The other day I was talking to a friend who has just got a job in Adelaide. He has started working in a call centre in the middle of the CBD. Knowing that I was good at budgeting he asked me to work out the difference in cost between driving his car and catching the train. Now I will share them with you in case you are in this situation.

Car

My friend lives 30 kilometres from his work. He then parks his car for \$17 dollars a day.

Now his car uses 8 litres of fuel for every 100 kilometres driven. Each day he drives 60 kilometres, so each week he drives 300 kilometres. This means he uses 24 litres of fuel each week. If fuel was selling for \$1.30, on average he uses \$31.20 on fuel alone.

Plus parking his car 5 days a week at \$17 a day he would be spending \$85 a week in parking.
Petrol \$31.20
Parking \$85
Total per week to get to and from work \$116.20
Or if he works 48 weeks a year this would cost \$5,577.60

This does not take into account any wear and tear on his car. For example using extra oil, less time between servicing and possible accidents including insurance claims.

Train

On the train he pays \$4.20 per trip in and out. So it would cost him \$8.40 a day.
Total per week to get in and out to work is \$42

Or if he works 48 weeks a year this would cost \$2,016. This is a saving of \$3,561

So in this case the train wins hands down.

Sure it’s not as comfortable. Not as nice to sit in a train when you could be in a nice car cruising at your
own pace. However the savings can’t be denied.

Plus on a train you don’t have to worry about the price of petrol. Your ticket price is set. If fuel for example went up to an average of \$1.50 per litre, all of a sudden you would be spending an additional \$231 to get to and from work by car.

Let’s say each year for five years you could save \$3,500 by taking the train.

You put that money into a savings account at 5% interest over the five years at monthly intervals.

At the end of 5 years you would have \$19,857.78.