September 18, 2015

The Real Cost of Driving to Work

If you drive to work regularly, you’ll no doubt already be familiar with the stressful traffic jams, costs of petrol and early mornings that come with it. Without living a 20-30 minute walk from their job, the majority of commuters feel that driving is the fastest and most convenient way to get to work.

However, what many drivers don’t know is what their daily commute is really costing them in other ways – and how this can be alleviated by switching their motor for a bike. Check out these intriguing facts about cycling to work. They may just encourage you to think differently!

  1. Commuting by bike can be twice as fast as a car in traffic.

Just think of all that wasted time spent sat in stationary traffic. Far as your route might seem, you could zip around it if you were on a bike. The average travel time for a cycle commute is just 22 minutes.

  1. Middle-aged cyclists can be twice as fit as someone ten years younger.

Work your way towards a lean physique in your 50s, when you’ll be able to chuckle at the 25 year old driver with the beer gut. Or, more importantly, keep that ticker running smoothly.

  1. One car space = 10 bike parking spaces.

Looking for a small space in which to snugly slip your bike and leave it there to stay for a while? It’s not so easy when you’ve got a car.

  1. You’re actually working six days a week, not five.

In this breakdown by Mr Money Mustache, he calculates that with a typical commute of 40 minutes there and back (totaling 80 minutes per day), you’re actually spending the equivalent of an extra work day per week, both in time and money.

Now that’s just not fun.

  1. Driving is said to be five times more dangerous than cycling for young men.

In a study by UCL in 2012, it was found that driving posed a five times greater danger to males aged between 17 and 20 than cycling, and that cycling is “markedly the safer option”.

  1. A cycle commute of 30 mins on a bike costing £500 (including gear) could save you £1012 per year.

If Steve Morgan’s Cycle to Work Calculator is anything to go by, a simple 30 minute commute on a bike costing £500 (including gear) could save you £1012 over the course of a year, assuming you were traveling 45 minutes at a rough cost of £5.80 per journey.

Don’t take our word for it though – head to the calculator yourself and have a play around with numbers to see how much you could be saving.

  1. Driving is six times more expensive for society than cycling.

A study in Copenhagen that looked at the costs of driving and cycling for society, found that driving is six times more expensive in terms of road wear, air pollution, health, noise and climate change.

In other sources, it is estimated that cyclists contribute around £230 each to the UK economy each year, and whilst the cost of driving is increasing, the cost of cycling is declining.


It’s no secret that driving comes with its own operating costs. But add to these costs the amount of stress endured; calories stored and time lost, and you’ll begin to see why cycling is such an attractive alternative.

Keen to cycle to work, but don’t know how to get started? Check out our top tips for cycling to work for the first time.

Want to know more about how our bike scheme could save you money? Take a look at our FAQs.

By Aimee Whitehill
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  • Testimonials


    ALDI would recommend Bike 2 Work Scheme to any employer. We have found the service provided by the team at Bike 2 Work Scheme to be professional, speedy and friendly. A number of our staff have already purchased bikes through the scheme since our registration 5 months ago, and we predict many more will take advantage of this salary sacrifice in the upcoming months

    Kez Ruffles - Aldi Stores Ltd.

    I was given the task of getting our company Abbey Logistics Group on the Bike 2 Work Scheme, I looked around and researched a number of schemes but thought that the Bike 2 Work Scheme was the best. I still feel I made the correct choice for a number of reasons. The amount of partner shops I found was fantastic and the speedy response from the scheme is second to none just to name a couple. May I take a moment to say a big thank you to the Bike 2 Work Scheme for helping our company to a greener future.

    Alan Sutton - Abbey Logistics

    Bike 2 work scheme has proved to be very popular with our employees. The administration is first class and any queries are resolved promptly. We believe the scheme will be of great benefit to our employees in saving money and improving fitness, whilst being in full accordance with Legrand's environmental policy.

    Peter Bedall - Legrand Electric Ltd

    We have been with the Bike 2 Work Scheme for over a year and have a good number of our staff obtaining bikes through the scheme. Bike 2 Work offer a high level of service and are efficient in getting the contracts and vouchers sent out. Emails sent regarding questions or queries are always responded to speedily and the Bike 2 Work employers are very knowledgeable on the scheme.

    Wendy Peaks - Expeditors

    I only heard about Bike 2 Work Scheme when I visited my local cycle shop. It was great to hear that the government actually had a scheme in place which made cycling cost effective for the employee, whilst promoting a healthier lifestyle. Setting up the scheme was extremely easy, they made sure that we had everything that we required and was always on standby to answer any questions. I would happily recommend the Bike 2 Work Scheme to any employer.  

    Tom Watts

    One of the things that attracted us to Bike 2 Work Scheme was the number of cycle shops available enabling our employees to access one near them, which appears to have encouraged take up of the scheme. Having circulated the leaflets provided, there has been a lot of interest once people could see how easy and financially advantageous it was. All our dealings with the scheme have been very professionally handled, all our queries answered, and paperwork dealt with speedily. We would recommend Bike 2 Work to any employer.

    Peter Langton

    A number of my team had been suggesting they were keen to get on their bike, get fit and try to get out of using public transport and mentioned the Bike2Work scheme. I contacted the team at Bike2Work and they made it very simple for Bright Purple to get engaged, explaining everything required of us to get going. As a company we are keen to support green issues and want to do our bit for the environment, so getting the team on 2 wheels is a good start. Thank you Bike2Work - great idea.

    Nick Price

    We have been very impressed with the speedy and professional response we have had since joining your scheme. We have found the contacts we speak to be more than helpful and very pleasant in their manner.

    Anne Jackson