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Cheap Train & Coach Deals Streamline the cost of travel tickets with the latest discounts

Last updated: 25 Nov 2016
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This list of super-cheap train and coach deals will help you cut travel costs to the bone – sometimes to just £1 each way.

We check with companies' press offices that deals are open to all, but policies can change, so check before booking. These are just one-off promos - for top techniques to cut any journey’s cost, see Cheap Trains.


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Megabus logo'Free' Megabus one-way tickets (50p fee)*Great Britain services from 9 Jan-9 Feb. Tickets released daily

Released daily

Budget coach travel provider Megabus* is offering 1,000s of 'free' one-way tickets on 90+ routes across England, Scotland and Wales for travel between Mon 9 Jan and Thu 9 Feb. You'll just need to pay a 50p booking fee per transaction, not per ticket.

Megabus says there are ‘free’ seats randomly spread across all of its services (excluding journeys between Oxford and Cambridge and between Hull and Leeds), seven days a week, so it will involve a bit of trial and error to find the ‘free’ fares.

How to find the 'free' seats

Tickets are released 60 days before travel (regardless if you're booking or travelling on a weekend). As the ‘free’ tickets on popular routes are likely to be snapped up within hours of release, you’ll have to be quick off the mark and be flexible on times and dates to bag a 'free' fare.

After you've selected your route and travel dates, any coach with 'free' tickets available will show the price as '£0.00' (see image). For return trips, Megabus tickets are booked as two singles – if you're lucky, you could find a 'free' seat for both legs of your journey.

While 20,000 free tickets were originally included in the promotion, there were 8,000 remaining as of Tue 6 Dec. It sounds like a lot, but they can still take some finding as services will have a different number of 'free' seats available. Megabus says the tickets are released in batches of at least 550 every day, so if you can't find a 'free' ticket one day, don't give up, as one might appear later in the promo.When we checked a few routes on Mon 28 Nov, we found these 'free' fares:

  • London Victoria to Bristol, departing at 10am on Thu 11 Jan
  • Cardiff to Birmingham, departing at 6.35am on Tue 24 Jan
  • Newcastle to Edinburgh, departing at 4pm on Fri 27 Jan

If you can't find any 'free' seats, most routes start from £1, plus the 50p booking fee, but can cost a lot more depending on the route and when you're booking.

More info

This offer only applies to Megabus journeys and is not applicable for some Stagecoach operated services including Oxford Tube, Citylink, megabusplus, megatrain and megabusgold.

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Great Western Railway logoGWR 50% off train tickets for young personsDiscount on advance fares with a 16-25 Railcard. Book online

22 days left

If you have a 16-25 Railcard you can get 50% off advance single fares on Great Western Railway (formerly First Great Western) trains when booking online until 11.59pm on Sat 31 Dec – though you can book travel up to 31 Jan 2017.

A 16-25 Railcard gets 34% off most fares if you're under 26 (or over 26 and in full-time education), so this is an extra 16% boost to the usual discount.

Advance single fares are available on selected trains – these are marked with a red asterisk and 'online discount' (*online discount) at the train selection stage. These fares can be booked up to 6pm the day before travel, and are non-refundable.

You can only get this offer online via the link above, not at the station.

On Thu 27 Oct, we found these cheap fares using the offer:

  • Oxford to London Paddington, 10.01am on Sat 17 Dec – £2.95 (£5 without discount)
  • Exeter Central to Penzance, 11.52am on Fri 2 Dec – £4.20 (£8.50 without discount)
  • London Paddington to Bath Spa, 11.00am on Thu 8 Dec – £7.15 (£14.50 without discount)
  • London Paddington to Bristol Temple Meads, 7.58am on Sun 6 Nov – £9.90 (£20 without discount)

What if you don't have a 16-25 Railcard?

The 16-25 Railcard normally costs £30 for one year or £70 for three years, but occasionally it has codes to get it cheaper. If you have enough Tesco Clubcard points, you can exchange them to get 50% off a 16-25 Railcard, and NUS cardholders can get 12% off an annual card. See our Railcard deals page.

Megabus logoMegabus £2.50 advance returns*Incl coach, train & both. Ongoing offer. Limited avail

Book well ahead

If you go online to Megabus*, if you get lucky, you can book rail and coach travel across the UK and Europe from £1 each way (plus 50p booking fee, so from £2.50 return). We've spotted cheap fares for travel in December on some routes – it's worth checking back regularly.

It offers cheap tickets on coaches (Megabus), trains (Megatrain) and a combination of the two (Megaplusbus).

These £1 fares sell out quickly, so try to book months in advance where possible, be flexible with your dates and be prepared to travel at unsociable hours. Even if you miss out on £1 deals, we found many £10 and under singles which aren't bad. See the Megabus route map.

Example £1 each way fares

When we checked on Tue 25 Oct, £1 single tickets were available on routes from:


  • Manchester to London, departs 5.40pm Sun 11 Dec.
  • Birmingham to Bristol, departs 8.10am Wed 28 Dec.
  • Newcastle to Edinburgh, departs 4.05am Fri 9 Dec.

  • Megabusplus (bus and train split journey):

  • Hull to London via East Midlands Parkway (where you change to the train), departs 9.20am Fri 9 Dec.

  • How to book them

    The sub-£10 deals, if available, should appear as normal. Simply choose where you're travelling from and to and select "all" under "travelling by" to show results for both bus and train.

    Megabus has told us tickets are released for destinations in waves, usually about a month and a half before travel date, so keep checking back for later tickets if they're not available on your chosen route yet.


    • For safety, pay by credit card if over £100
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    Important! Don't miss ANY Railcard deals, vouchers & codes. Get MoneySavingExpert's free weekly email full of guides & loopholes

    Train Deals

    Southeastern logoSoutheastern £1 kids' off-peak ticketsOngoing offer. Book online/from ticket office with adult ticket


    Up to four kids (aged five to 15) can travel for £1 each return off-peak on Southeastern trains when accompanied by one adult. 

    Tickets can be booked in advance or on the day online or from ticket offices (not machines) and the child's fare will be automatically discounted. It's valid on open and day returns on mainline and high speed services, but not on journeys wholly within London.

    To book a £1 kids' ticket:

    • Child ticket must be booked at the same time as an adult with an off-peak, super off-peak or season ticket
    • Valid all weekend and bank holidays
    • Valid on journeys starting after 9.30am Mon-Fri, but trains into London must arrive after 10am

    Railcard discounts can be used for the adult ticket, but not the £1 kids' tickets. See the full T&Cs.

    To find more ways to get cheap train fares, see our Tickety Split tool and our Cheap train tickets guide.

    Southern logoSouthern train tickets from £5Buy an advance fare online until 6pm the night before travel


    Buy an advance ticket to travel with Southern Railway for less than £10 each way. Southern has released over a million tickets priced at £5, £8.50 and £12. What makes the offer even better is that it can be used with railcards, so a journey from London to Southampton could cost as little as £7 return.

    You can book tickets from 12 weeks in advance, up to 6pm the night before you travel. Tickets are released each week, so booking in advance gives you more of a chance to find the £5 seats.

    You'll need to register with Southern before buying tickets online and tickets can be collected two hours later at your chosen station. Offer excludes Gatwick Express services and the Oxted, Metro and Redhill routes. See the route map here.

    More info

    Advance tickets are only valid on the specific date and time of train you book. Tickets are non-refundable, except those that are bought online and not collected - see Money Back Guarantee for more info.

    Railcard logo12% off 16-25 railcards with NUS ExtraRailcard gets you a third off train travel


    If you're an NUS Extra card holder (cards cost £12 a year), you can get 12% off a 16-25 railcard online (norm £30).

    Log in via the specific link above to get your unique promotional code and as the terms and conditions state, enter the code at the checkout on the 16-25 Railcard website.

    Railcards can save you a third off train travel if you're eligible - that means if you're spending over £90, even on a one-off trip, it's worth getting one. 

    For more train tricks including how to split tickets to slash costs see the Cheap Trains guide.

    Oyster card logoFree/cheap Tube, bus & DLR travel for over 60sYou must live in London


    Two offers (one more publicised than the other) get over-60s living in London free or super cheap travel. 

    • Freedom Pass. FREE travel on London’s public transport. If you live in London and are the right age, the Freedom Pass gives you free travel on London’s public transport, including the Tube, buses, National Rail, DLR and Overground. 

      It's hard to state a definitive age for who's eligible - so use the Freedom Pass Calculator then apply online or go to your local Post Office.

    • All other over-60s. Pay £20 for nearly unlimited travel on Tube, buses and more. To fill the gap if you can’t get the Freedom Pass, the 60+ Oyster card gives you free travel most of the time on London’s public transport, including National Rail. When you turn 60, pay a one-off admin fee of £20 and get a card which lasts until you're eligible for a Freedom Pass.

    Forumite cwc1899 posted: "My husband who recently turned 60 has to get two buses each way to work, at a cost of £4.40 per day/ £22 per week/ £1,144 per year. This will save my husband a minimum of £1,124 per year and more as he can use it at any time." Add your 60+ travel saving to the Cheap UK Travel Deals discussion thread.

    MSE Rhiannon says:

    Both these are absolutely cracking deals so if you’re over 60 and living in London, it's a no-brainer to apply. Even if you only use the 60+ Oyster card for a year before reaching Freedom Pass age, you could save hundreds of pounds if you travel daily.

    More info

    Free travel with the Freedom Pass includes: 

    • Any time on TfL buses, Tube, DLR, tram, London Overground and after 9.30am on weekdays, all day at weekends on National Rail services (all day weekdays on some lines - see theFreedom Pass map for more).

    Free travel with the 60+ Oyster card includes the following services: 

    • Bus, tube, tram, DLR and London Overground: Any time
    • National Rail services: From 9.30am weekdays, any time on weekends and public holidays on most services, including to Dartford and Swanley. It's valid at any time on some National Rail services, see the 60+ Travel map for full details of where you can use the card. 

    It's not available for those who are eligible for an older or disabled person's Freedom Pass, who have a Veterans' Oyster photocard, are under 60 years old and those who don't live in a London borough. See the full T&Cs.

    Chiltern Railways logoChiltern Railways four travel when two payBook online, at the ticket office or over the phone

    Off-peak rtn

    Up to four adults can travel on a Groupsave ticket via Chiltern Railways but only two adults need to pay. It's only valid on off-peak returns (after 9.30am Mon-Fri) and off-peak day Travelcards.

    What's more, in addition to the four adults, up to four children aged 15 and under can travel for £1 each and under-5s go free. 

    This is an ongoing offer which can be booked online (you'll see the letter 'G' for the group booking), at your nearest station's ticket office or by calling 08456 005 165.

    There's no need to book in advance but you all need to be travelling at the same time. 

    More info

    This offer's not valid with any other discounts, including railcards. GroupSave isn't available to buy from stations run by London Underground.

    Greater Anglia logoGreater Anglia 50% off for second passengerBuy online or at ticket offices. Must travel together

    When two adults travel together on the Greater Anglia network on a Saturday, Sunday or bank holiday, the second passenger gets 50% off their ticket cost. So split it between you and you can each save 25%.

    You can get the offer online or by quoting the 'Duo tickets' offer at ticket offices.

    It's valid on super off-peak day returns only, on the Greater Anglia route south of Manningtree/Harwich and the Cambridge to London routes. London to Stansted Airport is also included. See the Greater Anglia route map.
    More info
    The offer is not available for journeys wholly within the area bounded by London Fare Zones 1-6 plus Theobalds Grove, Waltham Cross, Cheshunt, Broxbourne, Brentwood and Shenfield. Unfortunately, when there are engineering works taking place, you won't be able to get the discount.

    Northern Rail logoNorthern Rail 50% off for second passengerBuy online, from ticket offices or on-train conductor

    When two adults take a return journey on selected off-peak routes, the second passenger gets 50% off.

    So, split it between people and you can each save 25%. You can get this Northern Rail offer online or by quoting 'Duo' at ticket offices or to the on-train conductor.

    It's valid on an anytime day return or an off-peak day return ticket on the Northern Rail network, but see below for some exclusions.
    More info
    No other railcard discounts are available and unfortunately, when there are engineering works taking place, you won't be able to get the discount.

    For more info see the full T&Cs.

    Gatwick Express logoGatwick Express 35% off for 2 passengers*Special link gets 35% off anytime return ticket

    If you go via the Gatwick Express Web Duo* page you can get 35% off an anytime return ticket when two passengers travel together from London Victoria to Gatwick Airport.

    With an anytime return ticket, your return journey must be within a month of your outbound journey. These tickets usually cost £34.90 each, so you're getting them both for a total of £44.70 (usually £69.80).
    More info
    Return journeys must start from London Victoria (not valid for return journeys starting from Gatwick). Two adults must travel together at the same time in both directions. Excludes first class and kids. Can't be combined with railcards or other offers.

    Important! Don't miss ANY Railcard deals, vouchers & codes. Get MoneySavingExpert's free weekly email full of guides & loopholes

    RedSpottedHanky logoRedSpottedHanky train tickets via Clubcard*Covert £5 worth of points to £10 worth of train tickets

    £5 = £10
    By converting Tesco Clubcard points into Tesco Rewards*, every £5 is worth £10 on rail site RedSpottedHanky. Be sure to check for individual operators' sales, as RedSpottedHanky's system doesn't usually factor in sale prices.
    More info
    While worth 1p in store, Clubcard points values are up to quadrupled when converted to Tesco Rewards*, which include days out, magazine subscriptions, holidays etc; eg, Alton Towers ticket for £11.50 of points, or a year's Company mag subscription for £8.

    Other deals can be better value than going via RedSpottedHanky, but if you're buying them anyway, and don't need any other deals, it's a good conversion. Read more in the Loyalty Points Boosting guide.

    Railcard logoNational Railcards £15 in Tesco points*Get 50% off annual railcards by converting Clubcard points

    £15 = £30
    Get a 16-25, Family & Friends, Senior or Two Together railcard via Tesco Rewards* for £15 in Tesco Clubcard points instead of the usual £30. You'll be sent a code that can be used on the Railcard.

    What discounts do the railcards get you?

    16-25: A third off fares if you're aged 16 and over and under 26.
    Family & Friends: A third off adult and 60% off child fares, a minimum of one adult and one child, and a maximum of up to four adults and four children (age 5-15) can travel using one card.
    Senior: Those aged 60 and over get a third off rail fares.
    Two Together: A third off rail fares for two named adults when they travel together.

    More info
    While worth 1p in store, Clubcard points values are up to quadrupled when converted to Tesco Rewards*, which include days out, magazine subscriptions, holidays etc.

    Other deals can be better value than the railcards but if you're buying them anyway, and don't need any other deals, it's a good conversion. Read more in the Loyalty Points Boosting guide. Also, check the railcard site for restrictions and to ensure you're eligible before exchanging your vouchers.

    Southern logoSouthern £18ish unlimited day travelBuy online and hop on & off the entire network for the day

    Unltd off-peak
    If you buy a £17.90 Southern Railway DaySave ticket online you'll get unlimited off-peak travel across the entire network.

    You'll need to register with Southern before buying tickets and you must buy at least three days in advance of travel (collect tickets at station) or five days in advance (tickets will be posted).

    If there are three or four of you travelling together, you can get the DaySave ticket for £35.80 in total.
    More info
    As it's an off-peak ticket valid for one day, you can travel any time including weekends and bank holidays. It can also be used on weekdays, but not before 10am or between 4.15pm-7.15pm when boarding trains from East Croydon and London stations such as Victoria, London Bridge and Clapham Junction.

    Railcards and other discounts can't be used with this offer and it excludes Gatwick Express services. Tickets can't be refunded or exchanged.

    Important! Don't miss ANY Railcard deals, vouchers & codes. Get MoneySavingExpert's free weekly email full of guides & loopholes

    Transpennine logoFirst TransPennine 50% off with 16-25 RailcardValid on advanced non-refundable fares

    Anyone with a 16-25 Railcard can get 50% off advanced fares when they book through the TransPennine Express website before 6pm the day prior to travel.

    This beats the usual 34% discount, however it's worth noting tickets are non-refundable.

    If you download the app you can get the discount by using the code TPESTUDENT.
    More info
    Tickets are non-refundable, and only valid on the date and train service booked.

    Virgin Trains East Coast logoEast Coast 25% off tickets for groupsOnline only

    Groups of 3-9
    If you book online via this East Coast link you'll get 25% off advance standard and first class tickets for groups of three to nine people.
    More info
    Subject to availability. Can't be used with other offers, including railcards. Excludes the 9.52am between Aberdeen and Newcastle on Fridays.

    Gatwick Express logoGatwick Express 10% off returns*Online offer for adult and child tickets

    Book online at Gatwick Express* for "anytime" and "day" returns on the non-stop London Victoria-Gatwick Airport route. The discount will be applied automatically. See full T&Cs

    You can book for travel up to 12 weeks in advance and your ticket can be sent via email and/or to your mobile (though not if you're returning the same day). There's no booking fee.

    We've heard print at home tickets sometimes state the return date as being the same as the outward journey. Gatwick Express has said your outward and return journeys must be within one calendar month of the date on your ticket.
    More info
    Not valid with other online discounts. Your inbound journey must be made within 30 days of your outbound journey.

    Gatwick Express logoGatwick Express 10% off singles*Online offer for adult and child tickets

    If you book online at Gatwick Express* for the non-stop London Victoria-Gatwick Airport route you can get 10% off. The discount will be applied automatically. You can book for travel up to three months in advance and your ticket can be sent via email and/or to your mobile. There's no booking fee.
    More info
    Can't be used with other online offers. Excludes First Class Anytime return. Valid on both adult and child tickets.

    Important! Don't miss ANY Railcard deals, vouchers & codes. Get MoneySavingExpert's free weekly email full of guides & loopholes

    CrossCountry trains logo10% off CrossCountry trainsAvailable for student & apprentice NUS Extra holders

    Advance tickets
    Students and apprentices who have an NUS Extra card can get an extra 10% off selected CrossCountry advance tickets (the applicable tickets will show up in green in a search).

    What's more, this offer is valid with the 16-25 railcard discount.

    Important! Don't miss ANY Railcard deals, vouchers & codes. Get MoneySavingExpert's free weekly email full of guides & loopholes

    Bus & Coach Deals

    Plusbus logoPlusbus bus & tram travel from £2 per dayUnlimited travel in 290 towns/cities. Extra 1/3 off with railcard

    Eng, Scot, Wales

    If you're travelling by train in England, Scotland or Wales, Plusbus gives you unlimited day travel by bus or tram in the town or city you're travelling to. Plusbus day tickets for over 290 locations can be bought from £2 (most are between £2.50 and £4) if you buy online from one of the rail firms listed on the Plusbus site or at the station.

    You can buy Plusbus tickets for the start of your journey or the end of it, or both. See the Plusbus route map for a full list of where you can use the cheap tickets.

    Railcard holders can get an extra third off their day fare. Some restrictions apply, check 'more info' for the details.

    More info
    • Network Railcards & Gold Cards are valid in the South East of England Mon-Fri after 10am, weekend anytime.
    • Two Together Railcards valid Mon-Fri after 9.30am, weekend anytime. Two tickets must be bought.
    • 16-25 & HM Forces Railcards valid at all times.
    • Senior Railcards valid after the morning peak hours (varies by location) Mon-Fri in the South East of England  and at all times outside of the South East.
    • Disabled Railcards valid at all times, including peak periods.
    • Family & Friends Railcards valid after the morning peak hours (varies by location) Mon-Fri in the South East of England  and at all times outside of the South East.

    Arriva Bus logoEarn/spend loyalty points on Arriva busesFor routes outside of London. Valid on season tickets only

    Book any time
    You can now earn loyalty points when you buy Arriva bus season tickets or Smartrider smart cards via loyalty points scheme MyIce. You'll earn 3 Ice points for every £2 you spend. Each Ice point is worth 1p, which can be spent on further season tickets.

    The season tickets and smartcards are sent out by post or can be collected from electronic ticket machines. Postage cost depends on method chosen.
    More info
    Your first 60 ICE points will be worth double at 2p.

    Oxford Tube logoOxford Tube to London from £18 returnIncl Hillingdon, Shep Bush, N'ing Hill, Marble Arch & Victoria

    Get single adult coach tickets between London and Oxford for £15 (£18rtn), single student and over-60s tickets for £11 (£14 rtn) or under-16s for £7.50 (£9rtns) on the Oxford Tube Coach service. Pickups and drops-offs are from London, Hillingdon, Lewknor and Oxford.

    You can buy tickets and passes for a month in advance from the driver and the service's full range of tickets can be bought on the Oxford Tube website, by phone or from the Gloucester Green travel shop.

    Important! Don't miss ANY Railcard deals, vouchers & codes. Get MoneySavingExpert's free weekly email full of guides & loopholes

    Megabus logoDouble Clubcard points on Megabus*Swap points for double rewards. All routes included

    Book any time
    Grab Megabus tickets using Tesco Clubcard vouchers*. Every £5 in vouchers gets you £10 worth of rewards, in the form of four £2.50 token codes. Valid on all routes, including trips to Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Boulogne and Megatrain routes. There's a 50p booking fee payable by card.

    Easybus logoEasybus airport travel from £2 returnIncl Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton to London

    Airport shuttle
    Cheap bus operator Easybus offers journeys from central and west London to Heathrow, Gatwick, Stansted and Luton airports from £2 return.

    You don't have to be flying to use the service, to book, just visit the Easybus website or buy at the departure point.
    More info
    Please note that from 01/10/14 Easybus will accept payment on debit or credit card only.

    Terravision logoLiverpool Airport to Manchester for £12 rtn*Routes incl Liverpool John Lennon Airport - Man city centre

    Airport shuttle
    Low-cost city shuttle bus company Terravision* offers fares between Liverpool John Lennon Airport and Manchester city centre for £8 one way or £12 return. To book, just visit the Terravision* website.

    Important! Don't miss ANY Railcard deals, vouchers & codes. Get MoneySavingExpert's free weekly email full of guides & loopholes

    use the money mantras

    Before spending, use Martin's Mantras. If you answer 'NO' to any, Don't buy!

    Skint? ask:
    • Do I need it?
    • Can I afford it?
    not skint? ask:
    • Will I use it?
    • Is it worth it?
    Section 75

    Free protection for all shopping!

    There's a little-known piece of legislation that turns any credit card into a financial self-defence superhero. 'Section 75' of the Consumer Credit Act means your plastic must protect anything you buy for more than £100 for free, so if there's a problem or the company goes bust, you can still get your money back.

    And although Section 75 doesn't apply to debit cards, there is something else to fall back on if you've paid using a debit card, or used a credit card for a purchase under £100. Known as Chargeback, this is part of banks' and card companies' internal rules and not a legal requirement. Read full details of Section 75 or Chargeback, plus how to claim, in our guides.

    If a link has a * by it, that means it is an affiliated link and therefore it helps MoneySavingExpert stay free to use, as it is tracked to us. If you go through it, it can sometimes result in a payment or benefit to the site.

    You shouldn't notice any difference and the link will never negatively impact the product. Plus the editorial line (the things we write) is NEVER impacted by these links. We aim to look at all available products. If it isn't possible to get an affiliate link for the top deal, it is still included in exactly the same way, just with a non-paying link. For more details, read How This Site Is Financed.

    For the sake of transparency, so you can check there's no difference, here are duplicate versions of the * links that don't help Gatwick Express Gatwick Express Gatwick Express Megabus Megabus Megabus Railcard RedSpottedHanky Terravision