The rising price of crude oil is affecting the price of all sorts of things, from the food on your table to the clothes you’re wearing. But the most direct effect has been on transport costs. The mainstream media bemoans the plight of two-car families, but people on lower incomes have been hit much harder. Here’s how to save money on your transport costs.
IF YOU DRIVE
Get a more fuel-efficient car. Drivers of cars in band G, the most inefficient category, pay a whopping £400 a year in road tax, while cars in band A, the most efficient category, incur no road tax at all. You may not be able to afford a super-efficient new model, but moving up a tax band could save you over £100 per year – and that’s before you take your petrol bill into account.
Think about ditching the car altogether! Oxford is one of the best cities in the country for public transport links and cycle-friendliness, and the Leys area is exceptionally well served with buses. You’ll be saving yourself road tax, MOT costs and insurance, not to mention the soaring costs of petrol and parking.
IF YOU USE THE BUS
Look into getting a monthly pass rather than buying tickets every time you travel. For example, a return ticket from the Leys to Cowley Road was £2.80 as Leys News went to press. But a 28-day Megarider pass from Stagecoach will allow you unlimited travel within Oxford for just £34.
Swap the bus for a bike. Nasser Salehi of Cyclo Analysts on Cowley Road says: “You can get a good basic man or woman’s bike for £200 and that bike could last you up to 25 years, although of course parts will need replacing every now and then. You can also get a very cheap bike for around £80, but I wouldn’t advise that because you will quite quickly spend more on repairs than you spent on the bike.”
IF YOU GET THE TRAIN
Buy yourself a Network Railcard. This will save you a third on most journeys in the south-east of England and costs just £20 for a year. Family Railcards are even better value, costing just £24 and saving you on the whole family’s travel. For more information about railcards visit www.railcard.co.uk.
Get yourself a Bite card by visiting www.bitecard.co.uk.This card saves you money on food from retail outlets based at train stations... and best of all, it’s completely free!