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Differential between Train Fares & Petrol Prices Increases

While this New Year has seen the smallest price rise in train fares in recent years, some of the most popular train routes in the UK continue to offer scant value for money compared to making the same journey by car.

With petrol prices dropping ever lower, the infographic and table below shows some of the worst offenders when it comes to cost of train tickets, highlighting the potential savings by car:

Top 10 Differences
(Top 10 cost difference return journeys between train vs car travel)

 Destination

 Car travel saving
 London - Newcastle   £158.70
 London - Edinburgh   £149.77
 London - Leeds   £133.27
 London - York   £125.56
 Glasgow - Exeter  £119.03
 London - Sheffield  £112.16
 Glasgow - Bristol  £106.00
 Glasgow - Cardiff  £102.76
 Glasgow - Swansea  £99.89
 Birmingham - Edinburgh  £80.39

You can check out our Pains, Trains & Automobiles article for further analysis. In the meantime, we’ve listed all calculation criteria and a full list of journey data below.

Notes on the Calculations

*Popular journeys from London (all), Birmingham New Street, Glasgow Central and Leeds (Full list in tables below)

 

Journey Calculations

1. Return Journeys from Leeds

Destination Train ticket cost (£) Hatchback fuel cost (£) Estate fuel cost (£) 4x4 fuel cost (£) Total Train Journey  Total Car Journey length in minutes Average car fuel cost Difference in £ between train and car Time difference between train and car (minutes)
Cardiff (236 miles)  £120.30  £34.86  £39.76  £48.63  510  520  £41.08  £71.67  10
Bristol (215 miles)  £112.90  £31.76  £36.22  £44.30  418  448  £37.43  £68.60  30
Birmingham (124 miles)  £60.00  £18.32  £20.89  £25.55  236  274  £21.59  £34.45  38
Exeter (285 miles)  £146.00  £42.09  £48.02  £62.71  540  612 £50.94   £83.29  72
London (192 miles)  £161.60  £28.36  £32.35  £39.56  282  462  £33.42  £122.04  180
Norwich (175 miles)  £88.90  £25.85  £29.49  £43.49  380  462  £32.94  £45.41  82
Newcastle (102 miles)  £58.40  £15.06  £17.19  £21.02  162  244  £17.76  £37.38  82
Oxford (187 miles)  £98.60  £27.62  £31.51  £38.53  210  386  £32.55  £60.07  176
Manchester (42.6 miles)  £21.60  £6.29  £7.18  £8.77  90  132  £7.41  £12.83  42
York (25.1 miles)  £17.80  £3.69  £4.22  £5.17  46  94  £4.36  £12.63  48
Liverpool (72.9 miles)  £34.10  £10.76  £12.28  £15.02  83  192  £12.69  £19.08  109
Edinburgh (222 miles)  £100.80  £32.79  £37.40  £45.74  378  494  £38.64  £55.06  116
Glasgow (221 miles)  £101.50  £32.64  £37.23  £45.54  536  482  £38.47  £55.96  -54
Sheffield (54.8 miles)  £23.00  £8.09  £9.23  £11.29  114  108  £9.54  £11.71  -6
Carlisle (152 miles)  £54.50  £22.45  £25.61  £31.32  320  308  £26.46  £23.18  -12
Swansea (264 miles)  £141.50  £39.00  £44.48  £54.40  616  560  £45.96  £95.54  -56

 

2. Return Journeys from Glasgow

Destination Train ticket cost (£) Hatchback fuel cost (£) Estate fuel cost (£) 4x4 fuel cost (£) Total Train Journey  Total Car Journey length in minutes Average car fuel cost Difference in £ between train and car Time difference between train and car (minutes)
Aberdeen (145 miles) £58.00 £21.42 £24.43  £29.88  310  322  £25.24  £32.76  12
Sheffield (257 miles) £117.50 £37.96  £42.56  £52.95  536  596  £44.49  £73.01  60
Dundee (80.9 miles) £37.40  £11.95  £13.63  £16.67  160  180  £14.08  £23.32  20
Liverpool (220 miles) £79.00  £32.50  £37.06  £54.67  414  452  £41.41  £37.59  38
Manchester (217 miles) £79.00  £32.05  £36.56  £44.71  402  444  £37.77  £41.23  42
Cardiff (392 miles) £171.00  £57.90  £66.05  £80.77  770  912  £68.24  £102.76 142 
Bristol (372 miles) £172.50  £54.95  £62.68  £81.86  676  840  £66.50  £106.00  164
Exeter (445 miles) £196.50  £65.73  £74.98  £91.69  800  1002  £77.47  £119.03  202
Oxford (364 miles) £140.80  £53.77  £61.33  £75  628  770  £63.37  £77.43  142
Birmingham (290 miles) £126.90  £42.84  £48.86  £59.75  490  678  £50.48  £76.42  188
London (411 miles) £135.10 £60.85     £69.42     £84.89   546  892  £60.85  £74.25  346
Edinburgh (46.9 miles) £12.60  £6.93  £7.90  £9.66  98  146  £8.16  £4.44  48
Carlisle (99.3 miles) £24.60  £14.67  £16.73  £20.46  134  218  £17.29  £7.31  84
Leeds (221 miles) £101.50  £32.64  £37.23  £45.54  536  482  £38.47  £63.03  -54
York (211 miles) £95.70  £31.17  £35.55  £43.48  514  470  £36.73  £58.97  -44
Norwich (375 miles) £131.90  £55.39  £63.18  £77.26  968  900  £65.28  £66.62  -68
Newcastle (175 miles) £65.60  £25.85  £29.49  £36.06  366  354  £30.47  £35.13  -12
Inverness (170 miles)  £55.70  £25.11  £28.64  £35.03  396  390  £29.59  £26.11  -6
Swansea (428 miles) £174.40  £63.22  £72.11  £88.19  884  848  £74.51  £99.89  -36

 

3. Return Journeys from Birmingham

Destination Train ticket cost (£) Hatchback fuel cost (£) Estate fuel cost (£) 4x4 fuel cost (£) Train journey time (min) Car journey time (min) Average car cost Difference in £ between train and car Time difference between train and car (minutes)
Newcastle (210.3 miles)  £109.50  £31.06  £35.43  £43.24  400  456  £36.58  £72.92  56
Leeds (118.3 miles)  £60.00  £17.47  £19.93  £24.37  235  266  £20.59  £39.41  31
Edinburgh (291 miles)  £131.00  £42.98  £49.03  £59.83  494  632  £50.61  £80.39  138
Bristol (97.6 miles)  £54.00  £14.41  £16.44  £20.11  174  206  £16.99  £37.01  32
Exeter (170.4 miles)  £90.60 £25.17   £28.71  £35.03  298  354  £29.64  £60.96  56
Cardiff (117.6 miles)  £55.60  £17.37  £19.81  £24.23  228  262  £20.47  £35.13  34
Glasgow (289.6 miles)  £126.90  £42.78  £48.79  £59.67  504  588  £50.41  £76.49  84
York (132.3 miles)  £62.80  £19.54  £22.29  £27.26  258  308  £23.03  £39.77 50 
Oxford (78.5 miles)  £36.60  £11.59  £13.23  £16.17  140  172  £13.66  £22.94  32
Carlisle (193.2 miles)  £88.20  £25.83  £32.55  £39.80  328  414  £32.73 £55.47   86
Sheffield (84.4 miles)  £44.40  £12.47  £14.22  £17.39  148  204  £14.69  £29.71  56
Manchester (86.5 miles)  £36.50  £12.78  £14.57  £17.82  176  242  £15.06  £21.44  66
London  £52.20  £18.61  £21.22  £25.96  172  278  £21.93  £30.27  106
Liverpool (98.3 miles)  £37.80  £14.52  £16.56  £20.25  190  242  £17.11  £20.69  52
Norwich (159 miles)  £84.70  £23.49  £26.78  £32.76  462  386  £27.68  £57.02  -76
Swansea (154 miles)  £71.20  £22.75  £25.95  £31.73  350  322  £26.81  £44.39  -28

 

4. Return Journeys from London

Destination Train ticket cost (£) Hatchback fuel cost (£) Estate fuel cost (£) 4x4 fuel cost (£) Train journey time (min) Car journey time (min) Average car cost Difference in £ between train and car Time difference between train and car (minutes)
 Cardiff (153 miles)  £93.40  £22.60   £25.78   £31.53  350  372  £26.64  £66.76  22
 Norwich (115 miles)  £52.20   £16.98     £19.38   £23.70  236  278  £16.98  £35.22  42
 Bristol (117 miles)  £71.20   £17.28   £19.71   £24.11  230  282  £20.37  £50.83  52
 Leeds (192 miles)  £161.60   £28.33   £32.34   £39.56  308  486  £28.33  £133.27  178
 Sheffield (176 miles)  £142.80   £26.00   £29.65   £36.26  270  440  £30.64  £112.16  170
 Newcastle (274 miles)  £206.40   £40.47   £46.17   £56.46  378  680  £47.70  £158.70  302
 Edinburgh (415 miles)  £211.10   £61.33   £69.92   £85.51  618  948  £61.33  £149.77  330
 York (207 miles)  £161.60   £30.58   £34.88  £42.65  222  526  £36.04  £125.56  304
 Oxford (57.2 miles)  £27.50   £8.44   £9.64  £11.79  124  174  £8.44  £19.06  50
 Exeter (200 miles)  £72.30   £29.54   £33.70  £41.20  278  462  £29.54  £42.76  184
 Liverpool (220 miles)  £82.40   £32.51   £37.06  £45.33  302  518  £32.51  £49.89  216
 Carlisle (314 miles)  £114.50   £46.38   £52.90  £64.70  392  672  £54.66  £59.84  280
 Manchester (218 miles)  £82.40   £32.21   £36.73  £44.91  254  500  £32.21  £50.19  246
 Glasgow (412 miles)  £135.10   £60.85  £69.42  £84.89  542  932  £60.85  £74.25  390
 Birmingham (126 miles)  £52.20   £18.61   £21.22  £25.96  170  320  £21.93  £30.27  150
Swansea (187 miles)  £101.00  £27.62  £31.51  £38.53  368  418  £32.55  £68.45  50
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