The new year is often a time for the tightening of purse strings, so it was no surprise January 2nd 2019 gave the UK another reason to watch their pennies.
In late 2018 the Rail Delivery Group announced rail fares would increase in 2019 by 3.1% on average across England and Wales and by almost 3% in Scotland. These increases have now been brought into effect and have resulted in the price of some annual season tickets increasing by £100.
While some fares in London will remain the same, thanks to Mayor Sadiq Khan’s decision to freeze TFL prices, the average price increase on Travelcards and price caps for London matches the average for England and Wales at 3.1%.
But fear not.
As with any incident in the travel industry, Click are here to help with expert advice and support. We’re well accustomed to fare increases, so we’ve deep dived into all the details of the 2019 rail increases to find out what you need to do to limit the damage on your travel spend. So if you’re concerned about how far your money will go on trains this year, read on for our top tips on how to achieve savings that will far outweigh the price increase.
Tip #1 Book in advance
The age-old way to save on travel tickets still stands. If you and your travellers can book ahead of time, you’re guaranteed to save money – typical savings by switching to Advance Tickets are up to around 50%. For many suppliers, Advance Tickets can be purchased up to an hour before departure time, so don’t assume you’re too late to book ahead.
Tip #2 Cancel unwanted tickets
Though terms vary on each ticket type, it’s always worth looking to see if you can claim a refund on any unwanted tickets. It’s something most people assume can’t be done, so be sure to read the small print.
Tip #3 Make the most of railcards
The new digital-only 26-30-year-old railcard is here to stay, following its initial success earlier in 2018. It costs £30 and will reduce your rail fares by a third, the same as the 16-25 railcard. Be sure to make use of these and the other railcards available to achieve all rate reductions possible.
Tip #4 Travel off peak
While not always convenient, travelling off-peak when you can could save you more than you realise. Roll out this thinking and aim to book meetings that allow for off-peak travel to further increase its viability.
Don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’d like more advice on how to reduce your travel spend but in the meantime, you can be a savvy spender when it comes to your train journeys.