Tom BUYS Car Because It's Cheaper Than a Train Ticket
- It's cheaper to BUY a car than to get just ONE train ticket
- Tom Church, co-founder of LatestDeals.co.uk, bought a car to drive to Bristol because it was cheaper than the train
- Tom shares behind-the-scenes of how he did it here...
Yesterday, I bought a car and drove to see Kelsey because it was cheaper than the train.
Despite starting the website together (along with Deepak) and speaking every day for almost two years, I'd never actually been to his house.
When Kelsey spotted a post on Reddit from a member called Stittastutta complaining about how expensive trains between London and Bristol are, I shared his pain.
A return ticket from London to Bristol costs £218.10 (peak time).
It gave me an idea: what if I could buy a car and drive for less than that? And so I did...
First, I put a post up on our community Facebook Group asking fellow deal hunters about cheap cars and where they got them.
Many people said they had got cars for as little as £50 from Gumtree, so I started looking and found this:
Next thing you know, I'd bought it:
The second hand car cost just £80. Road tax was £81.38, insurance for one day £20.43 and petrol £25. A total of £206.81.
Peak-time return train tickets between London and Bristol cost between £210 - £218.10.
Buying a car is still expensive - can't you just go off peak?
Yes. Buying a car for one trip was still expensive. It was stupid. But not as stupid as spending even more on just one train ticket.
When I got back from Bristol, I still had the car. I'll probably sell it on again and may even make a profit from it!
If you really want to save money, buy an off-peak train ticket in advance, and use a railcard.
You can also get a National Express coach and there are plenty of deals for that here.
The point of buying a car and driving to Bristol and back was to show how crazy train ticket prices have become.
Do I recommend you to do this?
For just one trip? No. It was a pain the arse! The M25 was chocca-block, the M4 had accidents and roadworks. The train takes 1hr 43 minutes whereas driving took 3hrs 30 minutes.
For more than one trip? It depends. The Honda Civic was a joy to drive. The suspension was soft and the gear box as smooth as anything I had experienced. For £80 I was very surprised. All that metal, rubber, engineering and electronics for less than a Superdry hoodie? Hell yeah!
But as anyone experienced with cars knows, costs very quickly rack up. £160+ per year of road tax. £500 per year of MOT stuff. Petrol, insurance and more.
There are easier ways to save money. Start with: