When you are budgeting for transport, there are many factors you need to consider such as the cost of travel from home to college or university. Don't forget to include the cost of any trips to and from work placements.

Studying in London? Find out more about transport in the capital.


Bus fares are different across the UK. In some places, the fare depends on how far you are travelling. In others, you'll pay a single flat fare however far you go. If you get the bus regularly, you'll normally be able to buy a weekly, monthly or annual bus pass, which gives you unlimited bus travel for a fixed cost.

In some areas, you can't get change when you pay for a bus, so if you don't have the exact money you could lose out.

You might be able to pay for buses with a smartcard instead of cash. In London, you can only pay with an Oyster smartcard or a contactless credit or debit card - cash is no longer accepted.


Local train tickets generally cost between £2 and £6 for a one-way journey. Return tickets for short journeys are often only a pound or two more expensive than a single.

Longer journeys will be significantly more expensive if you don't book ahead. For example, a return ticket from Manchester to London costs around £82 if you buy it on the day of travel. However, train companies offer a limited number of advance tickes at lower prices. You'll need to book early to take advantage of these. If you buy an advance ticket, you have to travel on the specific train you book - if you miss it, you'll have to buy a new ticket. Full-price tickets can be used on any train that day.

With a student card, you can buy a 16-25 Railcard which is a good investment. For £30 a year, you get 30% of all journeys.

If you need to take the train every day, you can get a season ticket to save money. These can last from one week to one year: the longer the ticket, the more you'll save overall. The price will depend on your particular journey. You can't get a Railcard discount for a season ticket.

Underground / Metro

The 'Tube' is very popular in London, and some other cities. In central London a single ticket costs about £4 per journey. If your journey is short, it will be cheaper to get the bus or walk. In other cities, the average fare to student areas is around £1.50 single. Look out for cheaper travelcards or passes, like London's Student Oyster card which gives you a 1/3 discount.


Parking on campus and halls of residence can be limited. You must get car insurance, pay car tax and pay for a MOT test at a garage to drive. Adding the costs of petrol and repairs means it can be very expensive. If you want to drive, get an International Driving Licence before you come.


National Express and Megabus coaches can be cheaper than trains, but take longer. Try and book in advance for cheaper tickets. People under 26 can buy a £10 Coachcard to save 1/3 on National Express coaches, and students can get 25% off with an NUS Extra card.

Taxis and minicabs

Taxi fares are regulated by local councils, so you should be able to look up the cost of a taxi in your area online. Some universities run schemes with local taxi firms which let you hand over your student card instead of paying if you don't have the money. The university will pay your fare for you, and you'll get your student card back when you pay the university back.

Minicabs are booked ahead for particular journeys. You'll agree the price when you call to book. You shouldn't try to hail minicabs on the street.


The healthy option! Make sure you get a helmet, lights and a decent lock. You should get your bike insured as they are often stolen.


Walking is good exercise and doesn't cost anything! Remember to be safe: if it's late, walk with others.