Get 50% off rail travel if you’re under 18.
Railcards are a great way to cut the price of train travel, and following the launch of the 26-30 Railcard last year, young people are getting another rail discount with the launch of a new railcard for 16 and 17-year-olds.
It’s called the 16-17 Saver Card and it’ll let users save 50% on most rail fares. It’s not free, but with train ticket so expensive it won’t take many journeys to recoup the cash paid and then start saving.
What you need to know about the 16-17 Saver card
Here’s the low-down:
Who can get a 16-17 Saver card
As long as you are aged 16 or 17 years old you can buy one of these new railcards. However the card will expire on your 18th birthday. You can order one online up to 14-days before your 16th birthday. You also need to be a UK resident.
How much will the 16-17 Saver railcard cost?
A card costs £30 for 12 months, or until you turn 18.
When can you use a 16-17 railcard?
You can start using the card on 2nd September 2019 and it’s valid all day, every day. It’s only valid for travel in England, Scotland and Wales.
You can only buy tickets for travel for dates where you’ll have a valid 16-17 Saver card. If it expires before you’re booked to travel you’ll need to renew it.
The card also won’t be valid for single or travelcard fares in London, though if you’re buying a ticket that starts at a National Rail station you can include a travelcard and get the discount. And if you live in a London borough you can get a Zip Oyster photocard which will save you money on London travel.
How much will you save?
You’ll save 50% on anytime, off-peak, advance and even season tickets. The later in particular could be a massive amount of cash if you travel to school or college via train. Plus season tickets bought with a 16-17 railcard are valid for four months after the holder turns 18.
How to get a 16-17 Saver railcard
The new railcards are available to buy from the 20th August. You can apply online which will provide you with a digital railcard that you’ll use on your phone. Or you can apply by phone on 0345 301 1656. You can request a physical card if you prefer. The cards won’t be available at stations.
You’ll need to have ID, such as a passport or driving licence, and a photo when you apply.
How is it different from the 16-25 railcard?
For a start you’ll save more money. with this new railcard. The 16-25 railcard (which used to be called the Young Person’s Railcard) only discounts fares by a third – and has a £12 minimum before 10am on weekdays.
However, since the 16-17 card expires when you turn 18, it might be better to buy a 16-25 railcard if you’re more than a few months beyond your 17th birthday as that card will last the full 12 months.
The best option really depends on how often you’ll travel by train in the run-up to turning 18 as the fare saving is bigger with the 16-17 card.
What about under 16s?
If you (or your kids) are under 16 then you’ll already be able to take advantage of 50% reductions on most fares as they can buy child tickets. Under fives can travel for free as long as they’re accompanied (though when wouldn’t they?).
There are a number of other railcards available for people of all ages. These cards are valid for 12 months and should save you a third on most fares if you fit the criteria.
- Friends & Family Railcard
- 18-25 Railcard
- 26-30 Railcard
- NetworkRailcard (South East trains only)
- Disabled Persons Railcard
- Senior Railcard
- Two Together Railcard
Offers to save more run regularly through the year, and I’ll update my travel deals page if I spot them.