Oxford is the most expensive commuter town

Michael Lloyd

September 4, 2019

Living in Oxford and commuting to London costs the most in terms of rental costs in Oxford and an annual travelcard for that journey, research from room share platform ideal flatmate has shown.

An annual travelcard from Oxford to London costs £5,256 and the annual rent is currently £1,366 in Oxford, totaling £21,648. This is despite rents in Oxford having dropped by £432 over the last year, with train tickets up £159 over the same period.

Tom Gatzen, co-founder of ideal flatmate, said: “For many, the financial burden of renting is made all the worse by the additional costs of traveling to and from their place of work and with travel fares continuing to climb, this squeeze on affordability is only getting worse.

“To think that in the space of a year, the combined cost of renting and traveling has increased by as much as a thousand pounds in some places is quite crazy and highlights the tough task facing many of us when it comes to getting by.

“The only silver lining is that rent and travel within these major cities would set you back even further.”

Commuting towns heading into London accounts for the top five most expensive with Guildford (£20,768), Brighton (£20,468), Cambridge (£19,808) and Woking (£18,816) all home to extensive rental and commuting costs.

While rents in Brighton and Guildford have both dropped on a year-on-year basis, tenants in Cambridge and Woking have not only seen them increase, but also the cost of travel.

Bath is the only commuter town outside of the capital to make the top 10, with the average travelcard into Bristol costing £1,688 and the annual rent sitting at £15,456, totaling £17,144, the highest outside of London by some way.

Looking elsewhere, Harrogate is the most expensive commuter option to Leeds, with an annual total of £11,836.

Rugby is the least affordable option when commuting into Birmingham at £11,496, while Macclesfield is the least tenant-friendly option into Manchester at a total cost of £11,460.

Finally, traveling into Liverpool is the most expensive when doing so from Warrington with a total cost of £9,192 when combining commuting and rental costs.

But while these are the most expensive, it is York that has seen the biggest financial squeeze placed on tenants over the last year, with the cost of traveling into Leeds increasing by £1,716, largely as a result of a rental increase, although train tickets have also increased.

Canterbury (£928) and Woking (£459) have also seen rental affordability for those commuting into London reduce dramatically in the space of a year.

Swindon has seen the biggest increase for commuting into Bristol (£272), New Brighton (£250) into Liverpool, Rugby (£186) into Birmingham and Rochdale (£180) into Manchester.

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