have a lot of time to wait for an upgrade.

It could also be that you no longer want to spend money whenever repairs are needed. Trading in may likewise be considered if there doesn’t seem to be anyone else who would like to buy your car. In these instances, trading your old car may be the way to go.

Selling Your Car Privately

Do you need more cash to buy a new car? If upgrading a car means buying a new one, then selling your car privately will probably be the better route for you. This will enable you to get more money so you can buy a car in full or at least cover the down payment.

This is not that difficult, but it takes time since you need to make more effort in putting some ads up and informing people that your car is for sale. That means you need time, and selling your car privately is more suitable for you if you’re not in a rush to have an upgrade.

In some cases, it takes months to sell a car, as potential buyers need to test drive it or at least personally inspect the car.

Got other ideas on cheap transportation and how to get a car upgrade? Share your insights in the comments section.

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Taxi Alternatives: Car Booking Apps

Many people are always on the lookout for cheap transportation or ways to cut transportation expenses because transportation costs get a relatively large share in a monthly household budget. Instead of buying a car, some opt for taking the bus or train while others are riding a taxi to go to school or work.

Taking the taxi is a convenient way to get to where you want to be and  it has become an in-demand transportation option. Car booking apps have emerged in an attempt to make taxi services a lot more convenient for commuters.

In Australia, you can use a wide range of car booking apps. Here are some of them:

Uber

Originated in the US, Uber now has presence in over 80 cities around the world.  What’s great about this car booking app is that it allows commuters to choose from several vehicles including UberX, UberSUV, UberTaxi, and UberLux.

Grab Taxi

If you’ve been to Southeast Asia, you may be familiar with Grab Taxi, a car booking app that covers a selection of services including taxis, coaches and ride sharing. When you take a ride using Grab Taxi, you can get a taxi or a private driver. If you don’t mind sharing a vehicle with other people, they have ride sharing. If you’re feeling fancy and have the budget, you can book a ride in one of their coaches.

goCatch

goCatch is a car booking app links commuters with registered taxi drivers who have the app in capital cities in the country. Its services guarantee that you can get a cab in every capital city, making it a reliable transportation option.

HOP

While it is relatively new in the car booking business, HOP pays drivers higher rates compared to those at Uber. It uses Hertz rental cars so drivers don’t need to have their own vehicles to take part in the car booking service.

GoGet

If you’re looking for a car or van that you can book by the hour or by the day then consider using the GoGet car booking app. It’s a car sharing service in the sense that you can drive the vehicle yourself. You can just pick up the car and drop it off almost anywhere in the city.

Got other ideas on cheap transportation and car booking apps? Share your insights in the comments section.

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How Regular Car Maintenance Can Save You Money

Cheap transportation modes such as buses and trains are of great help to a lot of commuters, not only in terms of convenience but also in saving money. Major cities and other areas in Australia have efficient transport systems so traveling within a city will not be a problem.

While cheap transportation offers several benefits, many still prefer to buy their own car, whether for business or to make traveling with the family much more convenient. The problem is, having your own car can be really expensive. Aside from gas and insurance, you need to handle the costs of regular maintenance.

Regular car maintenance is an essential aspect when you own a car, and it can save you money. It ensures that you’ll have much less road accidents, plus it can guarantee a smooth ride every time.

Having regular car maintenance can also help make your vehicle last longer. Since you’ve spent a lot when you bought your car, it only makes sense that you need to take good care of it to get the most out of your hard-earned money.

Regular car maintenance doesn’t always mean taking your car to the mechanic on a regular basis. Consider basic DIY car check.

Here are some of the things that you can do in between trips to the mechanic:

Take a look at the car fluids

Make sure to check the oil level and when needed, top it up. Of course, it’s best to use oil that’s recommended by the manufacturer of your car. You can check car fluids at least once per week.

Keep your car clean

As much as you always want to have a visually appealing car, regular cleaning of your vehicle also helps in maintaining the paintwork and upholstery, making them last longer.

Check your tires

When you’re at a gas station, take advantage of this down time by checking the air in your tires. You can ask your mechanic about the right inflation pressure for your car. This information is also available in the handbook provided by the tire manufacturer.

Don’t miss a car service

Regular car maintenance implies that it follows a schedule. Keep your car servicing updated. If you miss the recommended timeframes, the warranty may be invalid. It can also mean repairs that can leave a hole in your pocket.

Got other tips on saving money through regular car maintenance and cheap transportation? Share your ideas in the comments section.

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Effective Ways to Cut Down Your Monthly Car Costs

Cheap transportation such as buses, trams, and trains are available in major areas, many still prefer to buy their own car, whether for business or convenience, or both. True enough, having your own car has its own share of benefits. You can go anywhere, anytime, without having to worry about being late to work or meetings.

However, having your own car doesn’t come cheap. The monthly car costs alone can account for a sizeable chunk in your monthly budget. The good thing is, there are ways to cut down your monthly car costs. Learn how in this article:

Refinance to reduce your monthly repayments

Your existing car loan may have high interest rates, increasing your monthly loan payments. If this is the case, consider refinancing to reduce your payments. You may want to get a loan for a longer term for lower monthly repayments. Take note that no matter what the term is, refinancing your auto loan to take advantage of a lower interest rate can affect the actual cost of your vehicle.

Look for a vehicle that’s energy-efficient

When buying a car, it is also important to think about transportation costs in the future. Having said that, you may want to consider purchasing an energy-efficient car. The upfront price may be much higher compared to other models, but you can get lower transportation costs every month in the long term.

Keep your car in tip-top shape, and your car insurance updated

We need to make healthy food choices and exercise regularly to maintain the right weight and keep illnesses at bay. The same holds true for your car. It is important that your car is in good working condition at all times. Also, re-evaluate your auto insurance policy when you’re about to renew it, as personal circumstances may affect your car coverage.

Take the public transit

Reduce your monthly car costs by taking the bus or train whenever possible. It’s cheap transportation that’s also convenient. You don’t have to worry about parking or spend money on gas and other car-related costs. Going car-less one or two times per week will also be beneficial to the environment.

Consider ride sharing

Aside from public transit, you can try ride sharing or carpooling. Check if you have a neighbor who works in the same part of the town, or a colleague who lives near your house. Another option is to check carpooling sites that can connect you to drivers and other carpoolers.

Got other ways on cheap transportation and how to reduce monthly car costs? Share your ideas in the comments section.

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Top 10 Best Value Hatchbacks in Australia

As transport costs continuously increase, more and more Australians are looking for cheap transportation options. Many prefer taking the bus or train, while others opt to buy their own cars for convenience. In Australia, there are a lot of best budget hatchbacks to choose from. In this article, take a look at the different hatchback models available:

1. Volkswagen Golf

This offers a range of updates. For instance, there are new wheel designs available, plus its bumpers and lights were slightly reshaped. From 92kW in the 1.4-litre engine, VW Golf now has a 110kW in the 1.5-litre engine for the base versions.

2. Holden Astra Sedan

This smaller model comes with a 1.4-litre turbocharged four-cylinder, while the hatch has a 1.6-litre turbo. You can expect lower prices than the Astra R hatch’s as sedan isn’t exactly a popular model as a hatchback.

3. Mazda CX-5

With the CX-5, consumers can expect reduced cabin noise, compared to reviews from the CX-9. It offers the same engines, though there are improvements in outputs and efficiency. Base versions may be offered for less than $30,000.

4. Toyota C-HR

This is a five-door Coupe-High Rider that can be at par with models such as Mazda CX-3 or the Mitsubishi ASX. With its adaptive cruise control and autonomous emergency standard, it is predicted that the starting price will reach $25,000.

5. Kia Rio

This is another five-door hatchback that comes with a 1.4-litre engine as well as a bigger, better-looking interior. Other versions also come with a six-speed automatic and a four-cog auto.

6. Hyundai small SUV

This may be a small model in the Hyundai family but it is said to be bigger than Mazda CX-3, and it is based on the i30 platform. It also comes with new styles, more powerful engines, as well as a set of safety features.

7. Honda Civic hatch

Versions comes with 1.8-litre engines as well as the turbo 1.5-litre. Other features include a pair of exhausts at the big rear diffuser. It also offers an underbody aero kit.

8. Ford EcoSport

The starting price of the current model reaches a bit over $21,000. The EcoSport comes with a tyre repair kit and overhauled interior that makes it an attractive choice for young consumers.

9. Jeep Compass

Its exterior styling is based on the Grand Cherokee while the interior is similar to that of the modern Jeep. Versions include a two- and all-wheel drive.

10. Subaru XV

At about $28,000, the Subaru XV carries similar specifications of the new small sedan. It also matches the annual services of the sedan, as replacement to the six-month intervals.

Do you have other ideas on best value hatchbacks and cheap transportation? Share your insights or reviews in the comments section.

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Top 5 Cheap Ways to Get to Work

Based on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, more than 10 million Australians commuted to work in 2012, and 7.4 million of these commutes happened in capital cities. Many Australians allot a chunk of their monthly budget on transportation. It can be expensive when you add everything up, that’s why people look for cheap transportation to get to work to save some cash. They’re not just into cheap transportation. They’re also looking for a way to reach the office in the easiest way possible. So what are the cheap transportation options available? Here are the top alternatives:

1. Public transport

Buses, trains, as well as ferries remain a popular choice among many Australians who want quick and cheap transportation to get to work. Public transport varies depending on what state you’re in since each State Government operates its own system.

2. Cycling

Riding a bike is another form of cheap transportation to get to work. It’s obviously cheaper than taking public transport. Cycling enables you to avoid morning traffic jams and at the same time, it’s a great workout. It’s also an ideal choice for those who love the outdoors.

3. Walking

If you think cycling is already cheap transportation, try walking. This is an excellent way to get to work especially if your office is located just a few hundred meters or even a kilometer from your home. It’s a great form of exercise, plus it allows people to socialise and know more about the community.

4. Motorcycles and scooters

These compact transport alternatives take up little space compared to vehicles. These can also access tight spaces that cars can’t. You’ll spend less money to run these, plus you can lower your impact to the environment as these emit lower levels of greenhouse gases and pollution.

5. Car

Obviously, this is one of the preferred transport options. While this may not be considered cheap transportation if you look at the rest of options on this list, driving your own car is a convenient way to get to work, and if you are a responsible driver, you can save some cash by not paying penalties and fines as a result of violations. You can also consider using a model that’s energy-efficient, so you can save money on fuel and at the same time, reduce carbon footprint.

Got other ideas on cheap transportation? Share your tips in the comments section.

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