Getting a railcard is a no-brainer way to save money on train travel in the UK. Most railcards attract an upfront fee but that often pays for itself in less than a handful of trips. In March 2018, National Rail released a much-wanted railcard those who fall outside of the Young Persons Railcard criteria: the 26-30 railcard.
Launched on March 13th, the 26-30 railcard aims to help those who are no longer eligible for the young persons card but aren’t in a financial position to pay for the extortionate train prices. There are only 10,000 railcards on offer which seems very stingy considering the expected demand for these discount cards. On the launch morning, they were so popular that the website crashed – oops!
Those who are lucky enough to get their hands on a card are still getting a raw deal, according to Credit Angel.
Annual price hikes always hit the news and this year was no different as prices rose 3.4%. With 36% of trains being late while tickets cost £700 more than they did 7 years ago, it is no surprise that under 50% of consumers are happy. Train users in the UK have good reasons to be disgruntled because we pay more per mile than our European counterparts as Credit Angel illustrate in the graph below:
So, how can you save money when travelling if you don’t have or don’t qualify for a railcard? In short, research is key. Head over to the trainline.com and find cheap fares on the route you are looking to take. You will have the most success if you book at least 6 weeks in advance and can travel off-peak.
97 pence of every £1 you spend on train tickets is supposedly invested in to the infrastructure but that is hard to believe when you are waiting on a cold platform!
Good luck getting your railcard and consider interrail if you want to make the most out of cheap European train tickets.