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We know life as a student can be a little tough on the purse strings. For those living away from home at university, or commuting into college, travel is both a necessity and a big expense. Whilst there’s no such thing as an official student train ticket, there are plenty of ways to save money on train travel.  

Our guide to student train travel will show you money-saving tips including when to travel, when to book and how to make the most of student discounts. Read on to find out more and book your student train tickets. 

Cheap train tickets for students

There are a few different ways for students to save some extra pennies on train travel. We’ve put together our top tips for buying cheap train tickets below.

Get a Railcard

One of the simplest ways for students to save money on train travel is with a Railcard. Save up to 1/3 on your train tickets for a whole year for just £30 – trust us when we say this Railcard pays for itself in no time! The most popular option for students is the 16-25 Railcard, often referred to as the Young Persons Railcard. You can also now pick up the new 16-17 Saver if you're a younger student – for a whopping 50% discount on train services. If you haven’t already, get yourself one of these to save money on those journeys to university, college, work or home.

Book in advance

Train companies in the UK release Advance tickets for a journey 12 weeks before the departure date – usually at a much cheaper price than booking on the day. Snapping up one of these Advance tickets is a great way to save money (and be organised)! It’s also more likely you’ll be able to reserve a seat, perfect for long train journeys home or away during the holidays.

Find more details about Advance train tickets or sign up to our handy Ticket Alert service – let us know the date and route you’d like to book and we’ll ping you an email when Advance tickets go on sale.

Travel as a group

If you’re heading somewhere with friends (three to nine friends to be exact), you may be able to buy a GroupSave train ticket to save up to 34% on your UK train travel. It’s completely free to apply a GroupSave discount on eligible journeys when booking with us, all you have to do is hit ‘Add Railcard’ and pick GroupSave when booking train tickets as a group.

To find out more about how GroupSave works and the train companies that offer this discount, visit our dedicated GroupSave train tickets page.

Travel Off-Peak

In the UK, train tickets are generally cheaper outside of Peak hours (Monday to Friday rush hours), travelling during Off-Peak train times or even Super Off-peak times (between 10:00 and 15:30 and from 19:15 onwards Monday to Friday) is an easy way to cut the cost of train tickets.

When searching for train times in our Journey Planner, we’ll mark each route as either Peak, Off-Peak or Super Off-Peak.

Student train tickets to London

Heading to the capital for the weekend? Or maybe you’re at university or college in London? Travelling into London by train can be pricey at times, luckily there are a few extra ways for student to save money on tickets.

If you have a 16-25 Railcard, you can also apply the 1/3 off savings to Off-Peak Day Travelcards (subject to a minimum fare of £8.60) and Anytime Day Travelcards when brought as part of a train ticket to London from outside zones 1-6 (subject to a minimum fare of £18.60).

Even better, your 16-25 Railcard discount can also be applied to Oyster cards, they just need to be linked up.

Find out more about travelling to London by train on our dedicated trains to London page.

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