Getting around the UK tends to be a lot more comfortable and faster by train, than other forms of transport. Unfortunately, average rail ticket prices have risen (again) by 3.4% across the UK, in the biggest increase in fares since 2013. For example, an annual ticket from Oxford to London has risen to £176 to a whopping £5,096/year. How can you save money on your train fares and get cheap train tickets anywhere? GreatDealsMadeEasy.com have investigated the top saving tips to save you money on your fares, the easy way:
Use cashback sites on your train bookings
Join a cashback website like TopCashback or Quidco and get paid extra free cash, just for booking a train ticket online, you would have regardless. Here you can find NationalRail and Trainline free cashbacks. To read more about how to get free money go here.
Book train tickets early as possible – even 15 minutes
The earlier you buy, the cheaper the ticket – Aim to book up to 12 weeks in advance for top savings. However, some companies even have cheaper online tickets, 15 minutes before the train departs. Register with The Trainline for an email alert saying when Advance tickets go on sale on a specific route – see thetrainline.com/ticketalert.
Booking more than one ticket for a journey to make the overall trip cheaper is called split ticketing. For no clear reason, train bosses have revealed it sometimes can be cheaper to buy two or more tickets for different connecting parts of a journey, rather than one return journey. Try the site: trainsplit.com and raileasy.com to save money on your trip.
Avoid commuter peak times on train tickets
Train peak times are often before 10 am and between 4 pm and 7 pm. Train operators tend to reduce their cheap train ticket availability during these busy periods. See thetrainline.com/train-times for which services are peak, off-peak and super off-peak on specified routes.
Invest in a railcard for up to a third off your travel
Railcards can cut up to a third of your fare and only cost £30 a year (or £20 for the Disabled Persons Railcard) If you spend more than £90 a year on off-peak travel, then definitely invest in one.
Cards include the Nationwide 16-25 (also worth if you are a mature student), Two Together, Family & Friends, Senior and Disabled Persons railcards can pay for themselves on just one or two long-distance journeys. Visit railcard.co.uk for more information.
Avoid booking fees on your train tickets
Customers are charged anywhere between £0.25 and £1.50 on sites like Trainline unless purchasing a ticket on the day of travel via the Trainline app when there typically is no fee. Book through train operators’ websites direct and you won’t pay a fee (if you are a regular traveller, it becomes worth it).
Train delayed? Don’t miss out on refunds
If your train is delayed by more than 30 minutes, you may well be entitled to money back. Most train firms now operate a Delay Repay policy which means they will pay compensation of 50% of the fare, regardless of what caused the hold–up. Each company has a different policy, so check their website for details.
For more travel tips, please visit our travel section here
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For any cheap train tickets tips, please share below. Enjoy and have a safe trip!