A guy who was sick of expensive train fares managed to buy a car, insure and tax it for less than a rail ticket.
Self-confessed ‘bargain hunter’ Tom Church managed to buy a car and drive it from London to Bristol and back for less than a train ticket.
He said the reason he’d set out on a mission to save money was because he wanted to see a friend in Bristol but had been put off by ‘rip-off train fares’.
I think it’s safe to say we’ve all been there.
After seeing someone else complaining about the same trains - and the cost - on Reddit, Tom said he was inspired to 'do something different'.
So he set about searching online for a car and eventually found a second hand 1997 Honda Civic with 135,000 miles on the clock.
He bought the Honda, as well as road tax, insurance and petrol — all just for one trip —because it cost less than a £218.10 return train ticket.
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.
Tom, who is co-founder of voucher code site LatestDeals.co.uk said:
The idea came when I saw a man share his ridiculously priced train ticket on Reddit. I felt his pain because I had wanted to book that same journey to see a friend and colleague. It gave me an idea to try something different.
I found the car on Gumtree. The lady I bought it from, Sutinder, was basically selling it for scrap. It’s a very old car, 1997 Honda Civic, but the MOT was fine. Plus, the engine was small enough that I could get the cheapest road tax: a minimum of six months for £81.38.
The total cost was £206.81. Less than just one train ticket. And I still have a car at the end of it!
Yes, it is still expensive. The point is to show how mad train ticket prices are. Sometimes you have to think outside of the box to save money.
Tom said there are obviously alternative options out there, such as making sure you book ahead, or use a railcard if you're eligable.
However, I'll be the first to admit this isn't the cheapest method. You can book tickets in advance and off-peak for less. You may be able to use a railcard. Or you could get a coach. But for those of us who aren't able to, why do the train companies insist on ripping us off?
At the end of the trip, I still have a car. I'll probably sell it again. After some TLC, I think I can get £200. You get your unused road tax refunded so I might even be in profit! That’s real bargain hunting for you.
Have you found a way of getting around expensive rail fares? Get in touch and let us know - if you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]