The average cost of car journeys has increased by 48% for diesel and 42% for petrol since 2015, train fares up 18%, with the average UK bus fare only increasing by 4.6% in this time. 

New research from Stagecoach, the UK’s biggest bus and coach operator, has found that bus fares saw the lowest increases in this period, the only form of transport under the average national inflation level of 6.2% over the last 12 months. (source) 

The rising costs of an average journey since 2015: 

Mode of transport 

Increase 

Car (diesel price) 

48% 

Car (petrol price) 

42% 

Train 

18% 

Bus 

4.6% 

 

The research looked at fares across the UK for each mode of transport since 2015, as well as the costs of petrol and diesel across this time period, which is currently at all-time high.  

It found that mixing up your commute for just two days a week, and taking the bus instead of train, could save travellers over £800 a year.  

The top areas for people to make a saving by taking the bus over the train twice a week were: 

  1. Midlands – £813 a year 
  2. West Country (inc. Cornwall, Bristol) – £740 
  3. London – £715 

There are also big savings to be made by switching from the car to the bus on just two days. Over the course of a year, petrol car drivers could save £350 on average and diesel drivers could stand to save £506. Statistics show fuel prices at an all-time high, with petrol prices increasing by 48p/litre, equating to a 42% rise, and diesel up by 57p/litre, a 48% increase, since 2015. 

It’s not just when it comes to money saving that cutting down on car journeys can have positive effects. The environmental impact of leaving the car at home also offers an incentive. Swapping your car for the bus for two journeys a week can save more than 900kg of CO2 emissions in a year, with train users saving over 1,500kg of CO2. 

Carla Stockton-Jones, UK Managing Director of Stagecoach, commented: 

“The cost-of-living crisis is taking its toll on everyone, and we want to play our part in helping. We’ve experienced a rise in fuel, energy, labour and supply chain costs, which all have a knock-on effect on fares.  This research helps to identify exactly where the public can make a saving on their transport by mixing up their commute.  

“As Britain’s biggest bus provider, we’re proud to see that bus services are still the cheapest travel option. Increases have fallen below the national inflation average, proving that buses are an affordable and reliable way to travel. Fares are used to pay for the rising costs of running services, including pay for bus workers who have worked hard to keep communities connected and services running during the pandemic, as well as investing in improvements for customers and new greener vehicles.” 

To find out more about this research, you can find the full blog post here