Executives who spend time catching up with work while on trains help their companies more than recoup the cost of the ticket, new research has claimed.
Companies are incurring at least 50 per cent more costs in real terms if an employee drives from Birmingham to London rather than takes the train, the statistics reveal.
The study explores the difference between the two modes of transport when taking in account both immediate expenses and the lost employee productivity caused by driving.
However, the research does not consider the problems faced by companies through late or cancelled train services.
The figures were published by Napier University’s Transport Research Institute and commissioned by Richard Branson's Virgin Trains.
A representative from Birmingham's Chamber of Commerce said businessmen did prefer to travel by train. But it was only ideal in "a perfect world" where there were few delays, he added.
Paul Fullwood, secretary of West Midlands Rail Passenger's Committee, also called on train companies to increase their levels of punctuality.
He said: "Train companies have improved on their punctuality in recent years, but they are still not at levels that we are happy with so we would hope that this is their main priority.
"However, we agree that trains are a better means of transport than cars, so these findings are good news."
The research is the first to analyse salary data and explore issues surrounding the time lost to companies through employees driving, when they cannot work.
On a Virgin Train Service from Birmingham New Street to London Euston car journey costs were 30 per cent higher than a first class train journey, and 56 per cent higher than a standard fare in real terms.
From Birmingham New Street to Manchester Piccadilly, the figures showed that car travel was two per cent cheaper than first class, but 15 per cent more expensive than standard.
John Lamb, spokesman for Birmingham Chamber, said: "In a perfect world trains are the best way to travel but then you can never guarantee if they are going to be on time.
"Also, businesses are having to spend a lot of money on upgrades to business class because these days it is the only way to guarantee a seat and get some peace and quiet."
A spokeswoman from the operator said punctuality rates were not included in the analysis because there were no comparable statistics for car delays caused by accidents and congestion.
Virgin Train's chief executive Tony Collins said companies should consider the total costs of relying on car travel.
He said: "We're not saying ‘never use the car’, but we are urging businesses to think about it." firstname.lastname@example.org