There are a range of Railcards available which can help you save money on rail fares throughout the year. The 16-25 Railcard, for example, costs £30 for the year and provides up to 1/3 off rail fares. It’s available for those aged 16-25 and is reported to provide average savings of £159 per year or £4.56 per journey.
Other Railcards available include:
- Senior Railcard – for those aged 60+
- Two Together Railcard – for two named people travelling together
- Disabled Persons Railcard – if you have a disability that makes travelling by train difficult
- 26-30 Railcard – valid for those aged 26-30
- Family & Friends Railcard – children aged 5-15 get 60% discount, up to four adults and four children can travel on one card
- Network Railcard – for those travelling in the South East, aged 16+
- 16-17 Saver – for those aged 16 or 17
- Veterans Railcard – for veterans of the UK Armed Forces
If you’re unemployed
If you’re unemployed and claiming Job Seeker’s Allowance (JSA) or Universal Credit for three to nine months (18–24 year olds) or three to 12 months (over 25s), you can apply for a Jobcentre Plus Travel Discount Card which provides a 50% discount on selected rail tickets.
Buy your tickets in advance
You can buy your tickets for the train in advance and set up an alert for the day tickets are released. Train companies release their tickets generally around 12 weeks before the departure date, although some go on sale as far as 24 weeks in advance – and the prices can be much cheaper.
Travel in off-peak or super off-peak times
Travelling in off-peak or super off-peak times allows flexibility within your travel time while avoiding the high cost of fully flexible anytime tickets. This works if you have a rough idea of your travel requirements but are worried about missing your train.
Instead of buying one single ticket for your journey (the same tickets, which includes changes) you can buy your journey over multiple tickets. This ticketing hack will allow you to pick the cheapest timed tickets from station to station. This usually works if you have more time to travel and take a longer route with multiple stops.
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