How to get train deals, coach bargains and cheaper petrol

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cut travel costs

Discover how you can cut your travel costs – whether you’re travelling by car, coach or train!

Cut the cost of travelling by car

  • cut travel costs carFind the cheapest petrol price. Sign up to PetrolPrices.com – it’s free to join and it’ll find you the cheapest petrol station in your area. All you have to do is type in your postcode and away you go.
  • Make the most of your smartphone. If you’ve got an iPhone, it’s worth downloading the Fuel Smart UK app, which shows you both where your nearest petrol stations are, and what their fuel prices are. It costs 69p but the app will probably pay for itself the next time you fill up.
  • Nab a cheap parking spot. Before you head out, make sure you check free website Parkopedia. Enter the postcode or destination of where you’re travelling to, and it will list all the parking spots, their opening times and what they charge. Always worth checking before you leave, so you don’t get ripped off!
  • See if you can get a liftshare. Whether you need a lift to work or to an out of town theme park – you might be able to find someone else going your way who’ll give you a lift. Have a look at liftshare.com and see if you can find a liftshare companion. It saves thousands of people petrol, time and money every day.
  • Make the most of petrol promotions. Normally run by supermarkets (which are often cheapest for petrol anyway) it makes sense to make the most of their fuel deals.
  • 10p per litre off fuel at Sainsbury’s. From Thursday 29 August, Sainsbury’s are offering 10p/litre off fuel when you spend £60 or more in-store or online. They are handing out these petrol vouchers until 4 September, and the vouchers are valid for two weeks from the date of issue. If you spend £120 or more, remember to split your purchases into two lots of £60 – that way you get twice as many vouchers!
  • 5p per litre off fuel from BP. BP offer a 5p per litre discount on fuel if you buy any two Coke, Powerade, Cadbury, Maynards or Bassetts products from a BP service station. This offer applies to a maximum of 100 litres of BP petrol or diesel, and runs until 2 September 2013. Find your nearest BP service station here.
  • Consider getting a cashback credit card. If you spend a lot of money on petrol, it’s worth considering getting a credit card that rewards you every time you top up the car with fuel. Santander’s 123 cashback card gives you 3% cashback on petrol, for example. Compare credit cards here. (Remember that you need a good credit rating to get many cards – see our credit rating guide for details).
  • Find discount car parts. For cheap yet reliable replacement car parts, it’s well worth checking out Autotrader’s used car parts finder – it could save you a fair bit of money next time you need to replace your car’s gearbox, bumper, wheels or even the engine.
  • Drive smart and increase your fuel efficiency. Follow our 10 tips to cutting your motoring costs and you could increase your fuel efficiency by over 10% by following some simple steps.

Cut the cost of travelling by train

  • train travelGet in early. The best time to buy your tickets is 12 weeks in advance (this is because all rail operators must set their timetables 12 weeks in advance by law). However remember that even booking the night before you travel can save you quite a bit compared to buying tickets at the station.
  • Set up automatic alerts for cheap tickets. The Trainline has a great ‘ticket alert’ feature which alerts you by email the moment cheap tickets for a particular journey becomes available.
  • Have a look at Megabus. They do both train and coach tickets from just £1 if you book in advance. They don’t cover all routes but their website is definitely worth a look whenever you’re looking to get tickets – they’re often cheaper than anywhere else.
  • Use your Clubcard. If you have a Tesco Clubcard, you can double the value of your Clubcard points by exchanging them for rail travel vouchers. For every £5 of Clubcard vouchers, you can get £10 to spend at train ticket website Redspottedhanky.com. See the full details here.
  • Don’t forget railcards. You can get a third off your rail fares by getting a railcard for just £30 a year (you can often make back the cost of the railcard in one journey!) With a Family and Friends Railcard, adults get a third of their tickets, while kids get 60% off theirs.  TOP TIP: Get a railcard for £15 instead of £30 by using a Tesco Clubcard and buying it through Tesco Rewards.
  • Consider getting a cashback card. Just like it does with petrol, Santander’s 123 cashback card gives you 3% cashback on National Rail and TFL journeys. Compare credit cards here. (Remember that you need a good credit rating to get many cards – see our credit rating guide for details).
  • Check out the top 10 tips to cutting your train fare. Looking to save more on your train tickets? Make sure you check out our full 10 point guide to getting cheaper train tickets.

Current train network deals:

Related articles

  • First Capital Connect – 20% off super off-peak tickets. You can get at least 20% off fares on First Capital Connect services any time on Saturday or Sunday (or Bank Holiday) with a super off-peak ticket.  This discount is applied automatically online or at the ticket office (don’t forget to use a railcard to get an even cheaper ticket).
  • East Coast – 33% off single tickets for groups. If you’re travelling in a group of between three to nine people, you can get 33% off advance single tickets here.
  • Southeastern – kids travel for a quid. Up to four kids (aged five-15) can travel for £1 each with Southeastern when travelling with an adult with a valid off-peak ticket. The adult ticket can be bought online – but the kids’ tickets must be bought at the station. Journeys can’t start and end in London zones 1-6 – journeys must start or end outside that area of London.
  • Northern Rail – 50% off for second passenger. When two adults take a return journey on selected off-peak routes, the second passenger gets 50% off. You can get this offer online or by quoting ‘Duo tickets offer’ at the ticket office.
  • Greater Anglia – 50% off for second passenger. When two adults travel together on a Saturday or Sunday, the second passenger gets 50% off their ticket cost. (Valid on super off-peak returns only). You can get the offer online or by quoting  ‘Duo tickets offer’ at the ticket office.

Cut the cost of travelling by coach

  • Fares from just £1. Megabus do coach tickets from just £1 if you book in advance. (They even have sleeper coaches going overnight from London to Glasgow for as little as £15).
  • Fares from £5 or less. National Express has plenty of cheap (one-way) fares – many £6 or less – on offer at the moment.
  • £19 fares to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam. Eurolines do tickets from London Victoria to Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam from £29. You usually need to do a bit of searching to bag the cheapest fares (the cheapest tickets tend to be Monday-Thursday and on Saturdays).
  • Coach travel to Gatwick, Stansted and Luton airports from just £4 return. Bargain coach operator Easybus (from the people behind Easyjet) offer fantastic rates if you need to get to Gatwick, Stansted or Luton airports (from £2 each way). Bear in mind their services only run from pickup points in central and west London.

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