How To Buy Cheap Train Tickets
Tips and advice on how to get truly cheap train tickets. By using one of the tips
below you should be able to save on the purchase of train tickets.
Advanced Purchase (Save Up To 60%)
Please note as a general rule, tickets cost less the further ahead you book.
The majority of rail journeys can be booked up to 90 days (3 months) before the
date of departure. The earlier you book, the cheaper the cost will be. However advanced
ticket purchasing runs up to 6.30pm the day before travel so bargains are still
available even the day before. If you’re flexible with your travel dates then you
may be able to pick up a cheaper deal midweek travelling at weekend and peak times
is always more expensive. You can end up paying up to 60%
less for your rail fares by booking early.
The following companies are taking bookings up till these dates
|Virgin Trains East Coast||22 May
|Virgin Trains||19 May
|First Great Western||20 May
|Arriva Trains Wales||17 May
|Chiltern Railways||16 May
|London Midland||16 May
|East Midlands Trains||22 May
|Abellio Greater Anglia||15 May
|Grand Central||26 May
|TransPennine Express||23 May
|South West Trains||31 May
|Hull Trains||16 May
|Northern Rail||22 May
Split Ticketing (Save Up To 83%)
Instead of buying one train ticket for your whole journey, splitting your train
ticket by buying tickets for each of its constituent parts separately can dramatically
reduce the price of your train tickets even though you're travelling on exactly
the same train, at the same time and are saving a considerable sum from the normal
train ticket price..
Lets take for example, a return trip to Edinburgh, it could be cheaper to buy a
single ticket to York and then from York to Edinburgh, rather than a return for
the whole journey. Rail firms don’t advertise the fact that you can save money by
doing this, but this way of buying train tickets for your journey is perfectly legal.
The only condition that applies is that the train you take must stop at all the
stations you have bought tickets for, not just pass through them. However, if the
split journey involves a change, it can be a problem if your journey is delayed
and you miss your connecting train to your destination.
Split ticketing often works out cheaper because different train companies set the
prices for different sections of the journey. If you were to travel from Carlisle
to Manchester, the fare is set by Virgin Trains, because they are the lead operator.
But if you split your ticket at Preston, the first section of the journey is set
by Trans Pennine and the second section by Northern Rail. The overall cost of the
two journey portions, for a standard off-peak ticket, is cheaper than a standard
Virgin ticket for the entire journey. Savings of up to 83%
can be found by splitting your ticket.
Singles instead of a Return
Nowadays it may be cheaper to buy two singles instead of a return. This is because
special offers may be applied to the single tickets but not the return ticket.
Off Peak - Peak
Price differences between off peak and peak travel can be quite considerable and
by using the split ticketing method you will only pay for the peak travel ticket
that you use during those times (7.30am - 10am and 4.30pm - 7pm). However ensure
that you are only travelling during the hours with the appropriate peak type ticket
as you will be charged to upgrade if found with an off peak during peak.