For most people when it comes to day-to-day life and working, they will rely heavily on commuting by public transport or using their car. However, in the UK, this is far from cheap and the same goes for travelling around the country as a whole, with some people requiring payday loans or other short term finance from time to time for this purpose. According to a report carried out in 2017 by Deutsche Bank, public transport in London is the world’s most expensive, costing a staggering £135 a month for a travel card.
Furthermore, with rail fares on the general increase, workers in the UK are spending around a seventh of their income on rail fares (which equates to as much as six times more as other workers elsewhere in Europe.) However, there are ways in which you can cut down your costs. We have put together a guide showing you the best ways to cut costs on getting out and about.
Buy an Annual Season Ticket to Save Money
If you always use the train in order to commute, you are often better of purchasing an annual season ticket as opposed to getting a travel card on a monthly basis. Some have even found that you could save around £749.20 each year if you take the popular commuting route from Colchester to London, instead of getting a monthly ticket (The Guardian.)
If the issue is having the large sum upfront available, it may be the case that your employer can help you with an interest-free season ticket loan. You then make repayments on a monthly basis. If this isn’t the case at your place of work, you could also look at applying for a credit card with 0% interest on purchases.
Buy Standalone Car Hire Excess Insurance
Car hire firms have a reputation for having some of the highest fees in the travel sector, with a number of last-minute costs cropping up on drivers when they come to collect the vehicle, with excess charges tending to be considerably higher than normal car cover.
You can however eliminate the excess by getting standalone car hire excess insurance and it is often recommended that you purchase this prior to setting off on your travels, as buying this cover at a rental cost often costs more.
Cycle to Work Scheme
Cycling to work is not only a way to ensure you get daily exercise, but it can also be a less expensive way to commute too, especially if you decide to purchase a bike through the Cycle to Work scheme. This will allow you to save up to a staggering 42% on buying a bicycle. The scheme enables you to get up to £1,000 through your employer so that you can buy a bike plus any accessories that you will need, potentially helping you avoid having to take out a short term loan.
To hire a bike, you then have a monthly amount taken out of your salary over a 12 to 18 month period. After this timeframe has passed, you have three options: you can decide to give it back, continue using it for free, or decide to buy it outright.
Saving Money with a Discount Travel Card
There are a number of different travel cards available in the UK that can be bought at a lower price and can help you make considerable savings. If you are over the age of 60 and live in London, you can apply for a 60+ London Oyster photocard which can be used until you are eligible to get a Freedom Pass (which provides free travel in the city).
Shop Around for Car Insurance
One thing you certainly do not want to be doing if you use your car regularly to travel or commute, is to be paying over the odds for your insurance cover. There are a number of ways that you can work to keep the cost of your insurance policy down. These can include:
- Making sure that you have shopped around as much as possible before choosing cover. The easiest way of doing this is through using a price comparison website, where you can quickly check different insurers for the best deal that is out there for you
- Increasing the excess on your policy can help to reduce the premium. However, do so with an element of caution. Don’t raise it too much that it becomes unaffordable for you, as you will incur fines if you miss repayments if it is ever payable
- Avoid opting for auto-renew if you want to get the best deal. It isn’t necessarily the case that you will end up getting the best deal, in fact, it is much more likely that new customers will be the ones to receive the cheapest policy covers