commuting cost

The true cost of commuting: a comprehensive breakdown comparing cars, public transport, and electric scooters

The true cost of commuting: a comprehensive breakdown comparing cars, public transport, and electric scooters

Welcome to our ultimate showdown over the real cost of commuting. Three daredevils are gunning for the title of the most cost-effective. Cars, also known as automobiles. Public transport in the form of buses, trains, and metros. And last but not least, the dark horses of this contest — electric scooters. 

Read on to see what is truly the cheapest way for you to get to work. Spoiler alert — and most fun. 

Public transportation

Photo by LinedPhoto on Unsplash

Municipal transit is a necessity for many people, or so it used to be the case. These days, we have many alternative modes of transportation, which are often cheaper and more eco-friendly. But for some reason, we dig our heels in and keep using the city transport without asking whether it's “just the ticket.” So, let's break down the public commute expenses. 

Ticket prices

City dwellers have three main modes of transportation at their disposal: bus, train, or the metro/subway.

One-way ticket

On average, in bigger municipalities in Canada, you have to fork out around C$ 3.20 for a single trip. If it's a round-trip commute, it will double. With the cost of living on the rise, paying an additional 5-7 dollars per day could be excessive. 

 Credit: Picodi

Monthly Passes

Monthly passes, which are supposed to save money for frequent commuters, depending on the city and province, range from C$20 up to C$156.


Photo by Patrick Tomasso on Unsplash

Cars give us the freedom to go anywhere we please without time constraints, frequent stops, or other people. 

But in many cases, cars are indispensable. Without them, you would not be able to move freely due to insufficient public transportation or long distances. The hot button is that back in the day, the costs associated with owning a car didn't hit the pocket as much as they do today. To put it into perspective:

In 2023, the average cost for a used car is over C$25,000, while a new car averages C$45,000. However, the expenses don't stop there. 

These costs include insurance, gas, and maintenance, among others. When you add them up, it can be as much as C$8,800 per year or more. Car owners can mitigate these expenses by plumping for cheaper alternatives. Still, they must consider these ongoing costs and explore ways to minimize them to make having a car more affordable.

Below, we present ballpark figures related to car ownership for an average commuter. It is important to note that they may vary depending on a number of factors.

Purchase Price:

  • New Car Average MSRP: Over $45,000
  • Used Car Average Price: Just over $25,000

Financing Costs:

  • Auto Loan Interest Rate: Typically between 4-10%
  • Total Interest Costs: Varies, but for a $20,000 car financed over five years, it ranges from $800 to $4,000

Fuel Costs:

  • Average Gas Price (as of January 2022): 144.4 cents per litre
  • Monthly Fuel Cost: Approximately $87 (based on weekly fill-ups of a 60L tank)

Maintenance and Repair Costs:

  • Brake Job: Between $600 and $1,500
  • Oil Change: Between $50 and $100
  • Annual Maintenance and Repairs: 3-5% of the car’s purchase price (e.g., $600 to $1,000 per year for a $20,000 car)

License and Registration Fees:

  • License Renewal (Alberta): $75
  • Registration Renewal (Quebec): $149.50
  • Costs vary by province

Insurance Costs:

  • Annual Car Insurance: Between $1,000 and $2,000
  • Median Cost in Canada: $1,151
  • Average Cost in Ontario: $1,920

Other Costs:

  • Parking Fees: Varies by city, but permits are typically around $100 per year
  • Car Washes and Cleaning Supplies: Variable

Ongoing Costs:

  • Average Monthly Cost of Owning a Car: Approximately $740 (or about $8,800 per year)

Please note that these are average and approximate costs and actual expenses can vary significantly based on factors like the specific car model, location, driving habits, and more. The ongoing annual costs will also continue each year of ownership, and some costs, like maintenance and insurance, may increase over time.

Electric scooters

A man in a jacket standing next to his e-scooter and leaning against a glass wall


Scooters have come a long way from being children's toys to fully-fledged electric vehicles. They're not being looked down on anymore, and you shouldn't ignore their potential either. Because they might be just what you need.

Purchase Cost

Scooters come in a variety of price ranges. It all depends on the make, their specs, and what you really need them for. It can be anything from a couple hundred to a couple thousand dollars. To give you an idea, Apollo City, a perfect e-scooter for daily commutes, costs $1649. It may seem like a lot, but if you consider this an investment, the other costs are negligible. 

Moreover, you won't be stuck in traffic, nor will you have to worry about greenhouse gas emissions as e-scooters use lithium-ion batteries, nor will you have to worry about parking expenses since you can fold them and take them to the office. 

Charging Cost

In Canada, charging a 400 Wh electric scooter battery costs around C$0.04 during off-peak hours and C$0.05 during peak hours. Keep in mind that rates may vary depending on where you are located.

When fully charged, your Apollo City can travel up to 43 miles in eco-mode, which, depending on the distance to your workplace, can last you even a couple of days.  


Suppose you follow our guidelines on how to take proper care of your e-scooter. In that case, you will significantly minimize or even completely eliminate those costs. This is because we design scooters that are easy to use and maintain. It's enough to learn a couple of tips and tricks to keep it in good nick. Here you can learn how.


Unlike cars, e-scooters do not require insurance. So, it's up to you whether you want to have it just in case. Take note that Apollo scooters come with many security measures, from GPS trackers to anti-theft systems. This means that unless you're planning on doing stunt tricks, you should be fine without any insurance.

But if you want to err on the side of caution, you can read more about e-scooter insurance here.

See for yourself!

We have something special for you! Now, you can find out how much you could save by ditching your car and commuting on an Apollo e-scooter instead. Simply click the link to access our calculator. Aren't you curious?


Electric scooters are much more affordable in the long run than public transportation and owning a car. After you incur the initial cost, the real commuting cost amounts to C$0.04 every few days. Even on a daily basis, it would add up to a risible sum of C$1.2 or thereabouts.

It is, therefore, no surprise that the title of the most cost-effective mode of commuting goes to electric scooters! But let's be real, they're not always the most practical choice. It can be tough to ride one in nasty weather conditions like heavy rain or snow. But when it's not the case, they're a great way to avoid traffic, save money, and add some fun to your commute.


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    Table of contents

      1. Public transportation
      2. Ticket prices
      3. Cars
      4. Purchase Price:
      5. Financing Costs:
      6. Fuel Costs:
      7. Maintenance and Repair Costs:
      8. License and Registration Fees:
      9. Insurance Costs:
      10. Other Costs:
      11. Ongoing Costs:
      12. Electric scooters
      13. Purchase Cost
      14. Charging Cost
      15. Maintenance
      16. Insurance
      17. See for yourself!
      18. Conclusion