Episode 5: Commuters Strike Back

Following continued industrial action on the Southern rail network and the disruption that it has caused to hundreds of thousands of commuters over the past year, we have decided to do a little bit of research regarding train fares versus car finance. Although you can never predict the traffic, it is highly unlikely that you are going to experience the same levels of disruption from a regular car journey compared to commuting by train.

Car Finance vs. Train Fares

If you pay for an annual standard season ticket, it is conceivable that you could be paying less for your commute with a brand new car through PCP, HP or PCH financing. With the current commuter plight and future strike action very likely, there is no better time to swap the train tracks for the open road.

City Car vs. Train

​Instead of paying out for a standard season ticket you could choose to commute to work in a comfortable city car that is built to negotiate the daily commute. Opting to buy a new Vauxhall Corsa with delivery miles over four years on a PCP finance agreement could see you spending a total of £7,195.24 to purchase the car. Compared to a standard annual season ticket for four years from Uckfield to Kingston of £13,360 you could save over £1,000 when taking fuel, insurance and tax into consideration.

There are a number of alternatives to the Corsa in this category that would still see you saving money including the Nissan Micra from £7,791 and Peugeot 108 from £9,083. Using Peugoet’s Just Add Fuel scheme you would receive three years servicing, warranty, insurance, car tax and roadside assistance in your monthly package. You could still experience similar journey times but have the added comfort of sitting in a spacious car instead of being cramped in a hot train carriage.

Vauxhall Corsa Energy 5 door exterior
Vauxhall Corsa Energy 5 Door
Fiat 500X Pop Star exterior
Fiat 500X Pop Star

Crossover vs. Train

​What if you don’t want a small city car? Some of you might be willing to make a larger investment in your car if you are realistically going to consider switching from using the train. Equally, a smaller city car might not be practical for your lifestyle outside of work and a crossover vehicle might be more suitable. A nearly new Fiat 500X is available for as little as £179 a month on a Personal Contract Purchase agreement; alternatively a brand new Fiat 500X over a four year deal could cost you £10,812.74 if you return it at the end of the agreement and trade it in for a newer car.

Travelling from Brighton to London Euston for the same length of time would cost you a grand total of £16,384. This means that your savings of around £6,000 could be put towards running and maintaining the car and leave you a large sum leftover. Other crossover models that you might consider include the Nissan Qashqai or Renault Captur, both of which would provide greater comfort on your daily commutes.

MPV vs. Train

A crossover vehicle still might not fulfil your transportation needs. There are a number of MPVs that you could buy on a finance agreement that would be less than annual standard season tickets for a journey from Martins Heron to Seven Sisters which costs £4,284 a year. Over a four year contract you could finance and purchase a Dacia Logan MCV for £10,612 which includes a five year extended warranty.

More premium MPV cars such as the Citroën Grand C4 Picasso and Vauxhall Zafira Tourer are also cheaper alternatives compared to commuting by train. An MPV would also give you the space to comfortably perform the school run and go on any spontaneous weekend camping trips without having to leave anything at home.

Top Deals

Dacia Logan MCV exterior
Dacia Logan MCV

No matter what type of car suits your needs, we will be able to provide you with a finance deal that is less expensive than a large number of annual standard train season tickets. The Dacia Sandero can be financed for as little as £89 a month which, over a 48 month period, means you will only be paying £8,000.

Other top deals include the New Peugoet 2008 SUV which is available for a grand total of £7,814.80 over a three year period if you decide to return the car. You could also commute in the award-winning Vauxhall Astra for £10,541.14 over a four year period when you decide not to keep the car.​

You will be surprised at what your annual train ticket can actually get you when you decide to use that money to finance a car. Not only will you receive greater comfort and reliability, but you could save hundreds of pounds in the process.

*Train fare figures calculated using Southern Rail's Season Ticket Calculator