NEWS
12/04/2018 20:34 BST | Updated 13/04/2018 08:39 BST

Bargain Hunter Tom Church Buys Car To Travel To Bristol And Back Because It's Cheaper Than A Train Ticket

He claims train companies 'rip' customers off.

PA
Tom Church said he bought a car to travel to Bristol because it was cheaper than buying a train ticket.

A man has claimed he bought a car to drive from London to Bristol and back because it was cheaper than purchasing a train ticket.

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.

After seeing someone else complaining about the same trains on social news site, Reddit, inspiration struck him.

He said that buying a second-hand car, vehicle excise duty, insurance and petrol cost £206.81 - more than £10 cheaper than travelling by train.

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

Church, who founded voucher code site LatestDeals.co.uk, said: “The idea came when I saw a man share his ridiculously-priced train ticket on 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.”

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.”