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Alternatives to Public Transport in London


Everyone has their preferred route and mode of transport, but that’s no reason to get stuck in a travel routine, especially when it comes down to your business transport. If you want to explore alternative ways of moving around the capital – like a bike, scooter or car sharing – our handy guide will help you weigh up the pros and cons of every option.

People-powered transport

walking in london

People-powered transport

Walking or cycling to work is nothing new, but these healthy and environmentally friendly modes of transport are set to become increasingly popular after the government pledged a £2 billion investment in creating pop-up bike lanes with protected space for cycling, wider pavements for pedestrians and cycle- and bus-only corridors

In addition, the government already funds a number of schemes, for example Bike2Work, which allow employees to purchase bicycles and equipment pre-tax and National Insurance, saving them up to 42% of the cost. This helps employees embrace an active lifestyle, while positioning employers as having a vested interest in their people’s health and wellbeing. However, if faced with a long commute or when the weather’s bad, people might revert to public transport so uptake could depend on distance and the season in many cases.

Pedal by the Hour

cycling in park

Pedal by the Hour

For those who see owning as onerous, there are a number of companies offering on-street bike hire. From TFL Santander bikes to dockless e-Bikes – Lime, Jump and Freebike – flexible hourly and daily rates are ideal for those who live and work in the city, but limited in terms of where you can start and finish your journey beyond Zones 1 and 2. Cycling is environmentally friendly, ULEZ charge-free, good for your health and easy on your wallet – but location, the presence of cycle routes and the weather will determine whether or not they’re right for you.

Upgrade to a Motorbike

Urban Practitioner

Upgrade to a Motorbike

When a bicycle just isn’t fast or convenient enough, there’s the next step up: a scooter or motorcycle. AutoTrader reported a 291% increase in enquiries to moped retailers compared to 2019, and it’s certainly convenient – it’s less tiring than pedalling or walking and, of course, allows riders to overtake stopped traffic. However, these vehicles come with their own set of challenges. The first is the initial investment, from purchasing and insuring the vehicle itself to completing compulsory basic training (CBT), buying protective gear, finding a motorcycle bay and taking out an insurance policy. 

Carsharing options

Zipcar Van

Carsharing options

Challenging the traditional car hire model, there are several car sharing services on offer. The Zipcar for Business model gives users access to vehicles for both Roundtrip and one-way journeys (Flex), meaning employees can get to that all-important meeting and back again simply and easily without having to carry heavy luggage or equipment or having to worry about the cost of a taxi. Then there are peer-to-peer rental companies, such as HiyaCar that lets members of the public rent their private vehicles to others, allowing them to earn money from an asset that stands idle 90% of the time.

Car hire considerations

car hire

Car hire considerations

As with car sharing, when it comes to saving on expenses such as paying for insurance, maintenance and parking, hiring a car for a short period of time can seem like an attractive option. However, fleets can get booked up in advance, so it might not always be the best route if the ability to be flexible is a high priority for you. In addition, costs can increase significantly if you plan to collect the car at one destination and drop it off at another. Always be sure to check what’s covered by each car hire company’s insurance policy, as this can differ significantly between providers. 

Why Zipcar for Business?

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Save money

Get up to 29% off standard rates. Everything’s included – Congestion Charge, fuel, insurance, maintenance… and we’re ULEZ compliant.

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Drive on-demand

Book instantly and drive by the minute, hour or day, 24/7. Choose from thousands of cars, vans, and luxury vehicles.

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Using Zipcar means you can scale your fleet to suit your changing business needs. It’s easier and cheaper than having your own vehicles.

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You’re in good hands. We’ll help you make the most of the service as well as take the hassle away on everything from booking to billing.

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