There are plenty of great deals to be had on train fares. We’ve put together this list of steps to help you find cheap train tickets and low-cost fares.
Cheap fares are usually released by train operators around 12 weeks in advance of the journey, and are then managed on a regular basis in line with demand. This can sometimes mean increasing the quotas on trains or reducing them, which can make ticket prices rise. If you know your travel dates, it's a good idea to start searching for tickets as soon as you can, to see what's available. Just remember the longer you leave it until you book your train tickets, the more expensive they tend to be.
If possible, try searching for cheaper fares for different dates and times. There may be a greater allocation of cheaper tickets still available on different dates and times, so it’s always worth having a good look.
Some journeys have competition between operators, meaning there are sometimes cheaper fares on different routes, or where on board service is less extensive. You can check all routes by using our train ticket search at the side of the page.
Whenever you can, avoid travelling at peak times. This means trains arriving before 0930 or 1000 and leaving between 1500 and 1900). Train operators tend to reduce their cheap train ticket quota in these busy periods.
These days tend to attract higher prices with weekend travellers pushing up the prices.
You could make great savings on your rail travel with a railcard, but railcards are only available to people who meet certain criteria.
To find the railcard that’s right for you (and potentially make big savings) take a look at our handy rail card guide.
It’s sometimes cheaper to book journeys that don’t go through London. If it’s possible, always compare fare prices of journeys going through London and journeys avoiding London. There can be a big difference.
Good luck finding cheap tickets for your rail journey. If you have any tips of your own for finding the best deals on tickets, please let us know.
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