How do I save money on travel costs?

How do I save money on travel costs?

You could save money on travel costs with our 11 simple ticket-booking hacks and driving shortcuts.

Travel costs. It’s the annoying expense we often forget to account for in our budgets until we’re about to make a journey. While it’s a cost we can’t avoid, there a few clever tricks that can help to ease the burden on your wallet.

Whether you’re travelling via train, car, or bus, we’ve compiled 11 handy tips that could help you save money across the board. 

Buy train tickets in advance

Train tickets can be a hefty expense, particularly when booking last minute. In fact, buying tickets any time before the day you travel can save you money, even if it’s just a few pounds.

You can net bigger savings by booking advance tickets up to 12 weeks[1] before you travel. It’s also worth bearing in mind that travelling during commuting hours can hike up the price, so avoid rush hour where you can.

Split it

Dividing up your journey into parts can help to reduce the cost of your train ticket. Let’s say you’re going from Point A to Point B. One single train ticket there could cost you £25, but there’s a chance you could cut costs by getting two tickets – one from Point A to a destination along the line, then getting off and changing to another train to go from there to Point B.

First-class discounts

Sometimes first-class tickets are cheaper than standard fares[2] – should there be space on the journey you’re looking to take. There’s no hard-and-fast rule on when they’re available, so keep an eye out when you’re booking in advance or close to the date.

Driving style

When driving, do you ever find yourself pulling away quickly, braking hard, and giving the accelerator pedal a constant work out? Did you know that these driving habits use up more fuel?[3] Try not to accelerate and break suddenly, instead speed up and slow down gradually.

You don’t have to race to that red light; if it goes green while you’re rolling to a stop it will cost you less than if you start from standing. And, while driving on the motorway or dual carriageway, pick a speed and stick to it while moving the accelerator as little as possible. This should allow you to go further between refills, and help the environment too!

Deal or no deal

Keep a look out for vouchers or deals for routine trips to the garage like MOTs, tyre changes, and services. You could keep a few extra notes in your pocket each time.

Keep an eye on sales

It’s worth signing up to train company email alerts to keep an eye on discounts. Many train companies offer flash sales exclusively to email subscribers, and this may be your best window of opportunity to snap up big savings.

Save on train travel all year round

If you travel regularly, it might work out cheaper to get a railcard[1]. Although most involve an initial upfront cost, if you travel often enough, they can save you a lot of money in the long run. There are a few options, so it’s worth spending a bit of time researching the National Rail website to make sure you get the best one for you.

Sharing is caring

You can get back some of what you spend on petrol by carpooling. There are several websites that match people driving from A to B with someone who needs a lift on the same route.

Fuel your efficiency

There are easy ways to get more miles out of your fuel tank. If there’s anything inside your car you don’t need, take it out. The additional weight can result in your car burning more fuel.[2] Keeping your tyres properly inflated will also give you more miles.

Close the windows

OK, so this one might sound a little odd, but believe it or not, making sure your car windows are shut can help to reduce fuel consumption. This is where science (aerodynamics) comes into play.

When you’re driving at fast speeds (e.g. on the motorway), having your window open can increase drag and, in turn, increase the need for you to top up your fuel. This is because the faster you go, the more energy your car uses to overcome the drag.[3]

Simply remembering to wind up your windows could help to reduce your trips to the petrol garage.

Less fuss on the bus

Not only can fuel put a hole in your pocket but parking these days can also cost you a chunk of change. If you go into town for work or just on a regular basis, you could make big savings by opting for a bus, especially if you’re in for a long trip. Park and ride can also work out as a cheap alternative if you don’t fancy taking a bus for the entire journey.

Whatever your mode of transport, these tips should help you save a little money to put towards big essential expenses or to save up and put into a pot ready for an unexpected cost.



 1. Taken from Money Saving Expert – Cheap train tickets, last updated Dec 2017.

 2.Taken from Cross Country Trains – First Class. Retrieved 9th Feb, 2018.

 3. Taken from Money Saving Expert – 50+ quick tips to cut driving costs. Updated December 2017.  

 4. Taken from National Rail Enquiries – National Railcards. Retrieved 9th Feb, 2018.

 5. Taken from Money Advice Service – Cut your car and train costs. Retrieved 9th Feb, 2018.

 6. Taken from Money Saving Expert – 50+ quick tips to cut driving costs. Updated December 2017.

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