How To Find Cheap Train Tickets

July 20, 2023 • Chris Bardsley

How To Find Cheap Train Tickets

Rail travel can be a great alternative to driving for summer days out, staycations or even the daily commute.

But with rail fares in England and Wales having increased by 5.9% in March, how can you keep the cost down?

At Fair for You, we’ve found these top tips for cost effective train travel.

Book as Early as Possible for the Cheapest Fare

Network Rail usually have their timetable set 12 weeks in advance, so train companies will often release their cheapest Advance tickets not long after this.

But beware, advance tickets are non-refundable, so if you book ahead and can’t travel you won’t get your money back.

Find out more here.

Use a Railcard

Did you know you can save up to ⅓ on train fares by using a Railcard? And there are 9 to choose from, with options including the 16-25 Railcard, the Family and Friends Railcard and the Two Together Railcard.

Check out all the options and find one to suit you here.

Split Your Tickets but Not Your Journey

Instead of buying tickets for your whole journey, try buying tickets for each part. This means even though you’re on the same train, you could be making huge savings!

For example, if you’re travelling from Manchester to London, but the train stops at Crewe in between, you could potentially save by buying a ticket from Manchester to Crewe and then another from Crewe to London (potentially without even leaving your seat!)

Tools like Split My Fare and are great starting points to see what you can save.

Regular Traveller? Get a Season Ticket

If you make the same rail journey more than once a week it might be worth looking into a Season Ticket.

There are quite a few different options available, so to help you decide if it would be worth the initial investment, National Rail has put together a handy Season Ticket Calculator.

Visit the Season Ticket Calculator

Explore with Ranger and Rover Tickets

Ranger and Rover tickets allow you to explore Great Britain by offering unlimited travel within a specific area and time period.

Ranger tickets are valid for 1 day and Rover tickets are valid for more than 1 day within a limited time period. So for example, you could travel for any 4 days within an 8-day time period.

Start your staycation in style and see what you could save here.

Single Tickets Could be Cheaper than Returns

Always check whether 2 single tickets could work out cheaper than a return. Returns should be the best value, but that isn’t always the case.

For example, a recent search for a return from London to Manchester found a Standard Anytime Return ticket costing £350! But with a quick check, found that for the same journey the total cost of 2 single tickets was just £67.

Travel in a Group

Travelling by train with lots of friends or family? There’s a good chance you’ll be able to get a group discount.

Most train companies offer discounts for groups of 3 or more, and larger groups of 10 or more might get additional discounts on top!

Take a look at GroupSave for groups of 3 or more or visit National Rail to find out how to nab your discount for larger groups.

*Please note we’ve used links to external websites. Although we make every effort to ensure these links are accurate, up to date and relevant, Fair for You Enterprise CIC cannot take responsibility for pages maintained by external providers. Views expressed on external sites we link to are not necessarily those of Fair for You Enterprise CIC. If you come across any external links that don’t work, we would be grateful if you could report them to the web content team.

This entry was posted in Budgeting Tips, How To's and Blog
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