With train tickets rising in price each year, it’s easy to see why people might look at their other options before travelling by train.

One man, however, took matters completely into his own hands by buying a car, insuring it for the day, fuelling it and taxing it, all for less than what an on-peak train return rail fare would have cost to get from London to Bristol and back.

The car in question was a green 1997 Honda Civic – purchased for just £80 in Enfield, albeit with 135,000 miles on the clock and being sold for scrap.

Tom Church, the man behind the stunt, is admittedly a bargain and co-founder of deal-finding site

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He needed to visit one of his colleagues in Bristol and discovered a return train ticket from London to Bristol would cost up to £218.10 at peak times.

After finding and purchasing the car, Tom managed to tax the Civic for £81.38, insure the car for the day for £20.43 and pay £35 to fuel it – bringing the total to £206.81, almost £12 cheaper than a peak-time return rail fare.

Tom said: “Yes, buying a car for one trip was still expensive. It was stupid, but not as stupid as spending even more on just one train ticket.

“When I got back from Bristol, I still had the car. I’ll probably sell it on again and may even make profit from it!”

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The train journey could have been made cheaper by purchasing an off-peak fare, which could save up to £145. The journey also took two hours more to drive than if he had taken the train.

Tom added: “The point of buying a car and driving to Bristol and back was to show how crazy train ticket prices have become, although you can book tickets in advance and off-peak for less.”

Ted Welford


April 13, 2018

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