How to reduce transport costs

Whether you drive to work or catch the train, recent price hikes mean you could face an eye-watering rise in your everyday commuting costs. This blog guides you through how to reduce transport costs.

Consumer champions Which? have rounded up some key points to help you make savings.

How to save money on your car

  • Change where you fill up, and how you pay
  • Cut the cost of your insurance
  • Find free and cheap car parking

Keeping fuel costs down

Avoid using premium pumps – super unleaded fuel can be 10p to 15p per litre more expensive than other products. Comparison site compares prices at forecourts and can be used to find cheaper options nearby. Take advantage of supermarket reward schemes. Sainsbury’s and Tesco let Nectar and Clubcard holders earn points at most Esso stations.

Saving money on car insurance

Customers who switch their insurer, could benefit from saving money. Compare the Market predicts that drivers could save an average of £119 per year. Other tips include avoiding unnecessary extras and paying annually rather than monthly if you can afford to. Increasing your excess could also cut your insurance premiums.

Saving money on parking

Try the following apps to avoid spending huge amounts on parking: AppyParking helps you find free parking, while Parkopedia shows you where the cheapest car parks are. You could also try renting someone’s drive. With Just Park, you can see drives available to rent.

Saving money on train fares

  • Set up alerts for advance tickets
  • Use the season ticket calculator
  • Buy a railcard

Book your tickets in advance as the longer you wait, the more likely the price will go up. Train companies release tickets 12 weeks in advance, although some go on sale even earlier. You can set up alerts with operators and Trainline so you’re emailed when tickets go on sale for a particular route. If you’re a part-time commuter, check what ticket you need based on the days you travel to work.

Use National Rail’s season ticket calculator on its website to find the best ticket for you. National Rail’s new flexi season ticket could save you hundreds of pounds, though it depends on how often you commute and what route you take. While flexi season tickets could give you a 49% discount on some routes, for other journeys you’d be better off getting an annual ticket.

To save a third on rail fares, buy a railcard. The 16-25 and Senior Railcards are well known but it may be worth signing up for the Two Together Railcard with someone you travel regularly with, no matter how old you are.

You’ll also save money if you book tickets via National Rail Enquiries or directly through the train company, so you’re not charged booking fees. Instead of buying a ticket for the whole journey, you could see if it’s cheaper to get one for each part of the journey. This is called split ticketing. It only takes a few minutes to see if it works out cheaper, but the savings could be worth it, especially for longer trips.

Find more money saving tips in our energy support blog here.