Birmingham most expensive UK city for commuting by car, report claims

News, Work
Birmingham New Street station. Image: Chris Price

A new study has found that Birmingham is the most expensive city to commute to by car – as staff spend up to 17% of their salary travelling in each month.

The research, by business management software specialistECI Software Solutionslooked at the cost of trains, parking, coffee and the number of remote and flexible jobs on offer to reveal the Cost of Commuting Index.

It comes as a new study revealed that up to 90% of companies plan to implement return-to-office policies by the end of 2024.

Birmingham was named as the most expensive place to commute by car – as employees are likely to spend up to 16% of their salary each month just getting to the office – before even taking into account petrol costs.

For those travelling by train, London was named as the most expensive using the average train costs by nearby areas. This is based on an average 40-minute commuting journey for 2.5 days a week – costing up to 22% of their regular monthly earnings.

Derby was revealed to be the cheapest for train commuters, costing on average £76 a month with a daily return train ticket priced at £4.60. Similarly, the analysis showed Kingston upon Hull to be the cheapest city for car users.

The most expensive cities to commute by driving (not including petrol):

  1. Birmingham – 16.72% of salary

  2. Manchester – 14.80% of salary

  3. Glasgow – 13.74% of salary

  4. London – 13.34% of salary

  5. Plymouth – 13.22% of salary

The most expensive cities to commute by train: 

  1. London – 22.31% of salary

  2. Edinburgh – 15.82% of salary

  3. Hull – 15.10% of salary

  4. Birmingham – 13.52% of salary

  5. Glasgow – 9.08% of salary

Birmingham is revealed to be the priciest commute by car. Out of an employee’s average monthly salary of £2,091, all that is left is £1,791 before household bills and petrol costs.

Bristol, Sheffield and Edinburgh rank towards the bottom. Out of these top 10, Edinburgh has the lowest commute expenses with only 11% of the average salary being spent on parking costs. 

Commenting on the index, Emma Davies-Carolan, Vice President of Global Customer Marketing at ECI Software Solutions said:

“Recently there has been a real push to bring offices back to pre-pandemic levels. However, with so many employees used to flexible working, there might be some pushback.

“The research reveals whether travelling by car or train, it still costs over £100 a month just for an average of two and a half days. With the current financial climate, this could be very expensive on top of household costs.”

To read the full study, visit:


ECI Software Solutions created the Priciest Cities to Commute report looking at these 7 factors: 


Chris Price
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