In this study, we propose a novel solution for collecting smart meter data by merging Vehicular Ad-Hoc Networks (VANET) and smart grid communication technologies. In our proposed mechanism, Vehicular Ad Hoc Networks are utilized for collecting data from smart meters, eliminating the need for manpower. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study proposing the utilization of public transportation vehicles for collecting data from smart meters. With this work, the use of the IEEE 802.11p protocol has been proposed for the first time for use in smart grid applications. In our scheme, data flows first from smart meters to a bus through infrastructure-to-vehicle (I2V) communication and then from the bus to a bus stop through vehicle to-infrastructure (V2I) communication. The performance of our proposed mechanism has been investigated in detail in terms of end-to-end delay and delivery ratio by using Network Simulator-2 and with different routing protocols. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.