Bargain hunter buys a CAR because it was cheaper than a train ticket to Bristol

A bargain hunter claimed he bought a car to drive from London to Bristol because it was cheaper than travelling by train.

Friday, 13th April 2018, 10:56 am
Updated Friday, 13th April 2018, 11:06 am
Tom Church - Credit: Tom Church/PA Wire

Tom Church, 27, wanted to visit a friend in the South West but was put off by the cost of train travel after discovering a peak time return from Bristol to London can cost £218.10.

He said buying a second-hand car, vehicle excise duty, insurance and petrol cost less, at £206.81.

The car, a 1997 Honda Civic with 135,000 miles on the clock, set him back just £80.

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Mr Church, who founded voucher code site, said: "The idea came when I saw a man share his ridiculously-priced train ticket on (social news site) 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.

"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."

In January 2016, teenager Jordan Cox managed to save £7.72 on his train journey from Sheffield to Essex by taking a flight to Berlin.

The 18-year-old spent £44.07 on a flight from East Midlands Airport to his home in Shenfield, Essex compared to the £51.79 it would have cost him on a train from Sheffield.

However, the flight took him 13 hours and included a seven-hour layover in Berlin, compared to the three-and-a-half trip on the train.

Mr Church acknowledged that cheaper rail tickets are available if bought in advance or for off-peak departures, but asked "why do the train companies insist on ripping us off?".

Great Western Railway, which operates services between London and Bristol, said in a statement: "For the time taken to buy a car, collect, insure it and to drive the 340-mile round trip, Tom could have waited an hour and bought an off-peak return, allowing him more time with his friends and saving well over £125 on the cost of the car.

"That's real bargain hunting."