The hybrid working system has changed the transport habits of many employees, and the popularity of car sharing has skyrocketed
In less than three years, workforces all over the UK have become accustomed to a hybrid working system both in the office and from home. Going into 2020, the number of people who had worked a single day from home was only around 12%. This rose to almost half of the employees during June 2020, and while there was a decrease after world events began calming down, the statistics were still higher than that pre-2020. September 2022 saw 22% of employees state they partly work from home regularly.
Companies are still looking to embrace hybrid working, and with more people working from home, it means less time commuting to the office. Adding this up to the problems associated with driving, such as rising petrol and diesel prices and delivery delays for new cars, many drivers won’t need or want to use their cars as much.
There are plenty of options available if you’re hoping to reduce your driving. In this article, we’ll take you through some of the best solutions to get around.
Bike and scooter hire is skyrocketing
Many cities in the UK have started introducing new methods of getting around with bikes and scooters that you can pick up and get going on. Statistics have shown that many trips in the UK tend to be short, with 24% of trips being less than a mile and 68% of trips being less than five miles.
Micromobility is the idea of using smaller, lightweight vehicles for travel like bikes and scooters, and is a fantastic solution for shorter journeys. Especially if you live quite close to your place of work, shorter commutes will benefit greatly from embracing these options. Not only is it more cost-effective, but it will also mean a reduction in emissions compared to what is produced when driving, thanks to the lack of fuel required to power them.
Bikes and electric scooters are common options, and there are even electric bikes in some areas. Accessibility is made easy thanks to most providers having an app that you can create an account for and rent one of the vehicles for the time or distance you need it. Once finished, you can find a designated point to leave the vehicle using the app, while some allow you to leave it parked in a safe location
Car sharing schemes can support the transition
Many companies are now introducing car sharing schemes that act like a combination of car rental and micro-mobility. Apps are available for these services, so you can see the GPS location of a car on the system. Using a booking system or calling direct, you book and then use a smartcard or your phone for contactless to unlock the car without the need for keys.
This is a great option for drivers who may need to make the occasional (and sometimes unavoidable) longer trip but don’t want the hassle of owning a personal car. Not having to worry about cleaning or refuelling the car, as well as long-term concerns like servicing and insuring the vehicle, means you can choose when to drive to suit your needs. Once you’re done, simply park in a designated spot for it to be used by another member of the service.
Public transport discounts can be expensive, but here’s what you can do
Each city and region in the UK has their own public transport system. Some examples are regional rail systems like the Tube in London, the Tram in Manchester and the Metro in Newcastle and Gateshead. Buses are also present up and down the UK, all running until the late evening hours.
While using public transport consistently can mean you build up costs over time, there are ways you can bring these overall costs down. This can include investing a bit more at the start of the month for a season ticket to cover your travel for the rest of that month. Similarly, you can get a bus or metro pass that you can top up with credit to swipe or tap to ride.
The drive for people to use public transport more regularly has inspired government incentives to make travel more affordable. A great example is the Get Around scheme that was introduced between January and March 2023, which offers single cap tickets of £2 for the full three months.
Owning a car can be incredibly useful, but the rising costs could be enough to drive motorists away from sole ownership. If you’d prefer to own your own car and live close to someone else who can drive, you could look into joint insurance that allows you both to drive the vehicle. That way, you could spread the costs evenly across both drivers.
This piece has been written and contributed by Rachel Gray, an Editor at Media Works.