New investigation into the cost of petrol in comparison to buying a train ticket finds the car is significantly cheaper


According to a new investigation, it’s around 13 times more expensive to catch a train during peak hours compared to jumping in the car and doing the same journey.

The investigation found that when comparing the price of petrol to fare prices for catching the train at peak times, it can be 13 times cheaper to travel by car.

If you was to buy a pre-booked train ticket to travel from Luton to Cambridge during peak time, you’d have to fork out £84.60 in comparison to just £6.40 in fuel travelling by car to cover the 40 mile journey.

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Catching a train rather than driving in your car costs around 13 times more! © Copyright Peter Trimming and licensed for reuse under this Creative Commons Licence.

According to researchers, car drivers can take advantage of huge savings compared to those travelling by rail.

As part of the investigation, the Daily Mail looked at prices for 20 of the main journey’s across the UK and found 12 of theses were much more expensive by train.

To buy a return ticket from Southampton to Bath costs £84.60, whilst doing the same journey by car would only cost around £11.79 – this equates to the train being 10.5 times more expensive.

The Mail was provided with fuel costs from the fuel comparison website, who used the Ford Fiesta to cover the miles and is the best selling car in the UK. These costs where then compared to buying a pre-booked train ticket, with both journeys starting at 8am and finishing around the same time on the following day.

What the analysis did find, is that travelling by train was significantly faster in most cases, as a journey from London to Euston to Manchester Piccadilly took two hours by train in comparison to four hours on the road.

The researchers also acknowledged that insurance, parking and road tax weren’t taken into account with car travel, however they also didn’t include the costs involved in getting to and from the train station, also highlighting the fact that anyone travelling with you would have to buy their own train ticket.

Mr Guy Anker, from, said to the Mail that train tickets can be “an absolute rip-off compared to other modes of transport such as driving and even flying.” However, Mr Robert Nisbet from the Rail Delivery Group, believes that discounts and offers on train tickets can make catching the train “a good value way to travel”.


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