Blacklane to offer new chauffeur service: How does it stack up against the train?

Sep 21, 2020

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There’s a new kid in town hoping to shake up intercity travel in the U.K. Blacklane is now offering a chauffeur service, promoting fast, COVID-safe, luxury transfers between London and six cities across the U.K. in Mercedes E- or V-class vehicles.

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Passengers will be able to take advantage of 24-hour flat rates for travel between London and Birmingham (£99), Bristol (£99), Cambridge (£50), Liverpool (£199), Manchester (£199) and Southampton (£70) — with more destinations planned for the future.

Let’s have a look at an example to see how the new service stacks up against taking the train.

Imagine it’s Friday and you get invited to a last-minute work meeting in Manchester the following Monday. Peak-time trains in the morning and the evening are £157 in standard and £185 in 1st Class.

Results of a price search on Friday, 18 September for a one-way train fare in standard and 1st class from London to Manchester.

While a one-way with Blacklane is £42 more than a one-way standard class peak-time fare, you’d have to take into consideration the cost of getting to Euston from wherever you are in London and then onwards from Manchester Piccadilly station to the place of your meeting. The Blacklane chauffeur service offers door-to-door pickup and dropoffs. Not only that, but passengers get the added benefit of being able to work from the moment they’re picked up at their home or office door to the moment they get dropped off, thanks to charging ports in the vehicle.

Related: The ultimate guide to booking train travel in the UK

The real money-saving opportunity is if there are two of you travelling, as the price of the ride from London to Manchester would stay at £199 as you pay for the ride, not the seat. Meanwhile, the total for two on a peak-time one-way standard train fare would be £314.

However, at off-peak times of the day, fares are a lot cheaper on the train — as low as £42 in standard and £69 in 1st. If it was feasible to travel at these times, it would certainly save a lot of money as a single traveller to get the train. That said, during times when many Brits are reluctant to take public transport, some may find value in paying more to avoid the potential health risks of busy Tubes, trains and railway stations.

Results of a price search on Monday, 21 September 2020 for a one-way train fare in standard and 1st class from London to Manchester.

So, what else is there to know?

Well, riders are able to book a trip with as little as one-hour notice, 24 hours a day, as well as having flexibility when it comes to cancellation. All chauffeurs will be wearing face masks and provide masks if you don’t have one.

Drivers will also thoroughly disinfect cars and the water bottles provided to passengers before pickup.

Want to give it a try? Blacklane is available to book now.

Featured image courtesy of Blacklane.

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