Did you know a travel card can save you up to 60%? Join us while we explore cheap travel options and provide you with money saving tips and tricks so you can concentrate on the destination.
With increasing petrol prices and rail fares recording their highest rise in 5 years in January 2018, we’re all looking at ways to reduce our travel costs. In this article, Quick Loans Express – a same day payday loans lender, collected ways to do so with information about:
Using Season Tickets and Travel Cards
We begin this article by looking at the advantages of buying an annual season ticket for rail or coach journeys. What can you do if you can’t afford to make an outlay of such a large sum of money in advance? We give you practical solutions. We continue by looking at other rail and coach travel cards, who is eligible and what additional benefits they have. Finally, we consider other ways to cut your travel costs.
The Advantages of Annual Rail or Coach Season Tickets
Purchasing an annual season ticket for your rail or coach journeys can save you hundreds of pounds a year. On average, these tickets offer discounts so that you’re paying the equivalent of 10 monthly tickets – instead of 12. The added advantage of coach season tickets is that you’re also entitled to a reserved seat for your daily commute.
However, these tickets only make sense financially if you’re travelling regularly. If you aren’t travelling more than 3 or 4 times a week, then an annual season ticket isn’t the right deal for you.
A season ticket can cost thousands of pounds. For many people, the problem is getting this cash together to pay for it in advance. What can you do if you don’t have the cash put by?
How to Pay for your Annual Season Ticket
If you struggle to make ends meet every month, it might be difficult for you to pay for the season ticket. However, there are solutions.
Does your employer offer low- or zero-interest loans to pay for your season ticket? It’s worth asking your boss or HR department if such a scheme is available. In this way, you can make enormous savings on your travel costs and have the advance deducted from your salary every month.
If your employer doesn’t offer this scheme, there are private companies like Commuter Club and MyCommute4Less, which offer the same service with a 5-6% interest fee per year. As these firms provide consumer credit, they are regulated by the FCA although this also means they’ll carry out a credit check.
Another solution is to use a zero-interest credit card to pay for your season ticket travel pass. Divide the cost by 12 and make sure that this money is transferred by direct debit every month to pay off the outstanding credit card balance.
Other Discounts on Rail & Coach Journeys
If you make fewer than 3 journeys a week, then a season ticket won’t save you money. However, there are other rail and coach cards which can give you discounts on fares. Let’s look at what’s available and for which groups.
Buying a railcard can give you around 33% off your fares. Some also offer further discounts on theatre tickets, entrance fees to some tourist attractions and so on. These cards can easily pay for themselves with just one journey. There are a wide variety of railcards according to your personal circumstances and many are available for 3 years at a further discount. The railcard company often offer voucher codes for 10% off and also you don’t need to have a hard copy any more, all you need to do is download the Railcard UK app on your phone and show it when the ticket collector comes around.
|16-17 Railcard||To be confirmed||The railcard will be offered from September of 2019 and holders can save 50% of an adult fare.|
|16-25 Railcard||£30 a year||The same card is also available for mature students over 26 who are in full-time education.|
|26-30 Railcard||£30 a year||New Railcard!|
|Two Together Railcard||£30 a year||It allows two people of over 16 to have cheaper fares.|
|Family & Friends Railcard||£30 a year||It covers up to 4 adults and 4 children. Adults are entitled to a 34% discount while children have a further 60% off their half-fare.|
|Senior Railcard||£30 a year||For those older than 60 years of age|
|Disabled Persons’ Card|| £20 a year|
(or £54 for 3 years)
|A person who is registered disabled to travel with an accompanying adult at reduced fares.|
There are similar special travel cards for those who wish to use the UK’s coach network. Most offer a third off standard fares and are significantly cheaper than the equivalent railcards.
|Young Person’s Coach Card||£10 a year|
(or £25 for 3 years)
|For students over 16 in full-time education|
|Senior Coach Card||£10 a year||For over 60’s|
|Disabled Card||£10 a year||A person who is registered disabled to travel with an accompanying adult at reduced fares|
Apart from using a travel card for discounts, think about the time that you travel. Travelling at off-peak hours (usually before 7.30am, after 9.30am and after 6.30pm) can reduce how much you pay for your travel costs if it isn’t worth you getting a season ticket.
Also, think about booking your ticket in advance. Booking 3 months in advance can result in enormous savings on train fares. For coach fares, keep an eye on their website as they often have special offers on selected journeys for as little as £5.
Season Tickets, Rail Cards and Coach Cards
It’s amazing how some forethought by buying season tickets or rail/coach travel card beforehand can make a difference to how much you fork out for travel costs over the year.
With the savings that you make on your season ticket, you might be tempted to spend it all. Instead of doing that, put the money by so you’ll have the money you need for next year’s ticket without borrowing payday loans from a direct lender. Check out our other money saving tips on our blog.