Cheap train tickets
Given the complexity of the UK rail fares system, finding a cheap train tickets can often feel like searching for a needle in a haystack. To give you a helping hand we’ve put together some of our top money saving tips…
Book in advance and you can save up to 80% on the usual cost of day of departure tickets, provided you don’t mind limiting yourself to travelling on a specific train. Advance train tickets are released up to 12 weeks in advance of the date of travel and sold on a first come served basis so you need to get in there quickly to get the cheapest fares. That said, advance fares are often available until 6pm the night before travel so even if you’ve left it late, you may still be able to get a good deal.
Anyone who’s serious about saving money should get clued up about split ticketing. Split ticketing savings are found on 60% of journeys and save consumers an additional average of 30% if a split is found. You’ll find split savings on both fixed time advance fares and more flexible off peak and anytime fares.
Complicated though it sounds, thanks to the Trainsplit site, which works out where to split the tickets and books them for you Splitting train tickets or breaking a journey down into smaller bits with an individual ticket for each part of the journey. It’s an easy way to get cheaper train ticket with very little effort.
Any savings gained from split ticketing can be combined with a railcard discount to give you an additional third off the cost of your train fares. Railcards are available for travellers aged 16-25, over 60, disabled passengers, two people who travel together regularly, members of HM forces and those on Jobseekers allowance. Savings can be made on both cheap advance train tickets and more flexible fares. A railcard costs around £30 and lasts for a year so you need to be spending £90 a year or more to benefit from the saving.
If you’re happy to travel for longer for less, try searching for slower/overtaken trains along the same line or comparing alternative routes, for instance travelling via or avoiding London. It’s often a good way to bag a bargain.
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