Monetary cost of commute

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  • Monetary cost of commute
  • Gary_M

    a new tyre once a year – 15 quid
    an inner tube maybe -5 quid

    I’m impressed, 30 miles on a unicycle 🙂


    The commuter bike cost me £450 last year to buy. Apart from a tube and a set of mudguards at £30 all in I reckon that’s under £500 for nearly a year of use. Only does 9 miles a day so not using much energy and saves me time on the commute compared to the car. I just use my regular biking kit so no expense there. I can’t put a value on the way riding lifts my mood so can only compare it to the car as a cost.

    Used the car for a week back in November as I was feeling run down and it cost me £20 in fuel plus all the wear stop-start driving does to it. That’s a grand easily so am better off financially and physically (fitness-wise anyway!!) riding to work. Plus I enjoy it!!!

    Mary Hinge

    And back OT…..;-)

    My firm pay 20p per mile for cycling mileage (that will be the HMRC approved rate I guess).

    I’ve been cycling the 25 miles each way once or twice a week for over 3 years, and I reckon that just about covers it.

    That compares to the 45p per mile car mileage allowance.

    So I make the assertion that some clever person in HMRC (sic!) has done some complex calculation, and it costs about half as much by bike as it does by car.

    Incidentally, my wife travels to the same location by train. If we leave the house at the same time in the morning, I get there 20 minutes before she does 🙂

    And it saves time in the week as I don’t need to go out training in my spare time.


    I’m impressed, 30 miles on a unicycle

    fnarr, only one needs replacing a year on average.

    I cant ride a unicycle, tried it, fell off lots, not doing that again in a hurry. 😉

    Premier Icon vincienup

    … um …

    That ‘mileage allowance’ is for business use and *not* commuting… If you visit clients or site via personal transport in work time you can claim it – from your workplace, not your home.

    Bear in mind also that this ‘mileage allowance’ is to reimburse you for using your own vehicle for work purposes and therefore covers wear and tear, operating costs etc also – it’s not simply about fuel although as it’s paid per mile it is very easy to make that mistake.

    I bought a nice bike on c2w which probably cost me about £50 a month and I’ve bought it a pair of new tyres (£22 pair) and three tubes (£10). I use old cycle clothing and don’t need to eat extra for around 20 miles a day on a preexisting healthy diet. I had lights around and don’t have a special ‘road’ helmet – I just don’t use the full face, is all. So that’s about £635 in the last year. That barely compares to insurance and servicing never mind wear and tear, fuel and actually buying a car – and includes a shiny new* cross bike which is still in fine condition.

    If your commute is monster miles and across challenging terrain likely to eat bikes then maybe cars work out in front, but unless you need the load capacity or the speed/distance coverage then there’s no way you can justify cycling costing more than driving without some seriously selective data.

    * Bike is clearly no longer new… 😉

    Premier Icon rockhopperbike

    Mary Hinge – Member
    And back OT…..;-)

    And it saves time in the week as I don’t need to go out training in my spare time.

    this for me is the real saver- get a bit “biked out sometimes” but still nice n fit for no time lost!

    Premier Icon vincienup

    oh dear… don’t introduce ‘gym membership’ into the list of expenses that need to be accounted as pros and cons… 😉


    Bus/car: £3.50/return/day x 5 (days)= £17.50/week
    x 48 (weeks)= £840/yr

    Bike: £135/yr (consumable/service) + £150/yr (extra food) + £100/yr (clothing/other)= £335/yr (Or £6.98/week, £1.39/day, £0.14/mile).

    Total Saving= £505/yr

    -Plus I save 1hr/day cycling vs car/bus.
    – Plus I save money on water/electric by showering at work.
    – Only 10 miles/day trip so probably don’t eat any more anyway.

    Mary Hinge

    vincienup – Member
    … um …

    That ‘mileage allowance’ is for business use and *not* commuting… If you visit clients or site via personal transport in work time you can claim it – from your workplace, not your home.

    Not claiming for the commute, but giving an example of “official” costings that compare bike mileage allowance to car mileage allowance, thus gives a fairly reliable comparison.

    My commute is on “challenging terrain” and so my commute bike gets a fair bit of abuse. Still on my 2nd pair of tyres in 3 odd years, got through maybe 6 tubes (4 in one day due to split tyre). Still on same drivetrain (new BB bearings) which gets lubed each ride. 1 set of brake pads. Full mudguards help keep the mud off so clothing lasts longer.

    @ Rockhopperbike – yep, and it means I don’t get moaned at for going out on the bike all the time 🙂


    I commute 20 off road/canal path miles a day, every day.
    Leave home on a cup of coffee with a couple of biscuits and have a flapjack when I get to work, sandwich and some fruit for lunch and maybe a banana, some dried fruit or nuts mid afternoon.
    Then cycle home for a standard meat based meal – no extra refuelling needed.

    Consumables: set of pads, a chain/cassette, a tyre or two per year – say £200 tops, so 20 miles x 220 working days / £200 = 4.5ish pence a mile


    With regards to commuting it all depends on what you want to get from it as to how pricey it gets. Personally i keep bike / clothing / fuel in fairly good order since a commute can be good winter training along with adding in group rides after work you can make the most out of an otherwise mundane task. If you already cycle and have kit / bikes then the cost need not really be taken into account.


    tyres – £120 😳
    one set of brake blocks (fixed gear) – £10
    chain – £10
    lights – £20 (keep losing them)
    clothes – £50
    cleats – £15
    other bits and bobs – £50

    so that’s £250. and half of that is tyres.

    which is about 5p a mile.


    my sort of agreement with myself is that £10 a month to maintain the commuter. in reality this normally gets spent as a lump sum every so often. at the beginning of autumn i had new tyres (old ones were punturing too much rather than run out) new cranks (pedal threads stripped), brake pads, and a new set of guards. Chainring is probably 4 years and 8000 km in. i keep thinking about replacing it ‘next spring’.

    £10 a month is much better than my £120 fuel bill if i drove every day.


    My old 40 mile round trip commute ended up closeting my no less than a monthly train pass and a cheap gym membership. I also have less aggro and near misses and can watch futurama on my ipad. Tricky to do that on the bike.

    Edit- riding is loads cheaper than driving though, if that was the only alternative I’d be right on the bike.

    Premier Icon garage-dweller

    I don’t ride in to work that much in the winter(35 mile round trip almost exclusively through suburbia and built up areas) but in the summer I try and do a trip or two a week barely enough to guess a cost but on a cheap road bike not to hideous I would wager. I don’t eat much more and it compares to a combined diesel and parking cost of £10 or more a day or a much less stressful £8 on the train. The traffic is regularly murder round here so it’s train or bike for the win and neither involve leaving the house earlier than the car.

    My car hasn’t been driven in ten days and I think I drove about ten miles in my wife’s car last week. I am happier, less tired and less stressed for less driving. Now that’s worth more than a few quid in my book!


    I cycle to work. 5 miles each way. Ride home is 1000ft climb.

    I used to drive. I’d rush home, eat, change and try and get a ride in 2 or 3 times a week.

    Now I cycle to work I don’t need to ride in an evening so in effect it saves me time.

    As I bought a bike to train on its not cost me anything as I would have bought it anyway.

    I have spent more money on clothes and waterproofs but I use these on weekends on my mtb.

    I do my own servicing/wheel truing etc.

    Fuel, parking, wear and tear etc I worked out as 50 per week.

    If you didn’t cycle you would probably join a gym which costs 40 quid a month.


    What I don’t think anyone has mentioned yet is that with commuting you can palm off extra bike purchases/kit purchases as “I need it for commuting… followed by its still way cheaper than you using the car”… no just me then?

    Also unless you get a mechanical (5years of commuting 2 punctures) you get to work in exactly the same time each day as traffic doesn’t effect you as much as it does in a car/bus/train.

    All I’d say about £40 a month but that’s not just for commuting thats contributes to normal hobby too….

    Premier Icon irc

    For years my bike commuting allowed us to be a one car family rather than a two car family. Public transport wasn’t an option. If it lets you run one less car the savings are huge.

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