Esther Shaw

Saving on the cost of commuting

By Esther Shaw 26/11/2014

Commuting costs are the bane of many a life, but there are a few ways to try and reduce them.

If you mostly use your car for commuting, one of the simplest ways to save money is by shopping around for the cheapest fuel prices in your area using petrolprices.com. Also check out supermarkets, as these are often cheaper than other outlets. Better still, why not sign up to a car-sharing scheme so that you can split the cost of petrol with others? Speak to your employer to see if they run one of these schemes, as bigger firms often do. If not, post a message on the staff notice board or intranet to enquire about sharing your journey with a colleague. Also try sites such as liftshare.com, blablacar.com and nationalcarshare.co.uk. As an alternative, consider joining a car club. With this arrangement, you can usually hire a car by the hour or by the day, meaning you can still get access to a set of wheels, but without having to pay for tax, servicing and insurance. Useful sites include carplus.org.uk and zipcar.co.uk.

If you’re happy with the idea of commuting by motorbike or scooter, you should be able to save money on fuel and running costs by opting for two wheels rather than four. Electric scooters can be particularly cheap to run. Or why not go one step further and ditch petrol costs altogether? Under the Government’s tax-friendly cycle-to-work scheme, you can buy a bicycle at a reduced price, and have the cost deducted from your salary over a year; visit Cyclescheme.co.uk. Cost-effective and calorie-burning.

In fact, transforming your daily commute into a daily workout is fast gaining popularity, and it’s easy to see why; it’s a great way of squeezing regular exercise into your busy working life at no cost to you. If you live a joggable distance from home, simply take your running gear and a lightweight bag into work one morning. Then you can run home that evening with your essentials – money, keys, phone, etc and leave the rest of your things at work to pick up the next day. If it’s a little too far, how about travelling part-way to work as normal, then running/cycling the rest? (Obviously check your work has a shower if you opt for running in the morning!). 

If that all seems a bit much, simply getting off the bus or tube a stop or two before your destination and power-walking the last bit of your journey can make a surprising difference.

This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.

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