Tax & admin · 13 December 2017

Revealed: Britain’s cheapest (and most expensive) cities for business trips

The productivity map indicated strong regional disparity in small business productivity levels
Business trips in London were as much as 57 per cent more expensive than any other UK city

For employees, business trips are an opportunity to get out of the office and benefit from a change in surroundings. Employers, on the other hand, may be more concerned about footing the bill.

Now, new research from fuel card provider Allstar Business Solutions has revealed the cheapest – and most expensive – British cities to take your company on a short-term visit.

The study used common, day-to-day expenses such as fuel, food, transport and accommodation to find out the level of disparity between domestic destinations for business trips.

Somewhat predictably, business trips to London emerged as the most costly – at £342.31, as much 57 per cent more expensive than any other UK city.

Read more: Seven hacks for a successful business trip

Manchester followed with a £247.16 price tag, and the two cities together were some way ahead of the remaining 18 locations.

Five cheapest cities for business trips:

  1. Bradford (£147.70)
  2. Plymouth (£149.64)
  3. Hull (£151.90)
  4. Newcastle (£152.90)
  5. Brighton (£153.30)

Five most expensive cities for business trips:

  1. London (£342.31)
  2. Manchester (£247.16)
  3. Birmingham (£207.07)
  4. Edinburgh (£198)
  5. Sheffield (£195.03)

For employers looking to put up staff overnight, the nation’s most affordable hotels were found in Humberside. At £82, an overnight stay in Hull was just a fraction of the average night in the capital of £264.

Meanwhile, the cheapest breakfasts were identified in Coventry, at £9. Everyday items, such as cappuccinos and bottles of water, were priced more similarly across the UK. However, business owners could purchase both of these items for £2.64, while the coffee alone in Bristol was priced at £2.70.

The smallest expenses gaps were found in the cost of fuel, with just a nine per cent difference between the London price and the least expensive, in Bradford.

Commenting on the findings, Paul Baker, Allstar Business Solution’s vice president for customer management, suggested a few changes could help decision makers at small companies make significant savings.

“Taking control of your business expenses can be difficult at first, but by updating your company’s policies and effectively monitoring your expenditure, your business can quickly rein in those loose ends,” he said.

Allstar Business Solutions offered small firm owners four advice points to ensure business trips remain a cost-effective option

  1. Making hotel reservations well in advance can save your business a lot of money, four to five weeks is typically the optimal time to book.
  2. Budget hotel options aren’t the most glamourous but serve their purpose and can be far cheaper than other hotel chains.
  3. Hotels where breakfast included in the price can work out cheaper than ones without.
  4. Dining can be expensive, using restaurant discount loyalty cards can lower the costs.

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Business travel

 

Five clever ways to lower the cost of business travel

There are ways to cut the cost of business travel for your small company quite significantly. All it requires is some planning, research and resourcefulness.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Simon Caldwell is deputy editor at Business Advice. He has a BA in politics and communications from the University of Liverpool, and has previously worked as a content editor in local government and the ecommerce industry.

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