Train passengers have been hit by the largest increase in fares for more than a decade as ticket prices shot up by 5.9 percent on Sunday. But while the cost of living crisis prevails, there are a few tips circulating that can help ease the pressure of ever-increasing travel costs.
Split tickets to save up to 90 percent
Experts at Ocean Finance said: “Split ticketing is cheap train travel’s best-kept secret.”
Instead of buying one ticket to cover a whole journey, people can buy multiple tickets for different parts of the journey to save money.
For example, those travelling from Cardiff to Newcastle will stop in Birmingham along the way. Rather than buying one ticket from Cardiff to Newcastle, people can buy a ticket from Cardiff to Birmingham, and another ticket from Birmingham to Newcastle.
Ocean Finance experts said: “You’ll stay on the same train, in the same seat, but could save a significant chunk of money.
“Despite sounding complicated, it’s super easy as a service like Split My Fare will do the legwork for you.”
The site states that people can “save up to 90 percent” when they split their tickets. To give a rough example of a price drop, those buying a Leeds to Glasgow ticket for £120 could save £96.20 by buying split tickets from Leeds to Bingley, Bingley to Motherwell, and Motherwell to Glasgow for a total of £23.80.
Apps like the Trainline also have a Split Save option people can use while searching for tickets.
Buy in advance to save up to 61 percent
Whilst buying tickets in advance to save money isn’t a new concept, it’s still effective as it can save up to 61 percent according to Trainline.
Ocean Finance experts said: “Train tickets tend to go on sale eight to 12 weeks ahead of time, with prices starting relatively low and gradually increasing in price the closer to the date of travel we get. Buying your tickets at the station on the day can often be the most expensive option.
“If you know your plans are fixed plenty ahead of time, then buying your tickets in advance can save you a tidy sum. And, even if things change, most train operators will let you move your tickets to another service or refund you at least a portion of what you paid to put towards re-booking.”
Always opt for e-tickets to save up to £5
Choosing to print-at-home or e-tickets can save the postage on getting tickets sent by post.
Experts at Ocean Finance said: “At the least, it’ll save the pound or two that ticket operators charge for regular postage. But if you’ve left buying your tickets until the last minute and need special delivery postage to make sure they arrive on time, opting to print your tickets at home or keep them on your phone could save you upwards of £5.”
Get a season ticket
If people find themselves travelling the same route a few times a week, a season ticket could be a cheaper ticket option. Trainline has a season ticket calculator which shows how much a person can save depending on the route, weekly, monthly and annually.
They said: “This is where they would buy your season ticket for you, and you pay for it gradually through your wages each month. Employer schemes like this don’t usually count as a type of credit as the money is taken as a deduction from your wages before they hit your account.”
Purchase a railcard to save around a third
A railcard can knock around a third off the price of a train ticket.
Ocean Finance expert said: “Most of the railcards cost £30, however, there are usually deals online to save money on these. If you travel with someone else, consider a Two Together railcard, if you split the cost of this one it’s £15 per person instead of paying the £30 yourself.”