Save Money on Train Fares by Train Hacking - AKA Split Ticketing
According to the 'Rail Delivery Group' there's approximately 55 million different fares combinations in the current train ticketing system and passengers are not always offered the cheapest fare automatically.
Split-ticketing is a simple money saving hack that can save you 100s of pounds a year on your train fares! We all love a loophole, but when it's a legitimate one, it makes the deal even sweeter. Here's all you need to know...
What is Train Hacking?
Train Hacking is another word for 'Split ticketing' which is when your overall journey is split into separate rail tickets - rather than just one ticket from departure to destination.
For example if you'e travelling from Cardiff to London it might be cheaper to get a ticket from Cardiff to Bristol and then a second ticket from Bristol to London than travelling direct - there's no limit to the amount of splits.
The only catch is the train you are travelling on stops at the stations named on your tickets, instead of just passing through them - you don't need to exit the train though.
Why Split Ticket Train Fares?
By buying separate tickets for different legs of your journey you can save a small fortune. You might think that buying more than one ticket is extra hassle but it's really not, most people are under the false impression that you would have to swap trains - you don't!
Is It Easy To Split Ticket Train Fares?
Absolutely! You can easily so it yourself, it won't take any more effort that purchasing a normal train ticket.
If you do get confused or simply can't be bothered, you can use websites like TrainTickets.com & splitticketing.co.uk who will do all of the work for you.
The websites are really simple to use, they sell advance and standard fares and don’t charge booking or processing fees - which can bump up the cost of your journey.
Is it Legal to Split Ticket Train Fares?
Again yes - It's allowed in the National Rail websites Conditions of Travel guidelines - the only requirement is that the train must call at all the stations you purchase tickets for.
Tips For Finding Split Tickets
1 - Buy Tickets in Advance
It's a myth that buying last minute fares will save you money, you can book up to 90 days in advance and this is when the best fares are found.
2 - Travel Off-peak
If you're flexible and can travel Off-peak that's always going to save you money. With Split ticketing, even if you can get one part of the journey in the off-peak period you're going to save money.
3 - Long Journeys are Best for Splitting
Short journeys aren't great for splitting, as the more stations you pass through and the longer the distance, the more split opportunities will arise.
3 - Make Route Changes if Possible
It won’t necessarily be the quickest way, but if you split up your journey along a less direct route there's usually more opportunities to split.
5 - Swap Train Providers
Different stations operate different train companies with different promotions exclusive to the routes, so if you're changing trains be sure to check out the other providers that might be available.
6 - Consider a Railcard
This is only applicable if you spend over £100 per year, otherwise it won't pay for itself. Railcards can cut a third off your train fares!
As always, if you know of any other money saving hacks that will save consumers cash on their train fares, please let us know in the comments below...
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