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What Type of Commuter Are You?

Discover your commuter persona and tips to improve your daily ride.
Published on November 26th, 2020
  Written by 
Adrian Edlington
Adrian Edlington is PR & Communications Manager at Savvy. With a keen interest in personal finance, car loans, the mortgage industry, cost of living pressures, electric vehicles and renewable technology, Adrian's research includes conducting primary data surveys and analysis of up-to-the-minute secondary Australian data sources. His work on behalf of Savvy has been featured on ABC.net.au The Conversation, the Sydney Morning Herald, AFR, News.com.au, The Age, Herald Sun, Adelaide Now, SBS On The Money, 7News, Car Expert, Which Car, Drive.com.au and more. In his spare time, Adrian enjoys mountain biking and business podcasts.
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   Reviewed by 
Bill Tsouvalas

Reviewer

Bill Tsouvalas
Bill Tsouvalas is the managing director and a key company spokesperson at Savvy. As a personal finance expert, he often shares his insights on a range of topics, being featured on leading news outlets including News Corp publications such as the Daily Telegraph and Herald Sun, Fairfax Media publications such as the Australian Financial Review, the Seven Network and more. Bill has over 15 years of experience working in the finance industry and founded Savvy in 2010 with a vision to provide affordable and accessible finance options to all Australians. He has built Savvy from a small asset finance brokerage into a financial comparison website which now attracts close to 2 million Aussies per year and was included in the BRW’s Fast 100 in 2015 as one of the fastest-growing companies in the country. He’s passionate about helping Australians make financially savvy decisions and reviews content across the brand to ensure its accuracy. You can follow Bill on LinkedIn.
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The daily commute: a universal experience, yet vastly different depending on who's behind the wheel. Unless you live close to work or in a city with reliable public transport, you will likely be reliant on a car to get to and from your job. In fact, 69% of Australians use their car to commute. So, what type of commuter are you? In this blog we explore some of the different commuter personas so you can find out which one resonates with you the most.

The Eco Warrior

You're someone who prioritises environmental sustainability even while commuting. While you still rely on your car, you actively seek ways to minimise your carbon footprint and are keen to explore options that align with your eco-friendly values.

If you want to go green with your commute, consider cars with low to no emissions:

  • Hybrids: combining an electric motor with a petrol engine, hybrids offer excellent fuel economy and lower emissions compared to traditional cars.
  • Electric vehicles (EVs): powered solely by electricity, EVs produce zero tailpipe emissions, making them the cleanest option for your daily commute. However, consider factors like charging infrastructure availability and range limitations before committing to an EV.

Alternatively, depending on your circumstances, you could consider other options such as:

  • Public transport
  • Electric scooters
  • Bicycles
  • Car sharing
  • Carpooling

The Technophile

Are you always ahead of the curve when it comes to the latest tech trends? Do you love gadgets that make your life easier? If this describes you, explore tech-enhanced cars equipped with features like:

  • Advanced navigation systems featuring real-time traffic updates, voice-activated commands and integrated points of interest.
  • Driver-assistance features like adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning and blind-spot monitoring.
  • Smartphone integration, allowing for hands-free calling, music streaming and access to various apps – though keep in mind that it is illegal in all states and territories to use a handheld mobile phone while driving.
  • Real-time traffic updates displayed directly on your car's dashboard so you can stay informed and avoid delays.
  • Parking availability information based on real-time data to help you find available parking near your destination.
  • Remote vehicle access via your smartphone so you can lock, unlock and even start your car remotely, adding convenience and security to your daily commute.

To stay ahead of the curve, it’s also worthwhile to:

  • Research the latest advancements: keep an eye out for the newest tech developments, whether it's self-driving cars, connected car ecosystems or innovative in-car entertainment systems.
  • Look beyond your car: explore wearable technology like smartwatches for hands-free navigation and music control, or use smartphone apps that enhance your driving experience by offering features like fuel price comparisons.

The Smart Spender

As a budget-conscious driver, you’re mindful of car ownership costs – and with the costs of running a car on the rise, who can blame you? You prioritise finding the most cost-effective vehicle that meets your basic needs, which could be:

  • Fuel-efficient models: smaller vehicles, hybrids or even electric vehicles if charging infrastructure is readily available.
  • Used cars: second-hand cars models can offer significant cost savings compared to buying new. including fuel, maintenance, and insurance.

Other ways to keep costs down include:

  • Fuel-efficient driving techniques: learning how to maximise your mileage can save money on fuel.
  • Regular vehicle maintenance: keeping your car in top shape ensures optimal fuel efficiency, preventing costly repairs down the line.
  • Researching insurance options: comparing car insurance quotes ensures you get the coverage you need at competitive rates.
  • Carpooling or ridesharing: share the costs and responsibilities with colleagues or friends by sharing a ride. There are also a number of apps on the market that can connect you with others travelling in the same direction.

The Comfort Lover

For the comfort-seeking commuter, the journey is just as important as the destination. You prioritise comfort, convenience and a stress-free experience during your daily commute. Your ideal car has features such as:

  • Comfortable interiors: look for spacious seats, ergonomic design and features that enhance your comfort.
  • In-car entertainment: explore cars with built-in sound systems, satellite radio and Bluetooth connectivity.
  • Luxury features: Consider heated seats, sunroofs and advanced climate control systems for an even more relaxing experience, as well as personalised settings such as adjustable seating and lumbar support.

Beyond the vehicle, for the most comfortable journey you can:

  • Choose routes with smooth roads and minimal traffic jams to help ensure a stress-free journey.
  • Pack essentials like a water bottle, snacks, sunglasses and a light blanket for unexpected delays or temperature changes. 

The Rural Roamer

For rural drivers, commuting goes beyond navigating traffic. Faced with potentially vast landscapes, unpaved roads and the unique challenges and rewards of venturing beyond city limits, you need a vehicle that matches the terrain. Consider:

  • Reliability: SUVs, 4WDs or utes with high ground clearance and robust suspension systems can be essential companions, tackling uneven terrain, dirt tracks and unpredictable weather conditions with confidence.
  • Towing and hauling prowess: depending on your line of work, you may need strong towing capacity and ample cargo space for carrying essential equipment and supplies.
  • All-weather preparedness: all-wheel drive (AWD) capabilities or differentials with locking mechanisms provide superior traction and control in challenging conditions such as mud or loose gravel conditions.

If you are travelling longer distances in more remote areas, preparing for the journey is just as important as the car. You should:

  • Plan for the unexpected: carrying essentials like a first-aid kit, tyre repair kit and jumper cables ensures preparedness for any unforeseen situations on the open road.
  • Understand the environment: staying informed about weather conditions, road closures and potential hazards specific to rural areas is vital for safe and efficient travel.
  • Fuel efficiency matters: choosing fuel-efficient options within the appropriate vehicle category can help manage fuel costs associated with longer commutes.
  • Tech for the open road: GPS navigation with offline maps becomes invaluable for navigating unfamiliar rural routes, while in-car entertainment systems provide welcome distractions on long stretches of road.

The City Slicker

As a city driver, you battle peak-hour traffic in busy city streets with frequent stops and starts. It’s important to choose a car that suits the hustle and bustle of the urban environment. When buying a car, consider:

  • Compact models: hatchbacks, sedans and smaller electric vehicles can be convenient choices, offering agility and manoeuvrability in congested city streets and navigating tight parking spaces.
  • Parking prowess: parking sensors and backup cameras can be essential tools for navigating the often-limited parking options in urban environments.
  • Tech-savvy solutions: using smartphones and apps for real-time traffic updates, and parking availability information can help you navigate efficiently and optimise your commute.

If you live and work in the city, it may be worthwhile to consider alternative options:

  • Carpooling or ridesharing: sharing the commute can save money and reduce traffic congestion.
  • Biking: for shorter distances, cycling is a healthy, environmentally friendly and efficient way to get around the city.
  • Public transport: using buses, trains or trams can offer a hassle-free way to navigate the city, allowing you to relax, read or work during your commute.
  • Multimodal transportation: you could embrace a combination of options, using your car for specific journeys, and integrating walking, cycling or public transport depending on the situation.

The ideal car should not only get you from A to B, but also support your unique commuting needs. At Savvy, we understand that just as every commuter's journey is different, so too are your requirements when finding a car. If you are looking for a car loan, our dedicated team can offer tailored solutions to suit your needs. We can compare a range of options from more than 40 lenders to find a deal that suits. Get started with your free, no-obligation quote today.

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The content on our website is produced by experts in the field of finance and reviewed as part of our editorial guidelines. We endeavour to keep all information across our site updated with accurate information.

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