ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Save Money by Walking Instead of Driving

Updated on November 24, 2012
Walking is a healthy way to beat the high price of gas.
Walking is a healthy way to beat the high price of gas.

National regular gas prices reached $3.79 per gallon March 5, 2012. That's an increase of $0.27 from the same time last year. The arrival of the summer driving season in April will likely push the average even higher, with many analysts expecting to see the average topping $4.00 per gallon! Luckily, by making minor lifestyle adjustments, many people can walk away from the increase. There is no better way to burn less gasoline than to drive less. And a great way to drive less is to substitute walking—or biking—for short trips of less than a mile.

Of course, most people who rely on their cars for transportation have no choice but to continue using them. That’s just a fact of life in most areas of the country where distances are too large for walking and public transportation is too inconvenient or non-existent. That said, there are many situations where it is possible for even the most car-dependent people to substitute walking for short trips. It’s important to remember that driving vs. walking is not an all-or-nothing choice: making the substitution for just a few short trips weekly may be enough to offset the impact of increased gas prices on your budget.

Take the case of a driver who drives the average car the average number of miles each year. Assume he decides to substitute walking for driving thrice weekly to conduct errands at places one mile away. Thus, he will drive six miles less per week, which will save $3.51 at the composite national average driving cost of 58.5 cents/mile estimated by the American Automobile Association. According to the Department of Transportation, the average car gets 22.4 miles per gallon and is driven 12,334 miles per year. Thus, the average car consumes 10.6 gallons of gas each week. The $3.51 he saves by substituting walking for driving each week represents a “discount” of $0.33 for each gallon of gas that he buys. That is more than enough to offset the impact of the $0.27 increase in the price of gas since last year!

Six ways almost everyone can substitute walking for driving:

1. Walk to the Corner Store. Many people live within one mile of a restaurant, coffee house, drugstore, grocery store, bank, or other business they frequent. It is often easy to walk to these places, especially on weekends when we have more time. A great tool for finding out how close you are to the corner store compared to other people is You simply type in your address, and the site provides you with a “Walk Score” between 1 and 100. The higher your score, the higher your opportunities to substitute walking for driving. The site also lists the distance between the address you entered and a list of different amenities. Along with your house, you can input the address of your place of work to look for other opportunities. You may, for example, be able to walk the ½ mile to buy your lunch sandwich, rather than drive there.

2. Walk to School. There’s no need to walk 10 miles through the snow like Grandpa says he did. But you don’t need to drive your child to school if you live close by. He’s likely to make more friends by walking, and getting in the habit of walking will help keep him fit and happy.

3. Walk to Church. Sunday morning is often the perfect time for a walk. You have more time, and can use the walk to relax on your way to and from church. If you’re lucky, you may be able to stop at a coffee shop or bakery on your way home.

4. Walk at the Shopping Center. Even after you’ve driven to the shopping center or downtown, there are often plenty of opportunities to park your car and simply walk between stores rather than fighting the traffic to move from one parking lot to an adjacent parking lot. We have a typical shopping center in town, and it’s amazing to see how people will park at Target and then get back in their cars to drive 100 yards to park at Lowes. Why not park midway between them and walk? Or park near the store where you plan to buy more things to carry back to your car? Similarly, once you’ve parked downtown, why not visit several stores rather than getting back in your car and trying to find another parking place (and plugging the parking meter with more coins!).

5. Walk to Socialize. Walking is a great way to socialize. There are usually no distractions, and so you can often have conversations without being interrupted. So think about taking a walk with your friends or family members rather than driving someplace where you’ll end up talking less.

6. Walk for Exercise. Many people drive to our local fitness center just to walk on the treadmills. While that may make sense if the weather’s bad or the person can’t navigate curbs or cracks in the sidewalks, it’s a perfect opportunity for most people to substitute walking for driving.

Do You Ever Choose to Walk Instead of Drive?

See results

This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)