[Megathread] Top tips to save money on train tickets. - HotUKDeals
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[Megathread] Top tips to save money on train tickets.

£0.00 @ 16-25 Railcard
Hello all! I was helping a fellow user on HUKD when I had an idea to share all the methods I am aware of to save money on train tickets. There's regularly questions about train tickets, and since I tr… Read More
Eden0032 Avatar
8m, 2w agoFound 8 months, 2 weeks ago
Hello all! I was helping a fellow user on HUKD when I had an idea to share all the methods I am aware of to save money on train tickets. There's regularly questions about train tickets, and since I travel by train regularly, but never pay full price because I am really money savvy when it comes to travel, I thought I would create this thread to hopefully help you out!

Links and more info/updates for all of the below will be in comment #1.

1. Railcards

Railcards save you 33% on train tickets, and you can sometimes get discount on buying railcards (RRP is £30). You can also use Tesco Clubcard Points to purchase Railcards to save even more. Remember that you MUST travel with your railcard (I suggest keeping it in your wallet/purse).

2. Split Tickets

On most journeys, it is may be possible to split your ticket to save money. For example, a single from A to B may cost £50, but a single from A to C (a calling point en-route to B) may be £10 and a single from C to B may be £15 meaning the total journey costs £25. Remember that the train MUST stop at the station you split the ticket at.

3. Advance Tickets

Sometimes, it is cheaper to buy 2 singles instead of a return, or to book an Advance ticket rather than buy on the day. On most TOC's search engine, you can usually search for all routes for a specific journey (which shows slower routes). This sometimes brings up cheaper tickets, as well as a wider variety of advance tickets available.

Most Advance tickets go on sale 12 weeks before the date of travel, though some TOC's are 24 weeks.

Some websites charge a fee, though TOC's are not allowed to do this. It's best to weigh up the pros and cons of booking from a particular site.

4. Special Offers

Sometimes, TOC's and official ticket sellers (like TheTrainLine and RedSpottedHanky) run promotional offers, and it is always worth looking for these when booking train tickets as they may allow you to save more money. Try and see which promotional offer will save you the most money.

5. Bonus Offers

Some TOC's (like GWR) allow you to earn Nectar Points or other benefits. I find that I earn A LOT of Nectar Points from booking all of my tickets through GWR. Remember that you can book all UK train tickets from any TOC's website, so consider the benefits of booking from each website. Nectar Double-Up is approaching soon as well :)

Virgin Red - 20-30% off West and East Coast Virgin trains services.

6. Tesco Clubcard

As far as I am aware, you can spend Tesco Clubcard points at RedSpottedHanky (£10 = £20) as well as on Railcards, so if you have points burning a hole in your account, then perhaps consider spending them on your train tickets to save even more.

7. Rail Travel Vouchers

Whenever you travel by train and your service is delayed by 30 minutes or more, you are entitled to claim compensation in the form of a cheque or Rail Travel Vouchers. You can then use these to buy train tickets and save even more (or cash the cheque in, effectively saving money on your ticket).

8. The TrainLine Ticket Alert

The TrainLine offer a Ticket Alert service, so if you know the dates you intent to travel, you can enter your email address and the travel information for The TrainLine to then tell you when the cheapest tickets are "on the market".

9. London Underground

The cheapest way to get around on the tube is with an Oyster Card or with a Contactless bank card (both are the same price*).

*You can add Railcard discounts to an Oyster Card, so if you have a Railcard, it's cheaper to get an Oyster Card than use contactless.

10. Megatrain

Megatrain (owned by Stagecoach) do sell train tickets for some routes, though these are usually select off-peak services, and not every day.

Feel free to add your own methods/suggestions on saving money when buying train tickets...I'll add them to the OP! :D
Eden0032 Avatar
8m, 2w agoFound 8 months, 2 weeks ago
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Top Comments

(5)
17 Likes
1. Railcards

Railcards save you 33% on train tickets, and you can sometimes get discount on buying railcards (RRP is £30). You can also use Tesco Clubcard Points to purchase Railcards to save even more.

16-25 Railcard
Two-Together Railcard
Family And Friends Railcard
Senior Railcard
Disabled Persons Railcard (£20)
Network Railcard

Free 16-25 railcard with O2 Refresh (student offer) - thanks "cchopps"

10% off any Railcard with code SEARCH10 - thanks "psychobitchfromhell"

2. Split Tickets

On most journeys, it is may be possible to split your ticket to save money. For example, a single from A to B may cost £50, but a single from A to C (a calling point en-route to B) may be £10 and a single from C to B may be £15 meaning the total journey costs £25.

Tickety Split (to search for ticket splits for your journey) - Full Version

Tickety Split (to search for ticket splits for your journey) - Mobile Version

Here's some advise on Split ticketing from "ysm1234":

Split ticketing is a lot of times cheaper when one changes trains even though one didn't have to. E.g. London to Newcastle is often cheaper by taking the Grand Central to York and then Virgin to Newcastle. In this example one didn't have to change at York but the direct train would’ve been £64 (when I booked) but changing and waiting 20mins at York brought the total price down to £26. Manchester to London is available from £13 when splitting and changing at stoke.
The problem with using tickety split is it won't bring up the above examples. I'll explain why that is:
Tickety split will only split journeys that appear on national rail. If one searches on national rail "Manchester to London", national rail only brings up Virgin direct journeys therefore tickety split only attempts to split those journeys. This is despite the fact that taking a CrossCountry to Stoke and then a London Midland to London starts at £13 (I've found this £13 ticket when Virgin wanted £80 direct see more details here http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/manchester-london-13-train-split-change-trains-works-other-routes-aswell-2490012 ) But ticketysplit won't find the £13 Manchester to London as National rail doesn't bring up that journey, as there are direct faster journeys.
Therefore ticketysplit is very good if one wants to keep changing trains to a minimum but there are cheaper options if one is willing to change trains but these splits have to searched manually.


3. Advance Tickets

Sometimes, it is cheaper to buy 2 singles instead of a return, or to book an Advance ticket rather than buy on the day. On most TOC's search engine, you can usually search for all routes for a specific journey (which shows slower routes). This sometimes brings up cheaper tickets, as well as a wider variety of advance tickets available.

Most Advance tickets go on sale 12 weeks before the date of travel, though some TOC's are 24 weeks.

Some websites charge a fee, though TOC's are not allowed to do this. It's best to weigh up the pros and cons of booking from a particular site.

4. Special Offers

Sometimes, TOC's and official ticket sellers (like TheTrainLine and RedSpottedHanky) run promotional offers, and it is always worth looking for these when booking train tickets as they may allow you to save more money. Try and see which promotional offer will save you the most money.

GWR 50% off for 16-25 railcard holders

TPExpress 50% off for 16-25 railcard holders and jobseekers - thanks "ysm1234"

Virgin Trains Family ticket offer - thanks "ysm1234"

5. Bonus Offers

Some TOC's (like GWR) allow you to earn Nectar Points or other benefits. I find that I earn A LOT of Nectar Points from booking all of my tickets through GWR. Remember that you can book all UK train tickets from any TOC's website, so consider the benefits of booking from each website. Nectar Double-Up is approaching soon as well :)

Nectar also sometimes do bonus offers every other week, for example 500 bonus points on your next Virgin Trains purchase. Check the Nectar app for these offers.

Cashback - some TOC's offer cashback with Quidco/TCB, however check the terms and conditions as these can be limited.

Virgin Red - 20-30% off West and East Coast Virgin trains services.

6. Tesco Clubcard

As far as I am aware, you can spend Tesco Clubcard points at RedSpottedHanky (£10 = £20) as well as on Railcards, so if you have points burning a hole in your account, then perhaps consider spending them on your train tickets to save even more.

Exchange Tesco Clubcard Points for RedSpottedHanky vouchers (doubled up)


Exchange Tesco Clubcard Points for Railcard vouchers

7. Rail Travel Vouchers

Whenever you travel by train and your service is delayed by 30 minutes or more, you are entitled to claim compensation in the form of a cheque or Rail Travel Vouchers. You can then use these to buy train tickets and save even more (or cash the cheque in, effectively saving money on your ticket).

When it comes to compensation, there are some reasons for delay that are not eligible, however it's always worth trying. Remember that you have to claim within 28 days of travel, and you have to send your tickets off (so don't put them into the automatic barriers!)

8. The TrainLine Ticket Alert

The TrainLine offer a Ticket Alert service, so if you know the dates you intent to travel, you can enter your email address and the travel information for The TrainLine to then tell you when the cheapest tickets are "on the market".

9. London Underground

The cheapest way to get around on the tube is with an Oyster Card or with a Contactless bank card (both are the same price*).

*You can add Railcard discounts to an Oyster Card, so if you have a Railcard, it's cheaper to get an Oyster Card than use contactless.

Sometimes you can purchase a Tube ticket with a train ticket, which does sometimes work out cheaper if you intent to use the Tube a lot (e.g. Brighton to London Zones 1-6 travelcard (with a railcard) is very cheap, compared to a Brighton to Victoria Return).

10. Megatrain

Megatrain (owned by Stagecoach) do sell train tickets for some routes, though these are usually select off-peak services, and not every day.

Feel free to add your own methods/suggestions on saving money when buying train tickets...I'll add them to the OP! :D








Edited By: Eden0032 on Nov 07, 2016 22:14: updated
9 Likes
You could have just put the link to the money saving website you copied this from.
8 Likes
colinmckenna
You could have just put the link to the money saving website you copied this from.

Why so mad? We all copy and paste from other sites.
6 Likes
How to save money on train tickets- take the bus or drive :D
5 Likes
I'd like to add some additions to the op.
My numbers correspond to the numbers in the op
1) Railcard discount is a minimum of 33% and not 30%
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/46540.aspx
One can also use a family railcard when a child is under 5. E.g. If one has a family railcard but the oldest child they're traveling with is under 5, it is cheaper to buy 1 adult + 1 child both with a family railcard, and let's say the adult without the railcard cost £100 total journey cost will be reduced to £83 (£67 the adult and £16 the child). http://www.familyandfriends-railcard.co.uk/help/faqs/25/

2) Split ticketing is a lot of times cheaper when one changes trains even though one didn't have to. E.g. London to Newcastle is often cheaper by taking the Grand Central to York and then Virgin to Newcastle. In this example one didn't have to change at York but the direct train would’ve been £64 (when I booked) but changing and waiting 20mins at York brought the total price down to £26. Manchester to London is available from £13 when splitting and changing at stoke.
The problem with using tickety split is it won't bring up the above examples. I'll explain why that is:
Tickety split will only split journeys that appear on national rail. If one searches on national rail "Manchester to London", national rail only brings up Virgin direct journeys therefore tickety split only attempts to split those journeys. This is despite the fact that taking a CrossCountry to Stoke and then a London Midland to London starts at £13 (I've found this £13 ticket when Virgin wanted £80 direct see more details here http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/manchester-london-13-train-split-change-trains-works-other-routes-aswell-2490012 ) But ticketysplit won't find the £13 Manchester to London as National rail doesn't bring up that journey, as there are direct faster journeys.
Therefore ticketysplit is very good if one wants to keep changing trains to a minimum but there are cheaper options if one is willing to change trains but these splits have to searched manually.

4) TPExpress have special offers for advance tickets booked with TPExpress:
50% off with a 16-25 railcard (usually 33%) and 50% off if one is is aged 16-18 or has a jobcentre railcard (see more details here http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/50-off-tpexpress-advance-train-tickets-age-16-18-jobseekers-hold-a-16-25-railcard-2492146
Virgin trains have a very good family offer where one chooses the outbound train and is then able to take any train back within a month and surprisingly both the outbound and return are valid in peak times. Manchester to London NO railcard upto 2 adults and 4 children for £95 return. See more details here https://www.virgintrains.co.uk/family-offer
Redspottedhanky and thetrainline charge between £1-£1.50 extra per booking so unless they have an offer or one is using clubcard vouchers on redspottedhanky, avoid both.

5) Download the Nectar app as every second week there seems to be another bonus, last week I had 500points with a Virgin trains east coast booking. Or triple points when booking TPExpress with a 16-25 railcard.

TopCashBack/quidco offer cashback on train ticket purchases but read the T&C's carefully as most TOC's only offer cashback on ticket purchases for their own services and not other TOC's.

6) Clubcard redemption are worth upto 4 times the amount, so look at all the redemptions that are possible before deciding to redeem them for railcard or redspottedhanky which only get you twice the amount. (days out gets you 4x, magazines, ferries, restaurants, hotels, etc 3x, railcard and redspottedhanky only 2x)

7) Very soon one would be entitled to compensation for a delay of just 15mins. Compensation only applies if it was the TOC's or network rail's fault. By trespassing etc they’re not obligated to give compensation but it's still worth a try as many TOC's would still compensate. One has to apply for compensation within 28days, and by law if one requests a cheque, they're not allowed to send a rail voucher.

Before I get an angry response about copying from money-saving-expert, 95% of this is not from money-saving-expert especially the part where I explain what's not good about tickety split.

All Comments

(112) Jump to unreadPost a comment
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17 Likes #1
1. Railcards

Railcards save you 33% on train tickets, and you can sometimes get discount on buying railcards (RRP is £30). You can also use Tesco Clubcard Points to purchase Railcards to save even more.

16-25 Railcard
Two-Together Railcard
Family And Friends Railcard
Senior Railcard
Disabled Persons Railcard (£20)
Network Railcard

Free 16-25 railcard with O2 Refresh (student offer) - thanks "cchopps"

10% off any Railcard with code SEARCH10 - thanks "psychobitchfromhell"

2. Split Tickets

On most journeys, it is may be possible to split your ticket to save money. For example, a single from A to B may cost £50, but a single from A to C (a calling point en-route to B) may be £10 and a single from C to B may be £15 meaning the total journey costs £25.

Tickety Split (to search for ticket splits for your journey) - Full Version

Tickety Split (to search for ticket splits for your journey) - Mobile Version

Here's some advise on Split ticketing from "ysm1234":

Split ticketing is a lot of times cheaper when one changes trains even though one didn't have to. E.g. London to Newcastle is often cheaper by taking the Grand Central to York and then Virgin to Newcastle. In this example one didn't have to change at York but the direct train would’ve been £64 (when I booked) but changing and waiting 20mins at York brought the total price down to £26. Manchester to London is available from £13 when splitting and changing at stoke.
The problem with using tickety split is it won't bring up the above examples. I'll explain why that is:
Tickety split will only split journeys that appear on national rail. If one searches on national rail "Manchester to London", national rail only brings up Virgin direct journeys therefore tickety split only attempts to split those journeys. This is despite the fact that taking a CrossCountry to Stoke and then a London Midland to London starts at £13 (I've found this £13 ticket when Virgin wanted £80 direct see more details here http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/manchester-london-13-train-split-change-trains-works-other-routes-aswell-2490012 ) But ticketysplit won't find the £13 Manchester to London as National rail doesn't bring up that journey, as there are direct faster journeys.
Therefore ticketysplit is very good if one wants to keep changing trains to a minimum but there are cheaper options if one is willing to change trains but these splits have to searched manually.


3. Advance Tickets

Sometimes, it is cheaper to buy 2 singles instead of a return, or to book an Advance ticket rather than buy on the day. On most TOC's search engine, you can usually search for all routes for a specific journey (which shows slower routes). This sometimes brings up cheaper tickets, as well as a wider variety of advance tickets available.

Most Advance tickets go on sale 12 weeks before the date of travel, though some TOC's are 24 weeks.

Some websites charge a fee, though TOC's are not allowed to do this. It's best to weigh up the pros and cons of booking from a particular site.

4. Special Offers

Sometimes, TOC's and official ticket sellers (like TheTrainLine and RedSpottedHanky) run promotional offers, and it is always worth looking for these when booking train tickets as they may allow you to save more money. Try and see which promotional offer will save you the most money.

GWR 50% off for 16-25 railcard holders

TPExpress 50% off for 16-25 railcard holders and jobseekers - thanks "ysm1234"

Virgin Trains Family ticket offer - thanks "ysm1234"

5. Bonus Offers

Some TOC's (like GWR) allow you to earn Nectar Points or other benefits. I find that I earn A LOT of Nectar Points from booking all of my tickets through GWR. Remember that you can book all UK train tickets from any TOC's website, so consider the benefits of booking from each website. Nectar Double-Up is approaching soon as well :)

Nectar also sometimes do bonus offers every other week, for example 500 bonus points on your next Virgin Trains purchase. Check the Nectar app for these offers.

Cashback - some TOC's offer cashback with Quidco/TCB, however check the terms and conditions as these can be limited.

Virgin Red - 20-30% off West and East Coast Virgin trains services.

6. Tesco Clubcard

As far as I am aware, you can spend Tesco Clubcard points at RedSpottedHanky (£10 = £20) as well as on Railcards, so if you have points burning a hole in your account, then perhaps consider spending them on your train tickets to save even more.

Exchange Tesco Clubcard Points for RedSpottedHanky vouchers (doubled up)


Exchange Tesco Clubcard Points for Railcard vouchers

7. Rail Travel Vouchers

Whenever you travel by train and your service is delayed by 30 minutes or more, you are entitled to claim compensation in the form of a cheque or Rail Travel Vouchers. You can then use these to buy train tickets and save even more (or cash the cheque in, effectively saving money on your ticket).

When it comes to compensation, there are some reasons for delay that are not eligible, however it's always worth trying. Remember that you have to claim within 28 days of travel, and you have to send your tickets off (so don't put them into the automatic barriers!)

8. The TrainLine Ticket Alert

The TrainLine offer a Ticket Alert service, so if you know the dates you intent to travel, you can enter your email address and the travel information for The TrainLine to then tell you when the cheapest tickets are "on the market".

9. London Underground

The cheapest way to get around on the tube is with an Oyster Card or with a Contactless bank card (both are the same price*).

*You can add Railcard discounts to an Oyster Card, so if you have a Railcard, it's cheaper to get an Oyster Card than use contactless.

Sometimes you can purchase a Tube ticket with a train ticket, which does sometimes work out cheaper if you intent to use the Tube a lot (e.g. Brighton to London Zones 1-6 travelcard (with a railcard) is very cheap, compared to a Brighton to Victoria Return).

10. Megatrain

Megatrain (owned by Stagecoach) do sell train tickets for some routes, though these are usually select off-peak services, and not every day.

Feel free to add your own methods/suggestions on saving money when buying train tickets...I'll add them to the OP! :D








Edited By: Eden0032 on Nov 07, 2016 22:14: updated
9 Likes #2
You could have just put the link to the money saving website you copied this from.
27 Likes #3
colinmckenna
You could have just put the link to the money saving website you copied this from.
Glad you think I copied this, considering I spend the last hour typing this out from personal experience. In fact, if I check my browsing history, I haven't been to MSE in, well, months!
6 Likes #4
How to save money on train tickets- take the bus or drive :D
8 Likes #5
colinmckenna
You could have just put the link to the money saving website you copied this from.

Why so mad? We all copy and paste from other sites.
1 Like #7
HOT
2 Likes #8
nathan3007
How to save money on train tickets- take the bus or drive :D


And don't live in the South East where we are bullied by Southern Rail and are pushed into using the already over conjested road network. Ps I know work from home!
#11
psychobitchfromhell
Added, thank you :D
1 Like #12
I buy through virgin usually no matter where I'm travelling . 2% cashback plus nectar points
19 Likes #13
colinmckenna
You could have just put the link to the money saving website you copied this from.
even if he did , does that matter?
he spent time to post it here to help others ( which you could have done but couldn't be arsed too)
nice post heat added
1 Like #14
I saw someone waving their phone (e-ticket) at the ticket inspector, it had some squares changing colour on it as extra 'security'.

But I did think to myself it's be easy to write an app to show exactly the same thing, as there were no barcodes or anything on it..
4 Likes #15
good effort and good advice but not sure if this is a deal or general tips.
Like if i were to make a post saying "save money on toilet paper" then list:

1. use a bidet
2. use the works toilet before leaving work
3. use of of the odd socks you always seem to accrue
4. etc
5. etc
6. etc
5 Likes #16
I'd like to add some additions to the op.
My numbers correspond to the numbers in the op
1) Railcard discount is a minimum of 33% and not 30%
http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/46540.aspx
One can also use a family railcard when a child is under 5. E.g. If one has a family railcard but the oldest child they're traveling with is under 5, it is cheaper to buy 1 adult + 1 child both with a family railcard, and let's say the adult without the railcard cost £100 total journey cost will be reduced to £83 (£67 the adult and £16 the child). http://www.familyandfriends-railcard.co.uk/help/faqs/25/

2) Split ticketing is a lot of times cheaper when one changes trains even though one didn't have to. E.g. London to Newcastle is often cheaper by taking the Grand Central to York and then Virgin to Newcastle. In this example one didn't have to change at York but the direct train would’ve been £64 (when I booked) but changing and waiting 20mins at York brought the total price down to £26. Manchester to London is available from £13 when splitting and changing at stoke.
The problem with using tickety split is it won't bring up the above examples. I'll explain why that is:
Tickety split will only split journeys that appear on national rail. If one searches on national rail "Manchester to London", national rail only brings up Virgin direct journeys therefore tickety split only attempts to split those journeys. This is despite the fact that taking a CrossCountry to Stoke and then a London Midland to London starts at £13 (I've found this £13 ticket when Virgin wanted £80 direct see more details here http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/manchester-london-13-train-split-change-trains-works-other-routes-aswell-2490012 ) But ticketysplit won't find the £13 Manchester to London as National rail doesn't bring up that journey, as there are direct faster journeys.
Therefore ticketysplit is very good if one wants to keep changing trains to a minimum but there are cheaper options if one is willing to change trains but these splits have to searched manually.

4) TPExpress have special offers for advance tickets booked with TPExpress:
50% off with a 16-25 railcard (usually 33%) and 50% off if one is is aged 16-18 or has a jobcentre railcard (see more details here http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/50-off-tpexpress-advance-train-tickets-age-16-18-jobseekers-hold-a-16-25-railcard-2492146
Virgin trains have a very good family offer where one chooses the outbound train and is then able to take any train back within a month and surprisingly both the outbound and return are valid in peak times. Manchester to London NO railcard upto 2 adults and 4 children for £95 return. See more details here https://www.virgintrains.co.uk/family-offer
Redspottedhanky and thetrainline charge between £1-£1.50 extra per booking so unless they have an offer or one is using clubcard vouchers on redspottedhanky, avoid both.

5) Download the Nectar app as every second week there seems to be another bonus, last week I had 500points with a Virgin trains east coast booking. Or triple points when booking TPExpress with a 16-25 railcard.

TopCashBack/quidco offer cashback on train ticket purchases but read the T&C's carefully as most TOC's only offer cashback on ticket purchases for their own services and not other TOC's.

6) Clubcard redemption are worth upto 4 times the amount, so look at all the redemptions that are possible before deciding to redeem them for railcard or redspottedhanky which only get you twice the amount. (days out gets you 4x, magazines, ferries, restaurants, hotels, etc 3x, railcard and redspottedhanky only 2x)

7) Very soon one would be entitled to compensation for a delay of just 15mins. Compensation only applies if it was the TOC's or network rail's fault. By trespassing etc they’re not obligated to give compensation but it's still worth a try as many TOC's would still compensate. One has to apply for compensation within 28days, and by law if one requests a cheque, they're not allowed to send a rail voucher.

Before I get an angry response about copying from money-saving-expert, 95% of this is not from money-saving-expert especially the part where I explain what's not good about tickety split.
1 Like #17
ysm1234
I'd like to add some additions to the op.
My numbers correspond to the numbers in the op
1) Railcard discount is a minimum of 33% and not 30%http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/46540.aspx
One can also use a family railcard when a child is under 5. E.g. If one has a family railcard but the oldest child they're traveling with is under 5, it is cheaper to buy 1 adult + 1 child both with a family railcard, and let's say the adult without the railcard cost £100 total journey cost will be reduced to £83 (£67 the adult and £16 the child). http://www.familyandfriends-railcard.co.uk/help/faqs/25/
2) Split ticketing is a lot of times cheaper when one changes trains even though one didn't have to. E.g. London to Newcastle is often cheaper by taking the Grand Central to York and then Virgin to Newcastle. In this example one didn't have to change at York but the direct train would’ve been £64 (when I booked) but changing and waiting 20mins at York brought the total price down to £26. Manchester to London is available from £13 when splitting and changing at stoke.
The problem with using tickety split is it won't bring up the above examples. I'll explain why that is:
Tickety split will only split journeys that appear on national rail. If one searches on national rail "Manchester to London", national rail only brings up Virgin direct journeys therefore tickety split only attempts to split those journeys. This is despite the fact that taking a CrossCountry to Stoke and then a London Midland to London starts at £13 (I've found this £13 ticket when Virgin wanted £80 direct see more details here http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/manchester-london-13-train-split-change-trains-works-other-routes-aswell-2490012 ) But ticketysplit won't find the £13 Manchester to London as National rail doesn't bring up that journey, as there are direct faster journeys.
Therefore ticketysplit is very good if one wants to keep changing trains to a minimum but there are cheaper options if one is willing to change trains but these splits have to searched manually.
4) TPExpress have special offers for advance tickets booked with TPExpress:
50% off with a 16-25 railcard (usually 33%) and 50% off if one is is aged 16-18 or has a jobcentre railcard (see more details here http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/50-off-tpexpress-advance-train-tickets-age-16-18-jobseekers-hold-a-16-25-railcard-2492146
Virgin trains have a very good family offer where one chooses the outbound train and is then able to take any train back within a month and surprisingly both the outbound and return are valid in peak times. Manchester to London NO railcard upto 2 adults and 4 children for £95 return. See more details here https://www.virgintrains.co.uk/family-offer
Redspottedhanky and thetrainline charge between £1-£1.50 extra per booking so unless they have an offer or one is using clubcard vouchers on redspottedhanky, avoid both.
5) Download the Nectar app as every second week there seems to be another bonus, last week I had 500points with a Virgin trains east coast booking. Or triple points when booking TPExpress with a 16-25 railcard.
TopCashBack/quidco offer cashback on train ticket purchases but read the T&C's carefully as most TOC's only offer cashback on ticket purchases for their own services and not other TOC's.
6) Clubcard redemption are worth upto 4 times the amount, so look at all the redemptions that are possible before deciding to redeem them for railcard or redspottedhanky which only get you twice the amount. (days out gets you 4x, magazines, ferries, restaurants, hotels, etc 3x, railcard and redspottedhanky only 2x)
7) Very soon one would be entitled to compensation for a delay of just 15mins. Compensation only applies if it was the TOC's or network rail's fault. By trespassing etc they’re not obligated to give compensation but it's still worth a try as many TOC's would still compensate. One has to apply for compensation within 28days, and by law if one requests a cheque, they're not allowed to send a rail voucher.
Before I get an angry response about copying from money-saving-expert, 95% of this is not from money-saving-expert especially the part where I explain what's not good about tickety split.
Thank you - I've updated comment #1 with information you have provided! :D
1 Like #18
Don't forget "Ticket Alert" at the bottom of the trainline page if you know your dates you want to travel in advance.
I think you can do this up to 3 months in advance. It has saved us a lot of money in the past. :)

Apologies for not explaining how it works,

You tell them your dates, give then your email address then they alert you when there is cheap tickets.

Edited By: Babsy Baby on Nov 06, 2016 22:23
1 Like #19
http://www.hotukdeals.com/deals/manchester-london-13-train-split-change-trains-works-other-routes-aswell-2490012 was a similar thread a few months ago, where I wrote:

I have tried a few WWW sites for split ticketing. The Martin Lewis site http://www.moneysavingexpert.com/split-cheap-train-tickets/ is free. However, it only does single tickets. http://www.splitticketing.co.uk also looks for return tickets, and will show you the train times, but not the details of where the tickets are split, as they want you to book the tickets through them.

Sometimes the UK route planners will only show you the fastest routes. However, if you search through the German railways route planner http://www.bahn.de/i/view/GBR/en/index.shtml you can add intermediate stops, and also say how long you want to stay there.

http://www.rome2rio.com is also worth checking as it will also suggest alternatives like a bus, flight or taxi.

The forums at http://www.railforums.co.uk have people who know more than you want to, about the 16 million train tickets that you can get in the UK.

http://www.mytrainjourney.co.uk is a new site which lets you search for the punctuality for specific trains over the last year.
2 Likes #20
Don't rely on TicketySplit and similar services. They do miss things.

As a good example, I've recently travelled from Stafford to Dundee. The journey breaks at Crewe and Edinburgh. TicketySplit found nothing cheaper than the £125 standard Advance Return. By checking the splits myself and buying tickets from Stafford to Crewe, Crewe to Edinburgh, and Edinburgh to Dundee (then in reverse) I was able to cut that down to £75 return with the middle leg in First Class (Standard would have been £60 total).

This is something TS should be finding, but clearly didn't. It wasn't a complicated split. It used the same trains, the same changes. Yet TS found nothing. Manual searches are still better.
#21
Roger_Irrelevant
I saw someone waving their phone (e-ticket) at the ticket inspector, it had some squares changing colour on it as extra 'security'.

But I did think to myself it's be easy to write an app to show exactly the same thing, as there were no barcodes or anything on it..


Little bit more to it than that, and guards have scanning devices as they use a specific QR code depending on the ticket type
#22
I used to go Preston to Nottingham to watch football, much cheaper to get a day return to Manchester and then another one to Nottingham, it was about 40% cheaper to do that.

Another one I've got I'm unsure of the legality, if I catch the 7.39 from Warrington to London it costs me about £200 return, if I get the same train at Lancaster it is classed as an off peak return and I can get it for £90. Man on the train didn't quibble (how would he know I didn't get on in Lancaster), the only issue I can see is if they check tickets at Warrington station and stop you getting on the platform
#23
It's worth mentioning the magic 12 weeks on advance tickets.
Advance tickets go on sale exactly 12 weeks before the travel date. So today 30th January went on sale, or will by tomorrow morning. You'll never get a cheaper advance than on release day, prices only go up not down.

Also Family and Friends railcards are a con. If you don't believe me, compare the tickets prices in advance for 1 adult and 1 child, or 2 adults and 1 child, to the exact same journey for 2 adults and 2 children. You'll find the price magically jumps up when adding the second child (by about 25%) which nullifies any discount.
#24
Great. Thanks!
#25
Also everyone is aware you can split a journey?
I.e. need to travel from Carlisle to Preston for 9am meeting, onto Manchester for a 1pm meeting, before returning to Carlisle.
Buy a Carlisle to Manchester return, no need to buy two/three separate tickets.
A while ago, I didn't know you could break a journey for a significant period of time and bought separate tickets, so thought I'd make others aware.
#26
mocmocamoc
I used to go Preston to Nottingham to watch football, much cheaper to get a day return to Manchester and then another one to Nottingham, it was about 40% cheaper to do that.

Another one I've got I'm unsure of the legality, if I catch the 7.39 from Warrington to London it costs me about £200 return, if I get the same train at Lancaster it is classed as an off peak return and I can get it for £90. Man on the train didn't quibble (how would he know I didn't get on in Lancaster), the only issue I can see is if they check tickets at Warrington station and stop you getting on the platform



This is illegal according to National Rail's conditions of carriage. The way to make this legal would be to take a train from Warrington to Lancaster and then the Lancaster off peqk down to London which's probably add an hour to the journey time but still saves £100.
#27
lanc1979
It's worth mentioning the magic 12 weeks on advance tickets.
Advance tickets go on sale exactly 12 weeks before the travel date. So today 30th January went on sale, or will by tomorrow morning. You'll never get a cheaper advance than on release day, prices only go up not down.

Also Family and Friends railcards are a con. If you don't believe me, compare the tickets prices in advance for 1 adult and 1 child, or 2 adults and 1 child, to the exact same journey for 2 adults and 2 children. You'll find the price magically jumps up when adding the second child (by about 25%) which nullifies any discount.


Please explain clearer the issue with the family railcard. I've used family railcards often and have never had any sort of issue that you mention. When booking tickets 2 adults and 1 and then adding a 2nd child, the price jumps by 13% - that 13% is the cost of the second child (which is exactly the same price as the cost of the first child). Family railcards do work. I just checked as you requested and the price will always jump by 13% when adding the second child. Please explain.
#28
Fairly new money saving advice for visitors to London, you DONT need an Oyster card to get the cheap fares on London Transport now, and no worrieds about getting on the wrong train, or wandering out of zone.

You can use your NFC enabled card exactly the same way as an Oyster card; "bonk" your card on the Oyster pad on the way in, and again on the way out. If you make multiple trips during the day, the Oyster system calculates the cheapest fare for you.

We were in London last week, the cheapest non Oyster ticket for one of the 5 underground trips we made was £12.70 each, and an family card was ~£28 for the day; we paid £11.20 total.
3 Likes #29
lanc1979
It's worth mentioning the magic 12 weeks on advance tickets.
Advance tickets go on sale exactly 12 weeks before the travel date. So today 30th January went on sale, or will by tomorrow morning. You'll never get a cheaper advance than on release day, prices only go up not down.
Also Family and Friends railcards are a con. If you don't believe me, compare the tickets prices in advance for 1 adult and 1 child, or 2 adults and 1 child, to the exact same journey for 2 adults and 2 children. You'll find the price magically jumps up when adding the second child (by about 25%) which nullifies any discount.

I've noticed with East Coast, it's not exactly 12 weeks before the travel date, rather they release a week (12 weeks away) at a time around midday on a Friday.

There's a list of which advance dates are available for different operators here: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types/44703.aspx

Edited By: tom00 on Nov 07, 2016 11:30
#30
Just remember if you are split ticketing ATOC's conditions state the train must stop at that station on route otherwise it's a new ticket. Something I have not seen mentioned but witnessed.
#31
tom00
lanc1979
It's worth mentioning the magic 12 weeks on advance tickets.
Advance tickets go on sale exactly 12 weeks before the travel date. So today 30th January went on sale, or will by tomorrow morning. You'll never get a cheaper advance than on release day, prices only go up not down.
Also Family and Friends railcards are a con. If you don't believe me, compare the tickets prices in advance for 1 adult and 1 child, or 2 adults and 1 child, to the exact same journey for 2 adults and 2 children. You'll find the price magically jumps up when adding the second child (by about 25%) which nullifies any discount.

I've noticed with East Coast, it's not exactly 12 weeks before the travel date, rather they release a week (12 weeks away) at a time around midday on a Friday.

There's a list of which advance dates are available for different operators here: http://www.nationalrail.co.uk/times_fares/ticket_types/44703.aspx


London - Newcastle/Edinburgh or vice versa on East Coast, Monday to Friday tickets are released 24wks before travel.
#32
Golden rule never ever forget your railcard. Keep in your wallet or purse as it will be very expensive mistake.
1 Like #33
Nice. It's not a deal though so should be in Misc.
#34
be careful which site you buy from some have fees, some don't e.g. Virgin is fee free, trainline is not

Can (oddly) be cheaper buying from your local station rather than on-line.

If you travel frequently look at weekly tickets - my day return to work of over £60 - a weekly card is only £120.

Virgin sometimes do upgrade to 1st class for £10 on a weekend - a sandwich and a drink and it's worth it, plus at odd times during the week it's cheaper to go first class on a fixed time than second - go figure!

Edited By: W_jelly1 on Nov 07, 2016 14:53: type
#35
Thanks all... I'll add updates to comment #1 when I'm next on my laptop
#36
lanc1979
Also everyone is aware you can split a journey?
I.e. need to travel from Carlisle to Preston for 9am meeting, onto Manchester for a 1pm meeting, before returning to Carlisle.
Buy a Carlisle to Manchester return, no need to buy two/three separate tickets.
A while ago, I didn't know you could break a journey for a significant period of time and bought separate tickets, so thought I'd make others aware.

You can't break a journey with all ticket types. You can't with Advance tickets - you have to use the specified trains, and there are some other tickets that won't let you break your journey. You always can with anytime tickets, but some off peak tickets have different rules, so it's best to check before buying.


And your Carlisle to Manchester example is a very bad example.

If you buy a Carlisle to Manchester ticket that allows a break of journey, the cheapest return ticket that would get you to Preston by 9AM and allow you to break your journey then continue to Manchester is £55.80.

But if you get a Carlisle to Preston ticket (£38.90), and a Preston to Manchester off peak return (£12), you save nearly £5.
2 Likes #37
W_jelly1
be careful which sire you buy from some have fees, some don't e.g. Virgin is fee free, trainline is not

The train companies aren't allowed to charge booking fees, so it's always cheaper to buy from them than it is from Trainline. The only reason Trainline stay in business is because their misleading adverts make people think they're cheaper.
2 Likes #38
dribspak
good effort and good advice but not sure if this is a deal or general tips.
Like if i were to make a post saying "save money on toilet paper" then list:
1. use a bidet
2. use the works toilet before leaving work
3. use of of the odd socks you always seem to accrue
4. etc
5. etc
6. etc

Don't forget to put "megathread" in the title ;)
#39
ysm1234
lanc1979
It's worth mentioning the magic 12 weeks on advance tickets.
Advance tickets go on sale exactly 12 weeks before the travel date. So today 30th January went on sale, or will by tomorrow morning. You'll never get a cheaper advance than on release day, prices only go up not down.

Also Family and Friends railcards are a con. If you don't believe me, compare the tickets prices in advance for 1 adult and 1 child, or 2 adults and 1 child, to the exact same journey for 2 adults and 2 children. You'll find the price magically jumps up when adding the second child (by about 25%) which nullifies any discount.


Please explain clearer the issue with the family railcard. I've used family railcards often and have never had any sort of issue that you mention. When booking tickets 2 adults and 1 and then adding a 2nd child, the price jumps by 13% - that 13% is the cost of the second child (which is exactly the same price as the cost of the first child). Family railcards do work. I just checked as you requested and the price will always jump by 13% when adding the second child. Please explain.


I tried to edit post but not working on mobile. It doesn't seem to happen anymore.
Tried to book an advance to Manchester Airport two years ago (12 weeks in advance) and the advance was £6.50 for one adult. Decided at that price to book tickets and therefore seat reservations for my kids <5 who didn't need tickets, to get seats. When I added 2 adults and 2 children, the adult advance price changed from 6.50 to 8.80, can't remember what the kids price was. Which would've returned to close to 6.50 with FF discount. So I removed the child tickets and the 2 adults were both getting the 6.50 tickets again.
Played around with options (1A2C, 2A1C) then dates and found that it happened on most dates with cheap advance tickets; adding the second child changed the adult advance price to about 25% more in most cases, nullifying the FF discount. Sent my findings to MSE to see if they would look into it, heard nothing.
Always check 1 adult price first now, to check there is no price tweaking going on.
#40
Has anyone mentioned Megatrain yet?

They're owned by Stagecoach, and have cheap print at home tickets for some of the train companies they own, and can be much cheaper than buying proper tickets.

At the moment I think they only do tickets for East Midlands trains between London and Leicester/Derby/Nottingham/Chesterfield/Sheffield, and South West Trains to/from London.
They used to do Virgin West Coast tickets but stopped earlier this year.

http://uk.megabus.com/megatrain.aspx

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