It’s a drudgery no-one would wish on their worst enemy – the daily slog into the heart of London. We’re in love with the city - full of energy and jam-packed with culture and excitement, London is one of a few places that could rocket your career to interstellar heights overnight. However, moving around the city is not easy. It’s hard on your pocket, it swallows time and causes significant stress to London’s commuting population - with effects of commuting on mental health now an increasingly discussed topic.
The status quo of London commuting cannot remain. Pollution is choking, the streets stuffed beyond capacity, the Underground bulges at the seams and Londoners are spending X% of their take home salary simply to get to work! What’s the solution?
Costs of commuting in London
How much do you really spend on getting from your front door at home to the front door of work? Not all the commuting costs mentioned will affect you but the current costs of commuting in London paint a sobering picture of the cost of something many of endure daily: commuting to heart of the city.
· Driving in the city
Driving in and around London daily is an expensive business. Aside from your fuel – March 2019 fuel prices according to the AA were 121p a litre for unleaded petrol and 131p a litre for diesel – there are other costs to consider too.
Parking costs are eye-wateringly expensive. Different zones have different hourly parking rates. To park in the city, you’ll be looking at £3.70 per hour minimum. In Hyde Park, Marylebone and Fitzrovia, if your diesel car is pre-2015, you’ll be paying £7.35 an hour to park.
In addition to fuel and parking costs, you’ll also need to consider the London Congestion Charge. The £11.50 daily charge applies to vehicles being driven in the charging zone from 7am to 6pm, Monday to Friday, so peak working hours in other words
There’s more. The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) operates every hour of the day, every day of the year within the same area of London as the Congestion Charge. Vehicles driven in the zone must meet emissions standards. If they don’t, you’ll get whacked with another daily charge of £12.50. This is only the start as there are plans to expand ULEZ in the coming years.
Aside from fuel and insurance costs, driving and parking in London working 5 days a week with 8 hours daily of parking in the heart of the city will add an extra £1,072 a month to your commuting costs, with the new ULEZ charge included.
· Ride the tube
You could, of course, already be part of the 3 million commuters who take the tube. You can track how many others take your tube line every morning too, just for fun. Aside from the sheer volume of fellow commuters, there is the cost of it.
Adults without an Oyster card for a single tube journey in zone 1 will need to find £4.90 (there are other zones at different pricing structures). You can reduce the by half if you buy an Oyster card.
The average cost of catching the tube to work comes in at a £135, although some commuters say they pay much more than this, averaging £387 per month.
· Take the bus
The red London bus is an iconic symbol recognised the world over and synonymous with the bustling, vibrant streets of England’s capital. A single journey is £1.50 or for a few pence under £850, you can buy an annual bus pass. Again, you may find that fares change depending on zones and frequency of use.
The cheapest way to travel any distance on a regular basis by bus in London is the annual ticket but that will still set you back £70.84 a month. Add to this the time it takes to get from home to work and vice versa, along with overcrowding on buses at busy times and you can soon see how the daily bus journey is no-one’s favourite.
Number crunching the electric scooter for commuting
You don’t need us to tell you how expensive your daily commute is. But you do need us to show you just how brilliant and affordable an electric scooter for commuting is.
Initial outlay is the amount you will spend on buying your foldable scooter. How much you choose to spend depends on your budget but you need a reliable scooter that has a strong robust frame and a reliable, high-performing rechargeable battery. It is the battery, after all, that you’ll rely on to get you from A to B on your commute.
Around £450 (half that of an annual London bus ticket) will get the scooter you need: lightweight, foldable (for those unavoidable tube or bus trips), robust, stylish and a rechargeable lithium battery. You can choose to pay all at once or you can opt to pay monthly, a great way of spreading the cost. And because this is an interest-free option, you not paying any more for the convenience.
Of course, what we also need to consider is that with a monthly payment plan, after 12 months, the scooter is yours and no more payments. Our top commuter pro package comes with scooter and 24/7 helpline and breakdown cover, all for £68.60 a month for 12 months. If you spend £135 a month on a tube ticket, after only two electric scooter payments, your quids on. After 12 months, you have even more cash in your pocket!
Charging costs are an important consideration as you’ll need to plug in your scooter from time to time. Using an average hourly charge for electricity of 12.376p per hour (current figure from UK Power) and opting for the upper end charge time of 4 hours, it’ll cost you 50p to charge it. A 36v 6.4ah lithium battery, common on electric scooters, have an average run time of 15 kms or 9.32 miles so a daily charge over a 5-day working week will set you back in the region of £2.50 a week or just two single bus fares or half an hour’s parking in the West End.
Sneaky tip - buy an extra charger to charge your scooter at work for 0p!
Maintenance costs are a consideration too. Electric scooters for commuting have few mechanical parts but taking care of it, the battery and tyres, the less likely you are to face a ‘scooter breakdown’.
Replacing the lithium rechargeable battery is something you should think about, along with keeping an eye on the condition of your tyres.The tyres on your Model T- last for several thousand kms and so replacing them any time soon is not something you need to worry about.
The same can be said for the scooter’s battery. The long battery life means you won’t need to budget for a replacement just yet. Not keeping your scooter in a cold place extends battery life, as does charging it every 3 months when not in use. You can buy replacement batteries from us, when the time comes, for £90.
So, an electric scooter for the daily commute is the answer?
Yes, in part. Clearly it’s not meant for intra-city long distance travelling, but the electric scooter is making an impact in replacing the first and last mile commute – so the expensive bus journey or the two-stop tube hop could be a thing of the past. And if you live in the heart of London, it has the potential to replace both by cutting out public transport completely.
The electric scooter is not just a trendy item. It is a commuting workhorse, a smart investment that gives massive financial and lifestyle returns into the long term. Commuting in London is not just about expense: it’s about the time spent commuting, the drudgery and the pollution, three things that have affected commuting in the city for decades. Is the electric scooter part of the answer to commuting problems? Absolutely.