October 18th, 2012

Save Money by Sharing a Ride to the Range or Shooting Match

Gas prices have topped $4.40 a gallon and, in California, premium fuel has reached the five dollar mark at some stations (Ouch). Many match directors have told us that match attendance is down, particularly at regional and national events which require long drives. Many shooters are staying closer to home and not attending distant matches. Shooters are driving less to cut fuel bills, and to reduce wear and tear on their vehicles. With the price of gasoline soaring above $4.40/gallon, many shooters are cutting costs by attending fewer matches, or sticking to competitions near home.

While not traveling to a distant match will certainly save on gas (not to mention hotel bills etc.), we’d think there’s a compromise solution. We’ve observed that 95% of competitors at matches arrive solo — one to a vehicle. And, typically, most shooters drive big pick-up trucks or SUVs that may get less than 20 mpg on the freeway.

PROPOSAL: Car Pool to your next rifle match, sharing the ride with fellow shooters.

Car Pooling FailWhenever possible, this editor tries to “share my ride” with other shooters when going to the range or a match. I also drive an 10-year-old station wagon that gets an honest 29 mpg on the highway. Though it’s cheap to run, my vehicle has plenty of space for all the guns and gear 2 or 3 shooters would ever need. Another benefit of ride-sharing is that you can use car pool lanes on major highways, avoiding the nightmare of bumper to bumper traffic jams.

Here is a chart showing how much you can save by carpooling and by driving a vehicle with better mileage. If you drive 5000 miles a year to shooting matches, a car getting 27 mpg will save $479 in fuel costs compared to a vehicle getting 17 mpg. And even if you stick with your 17 mpg truck or SUV, ride-sharing with one other shooter can save you nearly $650.00 per year (if you drive 5000 miles to matches).

MPG Miles Driven Fuel Cost
@ $4.40/gallon
Ride-Share Savings
27 mpg 3000 $488.88 $244.44
22 mpg 3000 $600.00 $300.00
17 mpg 3000 $776.47 $338.24
27 mpg 5000 $814.81 $407.41
22 mpg 5000 $1000.00 $500.00
17 mpg 5000 $1294.12 $647.06

Of course, as with any activity, exercise moderation when driving together to matches. Don’t try to stuff too many guys and too much gear in any single vehicle….

Car Pooling Fail

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