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What ticket should I buy?

What ticket should I buy?

When looking at rail fares online or on a ticket vending machine it’s easy to get confused by the sheer range and choice available. In reality, there are only four main types of tickets.

Anytime tickets

For a single or return journey.

Highest price but gives you the most flexibility – you can travel at any time, including during the peak.

‘Anytime Day Returns’ require you to travel out and back on the date is shown on the ticket. Those marked ‘Anytime Return’ allow you to return within one month of the date shown.

Off Peak (Super Off Peak)

For a single or return journey.

Cheaper tickets allowing travel on all services outside the peak ‘rush hours’. There is no single definition of peak and off-peak times – it can differ across the country. The simplest thing is to look online for the journey you want to make.

Super Off Peak tickets have more time restrictions than Off Peak tickets.

Day returns’ require you to travel out and back on the date shown on the ticket. Those that just say ‘Off Peak Return’ or Super Off Peak Return’ allow you to return within one month of the date shown.

Advance 

For a single journey.

Usually the cheapest but limited in number and not available for all journeys.

Advance fares are valid only on the date and train shown on the ticket.

Season tickets

Unlimited travel between the stations (or zones) specified.

You can buy a season ticket for seven days or any period between one month and a year.

Remember, flexibility comes at a cost: the more you want the higher the price you’ll tend to pay – don’t buy more than you need. If you are happy travelling at less busy times or to limit yourself to a particular train you can save money.

Next: when should I book my tickets?

 

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