How you could limit the impact of the annual rail fare increase

The annual rise in train ticket prices comes into effect on Thursday Credit: Peter Byrne/PA

There are numerous ways of reducing the impact of Thursday’s rise in rail fares.

Here are some of the best ways of cutting the cost of train travel:

  • When should you travel?

Train companies sell cheaper off-peak tickets that can be used on quieter services.

  • When should you buy a ticket for a one-off journey?

If you are able to commit to a particular train on a particular date, huge savings are possible by buying an advance ticket.

Some operators put these on sale up to 24 weeks in advance and they are only withdrawn 40 minutes before departure, depending on availability.

  • Have you considered a season ticket?

If you are making the same journey at least three days a week, then a season ticket can be more cost effective.

Weekly, monthly and annual tickets are available. An annual pass offers 52 weeks’ travel for the price of 40.

The average increase over the years. Credit: PA Graphics
  • When should you renew your season ticket?

Passengers who renewed before Thursday avoided the latest price hike.

  • Can you get a railcard?

Many people can save a third off rail fares by getting a railcard.

Discount cards are available for a range of people, including those aged between 16 and 30, the disabled, people in the armed forces, people aged 60 and over, families and people travelling with another person such as a friend, partner or colleague.

  • Is it cheaper to travel in a group?

Groups of between three and nine adults can save a third off the price of off-peak tickets with most operators on certain journeys.

Buying tickets in advance can save money Credit: Ben Birchall/PA
  • What about split ticketing?

Rather than buying one train ticket from your departure station to your destination, it is sometimes cheaper to break the journey down into multiple tickets.

Several split ticketing websites exist to show passengers if they can save money this way.

  • Do you claim compensation?

Passengers can claim compensation if journeys are disrupted, depending on the operator and the length of the delay.