With rail fares reported to be rising by 1.6% next year, we take a look at the ways you can avoid rail fare increases and how you can keep your business travel costs down all year round.
Here’s our 5 top tips to avoid rail fare increases
Delay your journey
One of the simplest ways to save money on your rail fare is to book a train after peak hours. Shifting your 11am meeting to 12pm could make all the difference, allowing you to board an off-peak train after 10am (depending on where you’re travelling to!) The difference in price between peak and off-peak trains can be almost double in some cases. In fact, even delaying a journey by 20 minutes can sometimes make huge savings – so it’s worth seeing if you can be more flexible!
Book in advance
We’ve all heard it before, but the value of booking train fares in advance can’t be understated. Encouraging teams to book their tickets in advance instead of leaving to the last minute can save as much as 65% (the difference between a next-day peak time fare, and a 4-week-in-advance peak time fare).
Swap your ticket
What commonly puts many travellers of booking an advance fare is the idea that they cannot be changed if your plans are altered. However, many advance tickets can actually be cancelled or changed, albeit subject to terms and conditions. It’s worth checking before buying a new ticket and can save your team money in the long run.
Introduce perks that benefit both
One way to make savings is to provide employee perks that benefit both parties. For example, you could provide younger employees with discounted rail cards such as the 16-25 railcard or the 26-30 railcard. This is a great perk that may help to attract new employees, whilst also allowing them to achieve great discounts on their business travel too. It’s win-win for both parties.
Finally, you can weigh up the true cost of allowing staff to buy full price fares. Ultimately, if you can’t be flexible, book in advance, or use discounts, your staff will have to travel for a higher price. Therefore it’s important to make sure you have a dynamic travel policy built into your travel booking platform. This means that staff can buy premium tickets provided they fall within a certain percentage range of the cheapest ticket. This will then pay for itself with enhanced morale, flexibility and productivity!
So there you have it. These are our top 4 tips to avoid rail fare increases in 2020 and beyond.