London commuters could save money by taking the train instead of the car

New research examines whether it would be cheaper and quicker to travel either by car or train from some of the UK’s biggest commuter towns.

Across a number of common commuting locations, there are significant differences in time taken and costs involved between taking the car and taking the train for commuters, according to new research from Marbles.

If you’ve ever commuted to London by train, you’ve probably wondered if you’d be better off in a car, away from the sweaty, packed carriages and the constant delays.

And if you’ve ever commuted by car, you might have thought longingly of those trains zooming by on the nearby tracks, no concentration required on the part of the passengers, and not forced to wait in an endless, painful traffic jam at 7am.

In either case, this new infographic is sure to be of use. The research looks into the average time taken on both routes, as well as the annual costs involved in taking a car or a train.

In 55 per cent of cases, trains comes out the winner due to being the faster option, taking 534 hours per year, while cars rack up 634 – that’s 22 days compared to 26. However, cars came out the slightly cheaper choice, with an average cost of £4395.80 for the year, compared to £4491.50 on trains.

Biggest savings

Some locations benefited more from switching transport types than others. Here were the biggest time savings – the places where switching over could get you into work quicker every day:

1. Brighton, where commuters could save 392 hours a year (16 days) by taking the train instead of the car.

2. Bletchley, saving 10 days each year on the train (245 hours).

3. Crawley, with a saving of 228 hours, or 9.5 days.

These savings outmatched those who could switch to cars, but there were those who would benefit on time on the roads, like Dartford, where a car would keep you from losing nearly six days on the rails to London, or Windsor, at about 5.5 days.

The biggest cost savings were again for trains, though on average car was more likely to be the better option. Ashford commuters could save a massive £3824.60 by taking the train, and those in Crawley and Brighton would be pleased to know that as well as their big time savings, they could save £2370 and £1425.50 respectively if they ditch their cars.

Despite these, cars were cheaper in 68 per cent of cases, with – making them the standout winner on the majority of routes, and an average saving on these routes of £609.50.

Further reading on commuters

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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