Split ticketing is the process of finding cheaper train journeys by buying splitting a journey up into more than one shorter journeys, which in some cases can, counter-intuitively, come out cheaper than buying a ticket for the whole journey.
The secret to it is finding the right combination of journeys to make up the overall journey, but with less cost.
For example, say you wanted to travel from Manchester Piccadilly Station to London Euston. You could buy a single ticket, but take a look at the stations that are found along the route; you might find that it’s actually cheaper to buy a single from Manchester to Birmingham, and another single from Birmingham to London.
Thankfully, you don’t have to try each and every combination of journeys, as there are several tools which will work it out for you. The first place to try is MoneySavingExpert.com, which has the snappily named TicketySplit tool. This is available as both a mobile friendly website (which also works great on your desktop computer) and a free iPhone app.
Firstly, choose your journey:
It will then show you the possible savings, if available:
Once you’ve found the money-saving tickets, you’re then prompted to buy the tickets from the station office; there’s no online buying at present, and the MoneySavingExpert tool does say that this trial version currently only covers same-day single fares. You’ll have to do your own calculations for advanced fares, although they’re hoping to add that functionality in the future, if there’s enough interest in the app.
MoneySavingExpert does point out a few things to look out for if you’re looking to save money on train fares with split ticketing;
- As with all split ticketing, the train MUST call at all the stations you buy tickets to and from. They could ask you to get off the train and back on it again, but we’ve only ever heard of this happening once.
- Beware split-ticketing at stations where you change trains. If your service is delayed and you’ve a time-specific ticket, you may need to pay extra.
- Always check ticket terms. Walk-up fares include anytime, off-peak and super of-peak fares. Off-peak and super off-peak may require you to travel at specific times of day, days of the week or on a specific route. Double-check the ticket’s conditions at the station.
There are a few other websites that will also help with split ticketing:
- Splityourticket.co.uk – quite a basic site and some of the information looks a little out of date. For example, a search for Leeds to London, shows some good savings on tickets, but the data is dated 1st February 2012.
- Split My Fare – another basic site which will suggest some splits but doesn’t seem to show what saving you’re making. One benefit is that you can buy tickets through RailEasy once you’ve found a split.
- Faresaver – gives a limited idea of the possible splits available from certain stations.
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