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If you're heading off on any long car journeys – and even if you're not – it could be worth getting your car checked over. Drive to any Halfords* store or Halfords Autocentre, and you can ask for a free six-point summer car check. We've asked Halfords when it's valid until, but it's yet to get back to us. We'll let you know here when we know more.
Halfords values it at about £15 and it's available in 700+ locations nationwide.
What's covered by the Halfords car check?
- Light bulbs
- Windscreen wipers
- Oil levels
- Screenwash levels (topped up for free)
- Air conditioning
Halfords says it'll take 15 minutes and you don't need to book in advance – just turn up and speak to a member of staff. Be warned... they may try to sell to you, but there's no obligation to buy anything or act on any advice you're given. These checks are completely free.
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If your train season ticket is an Annual Gold Card (or comes with one), you can get extra discounts you don’t get with a standard season ticket. One of the biggest perks is being able to buy a railcard for just £10 (up to 66% off the normal price) for yourself or someone else.
This discount only works for those in parts of the UK where Gold Cards are issued (most of the south of England and West Midlands). But if that’s you, it can be a winner. Railcards usually give a third off most fares – see full info on what each railcard gets you.
How do I get a Gold Card?
To do this, you'll need to have an Annual Gold Card – this will either be your actual season ticket or come with it. You should have been given one automatically if you’ve bought a year's season ticket or Travelcard (not weekly or monthly) from one of 600+ stations on this Annual Gold Card area map, and at least one of the stations on your ticket falls within the same area.
This won’t work in much of the UK, but the Gold Card area includes a large part of the south of England and West Midlands – including Bournemouth, Brighton, Coventry, Norwich and London stations.
Which railcards can I get for £10?
You can choose from the major national railcards – 16-25, Family & Friends, Two Together, Senior, Network Railcard for London and the south of England (all norm £30) and Disabled Persons Railcard (norm £20). These cards get you a third off most journeys – see all railcard types.
You can get one annual railcard for £10 at any time during the validity of your Annual Gold Card.
Don't have a Gold Card? You can still get a £10 railcard
The person buying the railcard doesn’t have to be the person who ends up using it.
So if a friend or family member who commutes has a Gold Card, just ask them to buy the £10 railcard for you if they don't need it, and they can follow the steps below. Check the Railcard* website to make sure you're eligible beforehand, and provide the Gold Card holder with any photos or evidence of eligibility required.
You can only buy the £10 railcard from a station
If you bought your annual season ticket from a train station, you'll need to purchase your railcard from that particular station. If you bought it online, then you can go to your nearest station. The only exception is if you're getting a Disabled Persons Railcard – see 'More info' below.
Let the staff member know you want to purchase a £10 railcard with your Gold Card and fill in the application they give you. Some railcards such as 16-25 and Senior require photos and evidence of eligibility so have that with you, and you'll need to show your Gold Card.
If you're buying a railcard for someone else, Railcard says the person you're buying the railcard for doesn't need to be present.
Another way to get a discount on railcards
- If you have a Tesco Clubcard with enough points, you could use your Clubcard vouchers to get a one-year railcard for £10 in vouchers (£7 for the Disabled Persons Railcard). See National Railcards for £10 in Tesco points.
What other discounts does an Annual Gold Card get?
As long as you're travelling within the Annual Gold Card area, your Gold Card essentially gives you most of the same discounts on rail fares as all the major railcards combined, as in addition to being your season ticket for commuting, it gets you:
- 34% off standard and first class off-peak train fares for you and up to three people travelling with you.
- 60% off for up to four kids (5-15 years old) travelling with you.
- One-third off Oyster pay-as-you-go, Anytime Day Travelcards, and PLUSBUS day tickets within the Network Railcard area.
These discounts can't be used before 9.30am Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays). See full terms and conditions.
What about the Disabled Persons Railcard?
You can't get a £10 Disabled Persons Railcard at a station. You'll need to either call the Disabled Persons Railcard office on 0345 605 0525 or post a completed application form, evidence of eligibility, and a copy of the front and back of your Gold Card to: Disabled Persons Railcard office, PO Box 6613, Arbroath DD11 9AN. See Disabled Persons Railcard for full info on this card.
Book any time
Grab Megabus tickets using Tesco Clubcard vouchers*. Every £5 in vouchers gets you £15 worth of rewards. Valid on all routes, including trips to Paris, Brussels, Amsterdam and Boulogne and Megatrain routes. There's a £1 booking fee payable by card.
Earn/spend loyalty points on Arriva buses
For routes outside of London. Valid on season tickets onlyBook any timeYou 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.
Your first 60 ICE points will be worth double at 2p.
You can get 25% off train tickets when two adults take a day return journey on selected off-peak routes on the Northern Rail network.
Book online or by quoting 'Duo' at the ticket office – see the full list of stations offering Duo tickets.
Unfortunately you can't combine this offer with railcard or child discounts.