Press Release

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The average UK worker will spend £1,964 a year by returning to work full-time

  • More than half (56%) of working adults in the UK still travel to the office 5 days a week
  • The average commuter will spend £1,964 a year on returning to the office, around 7% of the average UK salary
  • The cost of returning to the office is highest in London, with employees set to spend £3,076 each year, 9% of the average salary in the capital

12, March, 2024, LONDON

New research from personal finance comparison site has revealed that the average commuter in the UK could spend £1,964 a year on returning to the office, which is around 7% of the average Brit’s salary.

More than 2 in 5 adults (44%) work from home at least some of the time, which is around 23.4 million adults. This means that more than half of adults in the UK (56%) still travel to work 5 days a week, sacrificing a chunk of their take-home pay in the process.

Finder calculated the average cost of commuting to and from work and buying lunch, to find out how much a worker could expect to pay if they returned to the office 5 days a week. The research found that the average worker would spend an additional £1,964 per year on commuting and lunch costs upon returning to the office full-time.

In London, this figure rose to a substantial 9.4% of average take-home pay, with workers in the capital expected to spend a whopping £3,076 each year by returning to the office. A significant £2,206 of this figure is attributed to commuting costs.

Employees in Yorkshire and The Humber would lose an average of 6.7% of their annual take-home salary if they returned to the office 5 days a week. The West Midlands wasn’t far behind, with residents losing 6.6% of their take-home pay to returning to the office, followed by the North West and East Midlands (6.5%), and the South West and North East (6.4%).

On the lower end of the spectrum, those in the South East and Wales would sacrifice an average of 6.3% of their salary by returning to the office full-time. In the East of England workers could expect to lose around 6.2% of their take home salary, and in Scotland, 6%.

You can see the full regional breakdown in the table below.

RegionTotal spendTake home paySpend as percentage of take home pay
Yorkshire and The Humber£1,779.54£26,777.606.7%
West Midlands£1,821.12£27,505.606.6%
North West£1,780.14£27,396.406.5%
East Midlands£1,747.68£27,068.806.5%
South West£1,784.47£27,942.406.4%
North East£1,664.71£26,122.406.4%
South East£1,906.08£30,126.406.3%
East of England£1,824.64£29,471.206.2%
UK average£1,964.37£28,597.606.9%

To see the research in full visit:


Finder established the most popular method of commuting in each region of the UK, and combined this with the average time spent commuting in each area to determine how much would be spent on travel.

The popular method of commuting in most regions of the UK, and the UK as a whole, is by car. The average journey times to work in each region and average petrol prices were then used to calculate the cost of commuting. The exception to this is London, where the majority of people travel to work by train, so we calculated the average yearly train costs instead.

Finder used the average cost of a meal deal to work out how much employees might spend on an affordable lunch each day.

The number of working days per year were calculated on a 5 day working week basis, assuming 25 days of paid leave plus bank holidays.


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The information in this release is accurate as of the date published, but rates, fees and other product features may have changed. Please see updated product information on's review pages for the current correct values.

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Best of all, is completely free to use. We’re not a bank or insurer, nor are we owned by one, and we are not a product issuer or a credit provider. We’re not affiliated with any one institution or outlet, so it’s genuine advice from a team of experts who care about helping you find better. launched in the UK in February 2017 and is privately owned and self-funded by two Australian entrepreneurs – Fred Schebesta and Frank Restuccia – who successfully grew to be Australia's most visited personal finance website (Source: Experian Hitwise).

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