Car ownership has never been cheap, and with cars only getting more and more expensive, one would think that public transportation might represent an enormous cost savings over cars. But in the UK at least, the popularity of public transportation, combined with ever-increasing train and tube fares, has led to commuting by car to be cheaper than train, at least in some areas.
Like most countries, the new year brought higher fares for trains in the UK, with a the average train ticket seeing a 4.2% price hike after January 1st, reports Motors.co.uk. Some areas saw train fares rise as much as 6.16% compared with just a month ago. This is the 10th year running that train fares have gone up, and the average UK train rider now spends £2,191 riding the train.
Commuters who travel by car, meanwhile, spend significantly less on fuel used to go to work however, especially since a new fuel tax was recently scrapped. The average UK commuter can expect to spend £1,441 per year on gasoline, and slightly less on diesel (due to the better fuel economy of diesel cars). Of course, fuel is just one of the many hidden costs associated with owning a car, as insurance, maintenance, and car taxes all add up pretty quickly too. So public transportation still probably holds an overall cost advantage when all is said and done.
Yet a car offers a level of personal mobility that trains do not. And as more people opt for public transportation over cars, there could come a day when car ownership costs are truly on par with train, buses, or other public options. It is certainly something worth keeping in mind.