Rebates and vouchers
Have you checked the Savings Finder? You may be eligible for NSW Government rebates and vouchers to help reduce your transport, driving and fuel costs – including public transport concessions, toll relief and pensioner travel vouchers.
Ways to save
Use off-peak public transport when possible. You’ll receive a 30% discount when you use your Opal card or a contactless payment to travel outside of peak times on the Opal network.
Drive efficiently. Slow your acceleration and coast down hills when you can – you’ll use less fuel and it’s better for your car and the environment. The Green Vehicle Guide has more tips to reduce your emissions.
Set the correct tyre pressure. Under-inflated tyres can cause your car to use more fuel and can also make it handle poorly.
Get your car serviced regularly. It will prolong the life of the motor and improve the car’s fuel economy.
Wind down. Air conditioning can increase fuel use by up to 10%. If you’re driving under 80km/h, turn off the air conditioning and open the window instead. If you're going faster than 80km/h, it's more economical to use the air conditioning system. That’s because opening your windows will create extra drag and increased resistance.
Consider carpooling. Can you team up with another person making the same trip? You may be able to use transit lanes to improve trip times if you have the right number of passengers.
Walk this way. Frequent short trips in your car can reduce fuel economy because your engine doesn't operate efficiently until it’s warmed up. Try walking for shorter journeys (if you’re able to).
If you don’t have a car, there are other options to get where you want to go. Public transport, biking, walking and car-sharing are affordable alternatives to driving.
The fares allowance helps tertiary students with the cost of travelling between their home and place of study in Australia. To be eligible, you must also get the youth allowance, Austudy or pensioner education supplement.
The Mobility Allowance can help with travel costs for work, study or looking for work if you have a disability, illness or injury that prevents you from using public transport.
On Demand is a flexible public transport service designed to pick you up from home or an easy-to-access location and take you where you need to go. There are On Demand services operating around NSW. You might earn travel credits when you transfer between Opal and On Demand services.
Catching public transport may be up to four times cheaper than travelling in your car. Transport for NSW tells you how to use the trip planner to choose a travel plan that best meets your needs. It also has help in other languages.
Find out how to maximise your travel benefits and get free or capped fares when using an Opal card to pay for public transport in Sydney, the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, the Hunter and the Illawarra.
You can park your bike for free in a covered shed or rented bike locker if you plan to take a train, bus or ferry in Sydney and surrounding areas.
E-bikes and e-scooters are growing in popularity. They’re cheap to charge when compared with the public transport costs and make hills and everyday trips much easier to navigate. Learn more about the safety and road rules e-bikers need to follow.
More cost-cutting ideas
- Car rental companies often need to relocate vehicles to other cities. You can get free or cheap rental cars and campervans if you’re willing to drive them to the required location within a certain timeframe. You may need to pay for your own fuel. Try searching online for ‘rental car relocation Australia’.
- Find someone going your way by searching online for carpool sites and rideshare apps. If you’re the driver and willing to offer someone a lift, you can charge a fare per seat.
- E-bike and e-scooter apps and bike-share schemes are an affordable way to enjoy the benefits of riding without the investment. Try searching online for ‘bike share near me’ or check your local council’s website for more information. You must comply with the NSW road rules for bicycle riders.
Driving and insurance
Owning a car can cost more than you think. If you’re in the market for a new vehicle, look at the fuel consumption label and try shopping around for insurance to save on running costs, even if you only drive occasionally.
The Green Vehicle Guide helps you compare average annual fuel costs for a range of vehicles and understand your car’s environmental impact. It also has tips to help you use less fuel.
Sick of paying for fuel? Electric vehicles are more expensive to buy but cheaper to run. Learn more about the benefits of owning one, and the different types that are available.
MoneySmart tells you how to choose the right car insurance for your needs and get the best deal for your money. It also explains the types of insurance to watch out for.
Low-income earners or those that receive Centrelink benefits or have a Healthcare card may be eligible for a comprehensive car insurance policy with Essentials by AAI. It provides up to $5000 worth of cover.
If you live in the inner-city and drive less than 5000km a year, car-sharing may be for you. Choice compares car-sharing with car ownership to help you work out the overall costs.
Unexpected car repairs or car registration due? A no-interest loan offers people on low incomes access to credit. There are no fees, and you only pay back what you borrow. You should perform your own research before entering into a loan agreement.
More cost-cutting ideas
- Check if you can bundle your auto insurance with another type of insurance (like home or life) from the same company to save money.
- Shop around for insurance. Get written quotes from more than one insurer to find the best value.
- Having trouble paying your car insurance premium? Contact your insurer and ask for the hardship team. They may be able to help by reviewing your cover, developing a payment plan or extending your due dates.
- Your car insurer probably offers extra member benefits to help you save money, like discounted fuel, travel and restaurant meals.
The price of petrol is influenced by many factors, but there are things you can do to make your fuel budget go further.
The best way to save on filling up is to use price comparison apps and websites. Try the NSW Government’s FuelCheck app to find the cheapest fuel based on your location and other search criteria.
Use the ACCC’s petrol-buying tips and charts to see if fuel prices are rising or falling and help you decide on the cheapest time to re-fuel.
Tools and calculators
Use these free online services to compare costs or work out the best way to move around.
Plan public transport trips from door to door, check service capacity and track your service in real time.
Filter by mode and choose 'community transport', then filter by region to find community transport in your area.
The Moneysmart Cars app can help you work out the real cost of buying and running a car.
Find a bike shed or locker near you.
Compare the 5-year cost of owning a petrol- or diesel-powered car compared with an electric vehicle.