New Post Advanced Search
Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.

Cheapest Train Tickets

21 replies 501 views
Hey guys, whilst it is easy to search plenty of sites for a train ticket on a specific day, is it possible to search for the cheapest train tickets for any date over the next 12 weeks?

At the moment I would have to search each and every day separately to find the best price. 

I don't mind which day or date I travel on, just looking for the best price. 

Cheers 
«13

Replies

  • waamowaamo Forumite
    10.2K posts
    10,000 Posts Seventh Anniversary Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭✭✭
    This space for hire.
  • AccountAccount Forumite
    16 posts
    10 Posts
    Thanks pal 
  • jbuchanangbjbuchanangb Forumite
    568 posts
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭
    Advance fares are only sold for travel on specific trains on specific dates so all the web sites selling such tickets rely on the potential traveller specifying the date and time when they want to travel.
    At the moment advance fares are being released only days in advance of their validity, nothing like the normal 12 weeks, because the whole network is running temporary timetables.
  • AccountAccount Forumite
    16 posts
    10 Posts
    Advance fares are only sold for travel on specific trains on specific dates so all the web sites selling such tickets rely on the potential traveller specifying the date and time when they want to travel.
    At the moment advance fares are being released only days in advance of their validity, nothing like the normal 12 weeks, because the whole network is running temporary timetables.
    Thanks, and what I am looking to do is find the cheapest advance fare without searching every single day that advance fares are available. 

    So, at the moment, if they are only being released days before their validity, due to temporary timetables, I would like to find the cheapest ticket. 

    Then, when they are released under the usual 12 weeks in advance, I would like to find the cheapest ticket without individually searching every day for that time period.

    Can this be done? 
  • jbuchanangbjbuchanangb Forumite
    568 posts
    Eighth Anniversary 500 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭
    You can use www.brfares.com to find out what fares exist. But the TOCs (Train Operating Companies) which set the fares also decide what quotas of each tier of advance fare they will release and when. Just before lockdown I used Red Spotted Hanky to book some Avanti West Coast tickets about a week before Avanti were offering them on their web site. This was because, in those long distant normal times Avanti released their quotas to third party sites up to 12 weeks (i.e. up to a whole 24 weeks before travel) before they started selling them themselves. I got outbound tickets at the lowest available tier, and return tickerts at the next one up because of the time of train I chose. (Of course then I cancelled and got refunded, except the booking fee and the postal charge)

    Nowadays of course you'll be lucky if they release any advance fare quotas as much as 10 days before date of travel, because the timetables are so volatile.
  • Important update! We have recently reviewed and updated our Forum Rules and FAQs. Please take the time to familiarise yourself with the latest version.
  • AccountAccount Forumite
    16 posts
    10 Posts
    Thanks for the Spotted Red Hanky link, this seems to be a slightly better method of booking tickets as they can be narrowed down by price 

    It does only give the cheapest tickets for each day though and still requires a search for every day in the foreseeable future to find the cheapest tickets from all available dates  

    What would be amazing is a website that can effectively search all of the train fares to a destination, then give a list of all the cheapest fares and the corresponding dates and let the user pick the date rather than manually keep clicking to show a different day. 

    It is humanly possible to manually do this, and with computers being extremely fast and efficient it would not take a website very long to format a spreadsheet of train fares to show the prices by order of amount rather than by order of date. 

    So, this is what I'm asking, is there a site that does this, and if not, maybe a tech expert out there could design this? 

    I'm going to send Spotted Red Hanky an email because their site seems to be the closest option, so long as the desktop format is used. 

    By the way, Advance ticket booking has not been restricted to a few days or weeks or 12 weeks as some people believe. 

    For a ticket from London to Birmingham, using thetrainline.com I am able to buy a ticket today for £10 plus 30p booking fee as far forward as 10th December 2020. The highest price for that day on this site seems to be £40.80 but the site requires the user scrolling through dozens of pages for each day so that site is a waste of time

    Using mytrainpal.com I am able to buy an advance ticket for 30th November 2020 at £15.50 with no booking fee. The highest price for this date on this site seems to be £25.90 but the site requires the user scrolling through dozens of pages for each day so that site is a waste of time.

    Thanks to everybody reading this and who has posted suggestions and let's hope that when we are completely flexible on dates of travel that we can be a money saving expert without spending unnecessary hours clicking the 'next' button 🤣
  • AccountAccount Forumite
    16 posts
    10 Posts
    These are tickets that are available as far forward as December 12th 2020. 
    So, back to the original question, is there a website that can search train tickets for any date and show a list of the cheapest ones, (without having to manually keep skipping the dates and seeing all of the prices) 
    Pure money saving genius if so lol 😉

  • yorkie2yorkie2 Forumite
    1.5K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
    ✭✭✭
    Account said:
    Hey guys, whilst it is easy to search plenty of sites for a train ticket on a specific day, is it possible to search for the cheapest train tickets for any date over the next 12 weeks?

    At the moment I would have to search each and every day separately to find the best price. 

    I don't mind which day or date I travel on, just looking for the best price. 

    Cheers 

    Is there a particular journey you have in mind?
  • AccountAccount Forumite
    16 posts
    10 Posts
    Not necessarily, it is more a case of finding a cheap day out whilst cash is a bit tight.

    So, I might think, hmmmmm, a day out in Birmingham would be nice, I don't mind when, just a day out would be nice at some point.

    So, by searching every day manually, I can get a ticket as cheap as £10 rather than paying about £45.

    I don't mind the date, I could buy that £10 ticket today and even if it is for several weeks time, it will be nice to have that day out. 

    So, I'm looking to see if I can say, right then, I would like to go to Birmingham for a day out. Or it might be Manchester, or Cardiff, or anywhere. 

    So, if I could put any specific location into a ticket price search, I could get the results organised by price rather that date. 

    So, for example, the results show that I could get a £10 ticket, let's say, next Wednesday, or the first Monday in August, or the second Saturday in August.

    Wow, that's nice, hmmmm I might buy that today and be excited for my day out. Oh, hang on, how much would Manchester be? Ahhhh, so that search says I could get the cheapest £15 ticket next Thursday, or on several days in August, ooooohhh I can just about afford that, yes let me go there for a change!

    So, basically, I'm looking for a website that I can put in a specific journey and get a list of the tickets in order of price rather than in order of date. 

    I could potentially go through the websites I have found, copy and paste each day's prices into a spreadsheet. The sheet would then show all of the ticket prices by order of date.  To show them by order of price I would just click the price column to show the cheapest prices at the top of the list. I could easily do this but it would take ages, I could walk there quicker hahahaha! 

    I have worked in website design and I know it would be easy to design a website that does this but it is above and beyond my own skill level to do so. 

    So, are there any websites where after entering where to travel from and to it can search for train tickets by order of price rather than by order of the departure time?

    If not, it would be pure genius if somebody could design one and I would always use it to book a ticket. I would also happily pay a small booking fee for the excellent design and convenience. 
  • AccountAccount Forumite
    16 posts
    10 Posts
    Just to give an example of what I mean... 

    Imagine you search for a product on Argos. It will give you the results by relevance. You have the option to sort the results by price or relevance. 

    All the ticket site would need it a little option button to search the results by price or date, similar to how you can on a High St shop's website. 
Sign In or Register to comment.

Quick links

Essential Money | Who & Where are you? | Work & Benefits | Household and travel | Shopping & Freebies | About MSE | The MoneySavers Arms | Covid-19 & Coronavirus Support