What are the costs of transportation?

Transportation can be a large part of your monthly expenses. You may wish to consider different options for transportation.


According to the Canadian Automobile Association, it costs between $8,500 to $13,000 a year to own and operate a motor vehicle in Canada.

In addition to the cost of purchasing a vehicle, license and registration fees, and monthly insurance, you have to consider the following operating costs: 

  • Gasoline - Gas prices fluctuate frequently and are often on the rise. If you choose to buy a vehicle, make sure it's fuel efficient.
  • Maintenance - Regular maintenance of vehicles is necessary for safety reasons and to prevent its value from dropping too quickly.
  • Tires - Driving speed, braking and air pressure affect the life of tires. If you drive at lower speeds, brake gently and maintain the right air pressure, your tires will last longer.

If you only need a car occasionally, it may be better to rent or subscribe to a car sharing company. These options will cost less than owning a car.


If you must take a car, carpooling is a great way to save money as well as reduce the effects on the environment . Carpooling allows to you share a car ride with others while equitably dividing the costs of fuel and parking with the people in your carpool. There are many free carpool parking lots near highway interchanges in different parts of Ontario.

Carpooling also lets you use the High Occupancy Vehicle lanes on Ontario's highways. These lanes reserved for vehicles with two or more passengers are less congested and can be real time savers.

Public Transit

Taking public transit is an economical way to travel. Transit is of great benefit to communities and the environment because it reduces the number of cars in the road.

If you take public transit on a daily basis, it may be cheaper to purchase a monthly pass for the public transit services in your municipality.

Walking and Cycling

The shorter the distance you travel on a daily basis, the more time and money you will save. Whenever possible, choose to live close to your work or school.

Walking and cycling to work or school cost significantly less than having to drive or take public transit.

For More Information

  • Driving Costs [PDF] - This 2012 booklet on vehicle expenses includes information on how to calculate  the costs of owning and operating a motor vehicle. From the Canadian Automobile Association.
  • Carpool Zone - A free carpool matching system in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton area. From Smart Commute.
  • OttawaRideMatch.com - A free carpool matching system in the Ottawa area.
  • Should I buy a new or used car? - This article is about the benefits of buying a new or used car, as well as some helpful resources.
Last updated: October 27, 2015 4001574