British workers spend 492 days of their lives travelling into work

06 September 2019

  • Britain’s commuters spend 492 days travelling to work at a cost of £37,399 over a lifetime
  • One in five (21%) say their commute has become less reliable over the past 5 years and a third (33%) say it is more crowded
  • East Midlands named the best region for commuting in the UK

British workers are spending over 10 days (251 hours) travelling to and from work every year, at an annual cost of almost £800 (£795.72), according to new research by Lloyds Bank.

With an average journey time of 65 minutes each day, commuters are set to spend around 70 weeks’ worth of time (492 days) travelling for their job during their working life, at a total cost of £37,399.

Part of Lloyds Bank’s ‘How Britain Lives’ study, the UK-wide analysis conducted in partnership with YouGov, also found that despite the time and expense, almost half of workers (47%) like their commute and one in twenty (7%) go as far as to say they love their journey into work.

Commuting clearly divides opinion, with a third of workers disliking their commute (36%), one in five (21%) saying it has become less reliable over the past five years, and a third (33%) claiming it is more crowded than half a decade ago.

Londoners have the longest commute in the UK

With an average daily commute of 84 minutes, people living in London experience the longest journey to and from work in the UK, almost double that of those living in the East Midlands (49 minutes) or Wales (52 minutes).

Those living in the South East (75 minutes) and the East of England (69 minutes) also face higher-than-average commuting times.

East of England travelers fork out the most on commuting

Those living in the East of England, in areas such as Cambridge, Norwich and Peterborough, fork out an average of £78.93 each month on commuting costs, totaling £947.16 a year, the highest amount spent by any UK region.

Londoners spend an average of £76.49 on their commute every month (£917.88 a year), while workers in the South East are also spending above the UK average of £66.31 per month, splashing out £75.77 (£909.24 a year).

Sweet spot: the cheapest and quickest commutes are in the East Midlands

Workers in the East Midlands, living in cities such as Derby, Leicester and Nottingham, spend the least time and money commuting, paying £45.51 each month (£546.12 a year) and undertaking a daily journey of only 49 minutes.

Unsurprisingly, workers in this region are the happiest commuters in the UK, with just 19% saying they dislike their journey to and from work.

Driving is the most popular way to travel

The car is the most used mode of transport for commuting, with 57% of British workers travelling to work in this way.

Almost a third walk to work (31%), one in five (20%) take the bus, 18% use the train, and just 6% choose to cycle.

Londoners are the most likely to travel on public transport (51%) or on foot (45%) in the UK, while those in the West Midlands are most likely to commute by car (76%).

Younger commuters aged 18-24 are the most likely to use public transport (56%) or walk to work (43%), while those aged over 55 are the most likely to drive (63%).


Commuters in the UK are spending almost £800 a year on their journey to and from work - the equivalent of a city break to sunny Europe. While many may dream of rolling out of bed and straight into the office, the daily commute is the perfect opportunity to invest in yourself, whether that’s keeping up with the latest news, unwinding to a podcast or relaxing to some music.

Miles Ravenhill, Director at Lloyds Bank