How PCP Car Finance is More Cost-Effective than Commuting by Train

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Tudor Lodge

It’s no secret that the UK has one of the most expensive and consistently unreliable rail networks in Europe. Each and every day, passengers across the UK take a collective 4.7 million train journeys. All in all, this adds up to around 1.7 billion journeys each year. Unsurprisingly, the vast majority of peak-hour trains end up horrifically overcrowded and uncomfortable. It’s not uncommon for the number of passengers on a rush-hour train to exceed its official capacity by more than 100%. And if all this wasn’t enough, even the shortest train journeys in the UK are becoming increasingly expensive.

Not just expensive, but downright extortionate.

Prohibitive Prices

In a working example, let’s say you were heading from Glasgow Central to Manchester Airport. A one-way ticket would set you back approximately £33, while a return is (inexplicably) priced at £85. If this was your standard commute, you’d be looking at spending approximately £20,000 on train journeys per year.

Even if you went with a discounted season ticket, you’ll still be looking at more than £12,000 per year, or a minimum of £1,000 per month. All for the privilege of sitting (or standing) in a packed train, which probably isn’t going to be on time, anyway.

A Cost-Effective Alternative?

Most would agree that this kind of money for uncomfortable and unreliable train travel is downright ridiculous. In which case - why not consider a cost effective alternative? For the sake of argument, let’s reduce this monthly train travel expense to £500. Armed with £500 per month, you could easily drive away in an outstanding vehicle on a PCP deal. All while having an additional £500 in your pocket to cover insurance, fuel, repairs and so on.

Personal contract purchase - aka PCP - bears many similarities to leasing a vehicle. The difference being that at the end of the contract, you can take ownership of the car if you choose to do so. As with a more traditional hire purchase agreement, it’s a case of paying an initial deposit, followed by a series of affordable monthly repayments.

In this instance, affordable really means affordable.  Should you be applying for car finance with bad credit, there are many options offered by reputable dealers and brokers to support you. Pick up a Volkswagen Polo 1.0 TSI 95 SE on a three-year PCP deal and you’ll be looking at less than £200 per month, along with a relatively low £750 initial payment. You benefit from the comfort and convenience of your own vehicle, you save an astonishing amount of money per month and you get to choose from three options at the end of the term:

  • Pay a predetermined ‘balloon’ payment and take full legal ownership of the vehicle
  • Continue your monthly repayments and upgrade to a newer vehicle
  • Hand the keys back to the service provider and walk away, with nothing more to pay

Personal contract purchase effectively combines the affordability of a leasing agreement with the benefits of a traditional hire purchase contract. Whichever way you look at it, it’s also an exponentially more cost-effective option than train travel. Especially if you decide to keep the vehicle at the end of the term, as you’ll have something tangible to show for your money. With train travel, you’re largely investing in frustration and disappointment.

Getting a Good Deal

Accessing affordable car finance has never been easier. First of all, establish your budget and explore the available options using an online vehicle finance calculator. After which, all you need to do is submit your application via an experienced independent broker. If public transport simply isn’t doing it for you, why not go private?  

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