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By Matt Gregory

On average, a person spends just under an hour commuting to work every day, with most people driving. Most commuters must use their own vehicle, and many employers do not cover the cost of vehicle-related expenses, meaning workers need to maintain their own car.

To avoid spending a large chunk of money on vehicle upkeep, it’s a wise idea to invest in a car that will serve you well during your commute. If you’re unsure what you need to be looking out for, here are some top tips for picking out a car for commuting.

Buy Secondhand

First and foremost, buy a used car. Commuting racks up miles and there’s a higher chance of you having an accident during commuting hours due to the increased volume of traffic on the road at this time. Rather than quickly depreciating the value of a brand-new car and running the chance of having it written off on your way to work, it’s a better idea to buy a cheaper car that is easier and cheaper to fix.

After all, would you be more upset if your six-year-old Honda incurred commuting related trouble, or your brand new BMW M2? We thought so!

Find the Best Gas Mileage

When you buy a car for commuting, one of the top things you need to be looking at is the miles per gallon you’re going to be getting out of the car. Miles per gallon refers to how many miles you’ll be able to drive per gallon (4.5 liters) of fuel. The higher the MPG, the more fuel efficient the car is.

If you come across a car with 30 MPG and you drive around 30 miles to and from work every day, with fuel costing $1.50 per liter, it’ll cost you around $6.75 per day for your commute. In contrast, if your car can do 60 MPG, you’ll be able to do two days’ commuting for the same price, making the second vehicle more economical than the first.

With this in mind, try and find a commuting vehicle with the highest MPG you can to keep your running costs low.

Look at Maintenance Costs

No matter what car you buy, it will need regular maintenance, but this is where the similarities between different types of car end. The more premium your car is, the more expensive the parts will be. If you drive a Mercedes valued at $40,000, expect replacement parts to cost considerably more than like-for-like Toyota parts on a car worth $15,000.

This is because cars categorized as luxury (think Audi, BMW, Mercedes and upwards) generally have way more technology and don’t tend to be produced on the same mass scale as, say, Ford and Kia. Consider the maintenance costs. Sure, the luxury car might make your commute more comfortable, but if something goes wrong, can you really afford to take it to a specialist garage and get it fixed?

Think About Amenities When Commuting

We’ve just briefly touched upon certain cars being more comfortable, but how soft the seat feels aren’t the only thing you need to be looking at. If you commute a long distance, you’ll naturally want a car with a few cool features in it. These may include a built in GPS so you can identify any traffic on your route and find an alternative way to go, the ability to take and make calls handsfree, and climate control like A/C. A lot of cheaper cars are beginning to incorporate these things as standard, but you do need to remember that the more things your car has in it, the more things that can break.

If you have a car with added features, it’s a good idea to take out an extended warranty to cover the added items in your car.

Hopefully these tips will help you to find the best commuting car for your needs!

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