How to cut the cost of your commute
Published 18 April 2016
Your daily commute doesn’t have to cost you a fortune – here are our tips on how to save.
The daily commute is an unavoidable part of working life. But whether you drive to work or use public transport, it’s not just the inconvenience of a traffic jam or stuffy carriage that can test your patience but the cost of a commute as well.
According to Totaljobs, the average UK employee spends £148 getting to and from work each month. By the time workers retire, it’s predicted that this commute will have cost an employee over £135,000. To help reduce what you spend on your daily commute, here are a few ways that you could save.
Although it’s not a new concept, car sharing is something that could help to reduce the cost of your commute. This is because you’d share your journey to and from work with a friend or colleague and as a result, you could halve the cost of petrol. You could even share the responsibilities of driving if the person you’re sharing with has a licence.
Most workplaces offer a car share scheme, so have a quick look to see if there are any possible matches. If there isn’t a formal scheme in place, ask your work colleagues if they are looking for a car share partner or know someone that is.
Can’t find a good fit? Sites like Liftshare, Goshare and Blablacar could help you find matches in your area. Most people will say how much they want to pay for a journey upfront, which will help you search for a reasonable price. Don’t worry if you have certain preferences – for example, you’d prefer to travel with someone of the same gender – as you should be able to search based on these.
If you don’t live too far from your workplace, you could ditch the car and cycle to work instead. Getting a decent road bike isn’t going to be cheap but if you’re committed and stick with it, it’s an investment that could save you in the long run.
Cost shouldn’t be too much of an issue if your work has a cycle to work scheme, as you could get a bike through the Cyclescheme. This scheme allows you to rent a bike tax-free for a set period. You could also buy the bike at a discounted price afterwards.
If you have no other option but to get public transport, there are still ways that you can reduce your commuting costs.
You could look at getting a season ticket – these should be available for train, underground and bus users depending on your area. Some season tickets cover more than one service so make sure you don’t pay for the same one twice. If a lot of your colleagues travel by public transport, your employer might offer discounted season tickets so check with them first.
Travel by train? You could save money by splitting your fare, so instead of buying a ticket for the whole journey you buy it in two parts (or more). For example, if you commute from Birmingham International to London Euston daily, it might work out cheaper if you buy a ticket from Birmingham International to Rugby and then from Rugby to London Euston.
This is completely above board as long as the train you’re travelling on stops at the station you’ve purchased the tickets for. Most of the time you won’t even have to change trains. Check whether you can split your train journey with Money Saving Expert’s TicketySplit.
Was a recent train journey delayed? Here’s how you can claim compensation.