Cheaper Train Travel – Top Tips on Split Ticketing
You’re travelling by train. You buy a ticket, moan a bit about the cost, job done.
Instead of buying one ticket and having a whinge about how much wedge you’ve had to hand over, what about buying two, or even three, tickets for the same journey and saving money?
It sounds crazy but ticket-splitting – or fare-splitting – can save you a small fortune on travelling.
Here’s how it works:
- Split ticketing (or ticket-splitting) is where instead of having one ticket to take you from your departure point to your destination, the journey is broken down – or split – into separate legs, with a ticket for each.
- Depending on the length of your journey, you could get 2, 3, or even 4 tickets.
- The train must stop at all the destinations you are breaking your journey at, but you don’t have to get off.
- For example, if you want to get from London to Manchester, it might work out cheaper to get a ticket from London to Stoke-on-Trent, and then a second ticket from Stoke-on-Trent to Manchester.
- You can ticket-split on single and return journeys.
- Ticket-splitting works in the same way as ordinary tickets on the National Rail network, so you are still eligible for discounts when booking with a railcard.
- You can’t request fare-splitting at the ticket machine at stations.
- Although the best savings are to be found on journeys going across country, ticket-splitting savings are available on direct routes.
- It’s not limited to particular train companies or specific journeys.
- Ticket-splitting works better if you don’t have to commit to travelling at a certain time or date. The more flexible you are, the greater the savings.
- Try and plan your journey about seven days in advance if you can.
There are risks involved:
- You must be on the specific train you’ve booked at the specific time.
- If you’re journey requires changing trains, and the one you are on is delayed causing you to miss the connection, you cannot use your ticket on a later train.
- Off-peak and super off-peak tickets can only be used at certain times of the day. So again, if your train is delayed and that takes you outside the off-peak times, your ongoing tickets may be invalid.
- Research shows that ticket-splitting can save you as much as 90% of your travel costs, especially on long-distance journeys.
How to get on board:
- Train companies don’t actively promote ticket-splitting as a cheaper way to travel so you need to do your homework to get the best deals.
- It is time-consuming and there’s a bit of leg-work (from the comfort of your couch) involved but you could save hundreds of pounds, depending on the journey you’re planning to make.
- There are plenty of ticket-splitting sites online that can help plot your journey.
- Even if you’re booking on the day of travel, ticket-splitting can still save you money.
- Ticket-splitting is completely legal provided the train stops at the point where you split your fare. So, what are you waiting for!