Seeing a huge chunk of your hard-earned salary eaten up by the cost of simply getting to work is so frustrating! But there are simple steps you can take to cut the cost of your commute…
1. Join a car share scheme
Car sharing is one of the easiest and fastest ways to reduce the cost of commuting. Many large companies operate a car share scheme you can join. Alternatively, send an email or put a sign on your noticeboard looking for others to share rides with.
2. Give up the car
Can you ditch the car altogether? Catching a bus, while sometimes less convenient, will be significantly cheaper. Visit Traveline to see if there’s a route that works for you.
3. Get a season ticket
If you buy daily or weekly rail tickets then you’ll save money by switching to monthly, or better still, annual, season tickets. Use the online calculator on your rail company’s website to work out how much better off you can be.
4. Get off a stop earlier
Try making a shorter rail or bus journey, and walk some of the way. If you cut off your journey in the right place, you could see the cost of your ticket come down.
5. Get on your bike
Cycling is one of the cheapest ways to commute and it can be surprisingly quick – even novice cyclists can pedal at around 15 miles an hour. Ask your HR department about a “cycle to work” scheme – this gives employees access to a government-subsidised voucher to buy a new bike tax free. Otherwise look around for a second-hand one.
6. Get a group taxi
If you can find three other colleagues or friends working in the same location and you each drive, or pay for a bus or rail ticket, do the math to see if you’d all be better off (and home earlier) paying for a group taxi.
7. Travel outside rush hour
One of the benefits of flexible working is that it allows you to beat the rush hour. Most rail tickets go down in price considerably if you travel after 9.30 in the morning.
8. Combine your transport
Put convenience to one side for a moment and see if a combination of bus, rail and cycling is the way to go. You don’t want every journey to be some kind of endurance test, but if you’re desperate to save money a bit of homework (and effort) is worth it.
9. Rent a driveway parking space
If you usually fork out a fortune for a multi-storey car park space, or spend your lunch hour feeding the on-street meter, find out if a resident near your workplace would loan you their driveway during the day for a more modest fee. Check out YourParkingSpace.co.uk
10. Get value for money
If there’s simply no avoiding your costly commute, make sure you get value for money. Include school and nursery pick-ups, and stop at shops and services en route, so you don’t have to make additional journeys in the evenings or at weekends.