With the cost-of-living crisis putting pressure on households, there’s no better time to explore the different cost-cutting options available.
With this in mind, we’ve written this short article to share five easy ways you can save money on train tickets.
Table of Contents
1. Book Early
For most train journeys, there are a limited number of cheaper ‘advance’ tickets that sell out first. This is especially the case for the most popular train routes on major lines. This makes booking as early as possible a great way to get a ticket at a lower price.
2. Travel During Off-peak Hours
Peak times are the hours in which the greatest number of people are using the trains to travel to or from work. These vary slightly for each train company but are usually around 06:30-09:30 and 15:30-18:30 each day.
Tickets for journeys outside these times are called off-peak tickets and are significantly less expensive. If you have some flexibility in when you can make your journey, make sure you do so during off-peak hours.
3. Buy Two Tickets
Believe it or not, the price of two tickets is often cheaper than the price of one. This is because the cheapest tickets are only typically available for one-way journeys. So, if you buy a return ticket, you’ll pay a steeper fare than you would by buying two single tickets.
4. Invest in a Railcard
If you make regular train trips and you don’t have a railcard, you’re paying more money than you need to. By getting a railcard, you can slash off one-third of the price of most train tickets. That’s more than worth the £30 upfront investment.
The good news is that there are plenty of different options, including:
- 16-25 Railcard
- 26-30 Railcard
- Senior Railcard
- Disabled Persons Railcard
- Family & Friends Railcard
- And more
Simply check your eligibility for one of the railcard options to take the first step towards saving.
5. Split Your Journey Up
For longer journeys with more expensive tickets, try splitting the journey up into smaller segments instead of paying one fare for the whole trip. While it takes more time to calculate, you’d be surprised by how much money you can shave off your fare in this way.
It might sound complicated, but it’s actually very easy – all you have to do is enter two different destinations when booking your ticket and the system will tell you if splitting your ticket could save you money.
For example, if you’re traveling from London to Manchester, instead of buying a ticket covering the entire journey, it might be cheaper to buy two separate tickets – one from London to Birmingham and another from Birmingham to Manchester.
When you’re looking to split your ticket, keep in mind that you don’t have to stop at each station along the way. You can simply purchase a ticket from one station to another and then continue on your journey without having to get off the train.
6. Consider Getting a Season Train Ticket
A season ticket may be worthwhile if you travel the same route numerous times per week. You can purchase a season ticket for one month, three months, six months, or even a year – depending on your needs.
Season tickets usually cost less than buying individual tickets each time you travel, so if you’re making the same journey regularly it’s definitely worth considering.
7. Shop Around for Better Deals
Keep an eye out for ticket sales or special offers from various rail companies. Many operators run promotions throughout the year where they offer discounts on certain routes or special fares for specific dates, so it pays to be aware of these offers and take advantage of them when you can.
You can also use comparison websites to find the best prices for your trip. These sites will search multiple providers and show you all the available fares in one handy place, allowing you to quickly and easily compare prices.
Generally, we mentioned 7 easy ways you can save money on train tickets: book early, travel during off-peak hours, buy two tickets, invest in a railcard, split your journey up, consider getting a season train ticket, and shop around for better deals
Which of the cost-cutting methods above are you using to save money on your next train tickets?