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Rail Season Tickets - Cutting the Cost

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Rail Season Tickets - Cutting the Cost

edited 28 November 2012 at 5:29PM in Public Transport & Cycling
19 replies 7.6K views
rdwarrrdwarr Forumite
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edited 28 November 2012 at 5:29PM in Public Transport & Cycling
Today the price of season tickets for next year was announced. I travel Stevenage-Blackfriars and the price of an annual ticket is rising from £3,520 to £3,652. That’s 3.75% and I’m sure many of you will be facing higher increases than that. To save money over the cost of monthly tickets I could buy an annual ticket in the last week of December but I’m not sure I really want to shell out that much just after Christmas.

MSE Insert: We've published this story about the rail fare rises. Now, back to the original post...

So, is it possible to get the cost-saving benefits of an annual ticket (where you pay 40x the weekly amount) without the initial outlay? It can be done based on the principal that you may buy a ticket for a week or any period from one month to a year. So never buy a monthly ticket – always get one that finishes on a Friday and then you won’t be paying for weekends that you don’t use. If you’re also able to plan around holidays and public holidays then even better.

Sorry if that sounds confusing, here’s an example based on my commute:

Start Date End Date Cost Comments
07/01/2013 15/02/2013 456.50 Then I'll take a week off
25/02/2013 28/03/2013 398.10 Finish on Thursday before Good Friday
02/04/2013 24/05/2013 620.00 Then I'll take a week off
03/06/2013 12/07/2013 467.50 Finish on a Friday
15/07/2013 23/08/2013 456.50 Then I'll take two weeks off
09/09/2013 08/11/2013 701.20 Then I'll take a week off
18/11/2013 20/12/2013 386.20 Finish on Friday before Christmas

Total Cost 3486.00

So, by planning in advance and buying for “odd periods” I can save money over the cost of an annual ticket (even at this year’s rates) without shelling out £3.5k up front. If I bought 12 monthly tickets I’d be looking at £4,207.20.

All season ticket prices can be determined at http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/seasonticket/search. You can see your prices for next year by putting in a start date in January.

It’s also worth noting that you can buy a season ticket (for a month or more) to start on a Monday any time from noon on the previous Friday. So get one on your way home and avoid the queues.
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  • edited 28 November 2012 at 6:28PM
    LivingthedreamLivingthedream Forumite
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    edited 28 November 2012 at 6:28PM
    :) Five weeks holidays + Easter and Xmas, Nice.

    But seriously nice guide/advice for those people who use the train to commute to work.
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  • An employer of a friend of mine purchased a yearly Translink ticket for my friend on her behalf, then deducted a monthly payment from her wages to pay them back.

    All ok providing you don't get 50 days annual leave plus your public holidays!! ;)
    Wealth is what you're left with when all your money runs out
  • rdwarrrdwarr Forumite
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    There's also the option of buying an annual ticket on a 0% credit card, or using a balance transfer.
    Can I help?
  • "Train season ticket holders will pay an average 4.2% more next year, but a handful of commuters may turn out to be winners, it was revealed today..."
  • edited 28 November 2012 at 8:00PM
    luckwudaveitluckwudaveit Forumite
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    edited 28 November 2012 at 8:00PM
    rdwarr wrote: »
    There's also the option of buying an annual ticket on a 0% credit card

    Exactly what I do. I could probably save a bit more by following OP's method, but I like the convenience of not having to buy a ticket through the year. If only Topcashback had a merchant that offered cashback on season tickets...

    It always amazes me how few of my colleagues know that you can buy a ticket for any period between a month and a year. And when I attempt to educate them, you can see them glazing over in disbelief and insist on buying a day return ticket for the last 2 days before their week off. I think the TOCs should push this one a bit.
  • rdwarr wrote: »
    Today the price of season tickets for next year was announced. I travel Stevenage-Blackfriars and the price of an annual ticket is rising from £3,520 to £3,652. That’s 3.75% and I’m sure many of you will be facing higher increases than that. To save money over the cost of monthly tickets I could buy an annual ticket in the last week of December but I’m not sure I really want to shell out that much just after Christmas.

    MSE Insert: We've published this story about the rail fare rises. Now, back to the original post...

    So, is it possible to get the cost-saving benefits of an annual ticket (where you pay 40x the weekly amount) without the initial outlay? It can be done based on the principal that you may buy a ticket for a week or any period from one month to a year. So never buy a monthly ticket – always get one that finishes on a Friday and then you won’t be paying for weekends that you don’t use. If you’re also able to plan around holidays and public holidays then even better.

    Sorry if that sounds confusing, here’s an example based on my commute:

    Start Date End Date Cost Comments
    07/01/2013 15/02/2013 456.50 Then I'll take a week off
    25/02/2013 28/03/2013 398.10 Finish on Thursday before Good Friday
    02/04/2013 24/05/2013 620.00 Then I'll take a week off
    03/06/2013 12/07/2013 467.50 Finish on a Friday
    15/07/2013 23/08/2013 456.50 Then I'll take two weeks off
    09/09/2013 08/11/2013 701.20 Then I'll take a week off
    18/11/2013 20/12/2013 386.20 Finish on Friday before Christmas

    Total Cost 3486.00

    So, by planning in advance and buying for “odd periods” I can save money over the cost of an annual ticket (even at this year’s rates) without shelling out £3.5k up front. If I bought 12 monthly tickets I’d be looking at £4,207.20.

    All season ticket prices can be determined at http://ojp.nationalrail.co.uk/service/seasonticket/search. You can see your prices for next year by putting in a start date in January.

    It’s also worth noting that you can buy a season ticket (for a month or more) to start on a Monday any time from noon on the previous Friday. So get one on your way home and avoid the queues.

    It's a shame this wouldn't work for London commuters
  • martindowmartindow Forumite
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    It's a shame this wouldn't work for London commuters
    Not sure I understand this comment. The example given by rdbarr was for a London commuter.
  • martindow wrote: »
    Not sure I understand this comment. The example given by rdbarr was for a London commuter.

    I meant London commuters as in commuters commuting within London such as Harrow to Stratford
  • aleph_0aleph_0 Forumite
    536 posts
    I meant London commuters as in commuters commuting within London such as Harrow to Stratford

    Why not? You can buy period travelcard for any length of time longer than 1 month, the same as other season tickets.
  • aleph_0 wrote: »
    Why not? You can buy period travelcard for any length of time longer than 1 month, the same as other season tickets.

    Tfl doesn't sell any 6 monthly travelcards as far as I'm aware
This discussion has been closed.

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