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10 cars that are a cost-effective alternative to a rail season ticket

AS EVIDENCE mounts that many people intend to avoid public transport in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis, new figures reveal that buying a car instead can be a budget-friendly solution for many.

The online car supermarket has published a list of ten cars that can cost less to buy, fuel, insure, tax and service than a range of rail season tickets.

Ipsos MORI found that 61% of people polled in early May are now uncomfortable around the perceived infection risks of using public transport*.

And polling conducted by the car-buying information website has also revealed that 65% of travellers currently intend to reduce their public transport use during the Covid-19 crisis.

Anecdotal evidence is also mounting, with a growing number of customers telling – and traditional dealers – that concern about using public transport during the Covid-19 crisis is one of the reasons for buying their car.

Now, according to, some of Britain’s most popular car choices need not cost any more than many rail season tickets. For commuters it means a car may not only feel safer for getting to work, but also cost-effective.

To illustrate the point, BuyaCar has revealed 10 cars that could costs less to finance and run than a selection of season tickets across the country.

For example, £308 per month could pay for a Bedford to St Albans season ticket, or get you a three-year-old Nissan Juke on PCP finance, with enough change to cover many drivers’ insurance, servicing, road tax and fuel for the 67-mile round trip.

Or, for the commuter who wants to switch into the ‘cleanest’ possible public transport alternative, there’s the option of swapping the £362.50 rail fare between Basingstoke and Woking for buying and running a three-year-old Nissan Leaf. Again, the difference between the car finance payments and the season ticket cost can cover charging costs, insurance, road tax and servicing.

BuyaCar’s calculations are based on the typical way most drivers fund their car on along with common working practices. This means taking PCP finance over four years – with no upfront deposit needed in some cases – and working 261 days per year, with one day of teleworking each week and 20 days’ holiday.

For those commuters wanting more luxury a 2017-registered BMW X5 can be financed on the same terms and still save money compared with the equivalent £565.70 monthly rail season ticket between Reading and Swindon.’s finance expert, Christofer Lloyd, said: “The motor retail industry is buzzing with talk of customers whose desire to replace their car is partly due to worries about infection risks on public transport. This is no surprise, but what will surprise many people is that commuters can often feasibly run a car for a similar cost to their normal train commute.

“With commuter rail routes often notoriously overcrowded we believe many people are looking for affordable ways to avoid them, at least while the Covid-19 crisis continues.

“Our list of cars that offer comparable costs to a range of typical monthly rail season tickets shows that swapping into a reliable car is a financially realistic option for many people.”

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