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  • Follow MSE Deals on Facebook and Twitter for Black Friday updates, and see our Black Friday 2018 Guide for all our predictions, info and analysis.

    Travelling by train with the family can be costly, but if you have a railcard, you could be on track for a decent saving.

    Railcard has confirmed that for Black Friday, you'll be able to get 20% off a one-year Family & Friends Railcard from 0.01am on Fri 23 Nov until 11.59pm on Tue 27 Nov via this Family & Friends Railcard* link.

    It means you can get the one-year railcard for £24 instead of the usual £30. The card gives you a third off most adult rail fares and 60% off for kids when you travel together.

    As a Black Friday deal, this isn't particularly impressive as it offers 20% off the Family & Friends Railcard a few times a year, and past Black Friday promotions have offered as much as £10 off. But of course, if you're wanting this railcard or it's time to renew, then any discount is good to have. The railcard itself can save you a lot of money in the long run – even if you don’t use the train that often, just one rail trip costing over £72 can save you more than the £24 you'll have paid for the railcard.

    How the railcard works:

    • Up to four adults aged 16 and over can get one-third off most rail fares (see below for restrictions) when travelling together with up to four children aged 5-15, who will get 60% off their fares. Under-5s go free anyway.
    • Two adults can be named on the card and at least one must be travelling whenever it's used.
    • You don't need to be related – so it's not just for families, but also friends who can share a card and each benefit from the discount, just as long as you travel with at least one child.

    The Family & Friends Railcard can't be used on trains that depart before 9.30am weekdays, except public holidays, for journeys wholly within the London and South East Network Railcard area (see map) – outside this area there is no time restriction.

    For the full terms, see Family & Friends Railcard*. You can't get this offer at train stations, only online.

    It's worth noting, that you can get a three-year railcard for £70, so if you can afford it, then even with the 20% discount on a one-year railcard, it's slightly cheaper in the long run to buy a three-year one if you'll use it (and if you or family members will still be eligible).

    Other ways to get a discount on this and other railcards

    For more deals and analysis, see our full guide to Black Friday 2018.

    • Although railcards are sent via First Class post, you're best allowing up to five working days for delivery. Railcards are not valid in Northern Ireland.

  • If you're off on a long car journey – 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 five-point winter car check until Mon 4 Mar 2019.

    The offer's available at 700+ locations nationwide and Halfords says it's worth £15 - though in reality, it's a year-round freebie, branded winter or summer depending on the time.

    What's covered by the Halfords free car check?

    • Battery 
    • Light bulbs 
    • Windscreen wipers
    • Oil levels 
    • Screenwash levels (topped up for free)

    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.

  • 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.

    Other ways to get a discount on railcards

    • 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.

  • By converting Tesco Clubcard points into Tesco Rewards*, every £5 is worth £15 on rail site RedSpottedHanky. Be sure to check for individual operators' sales, as RedSpottedHanky's system doesn't usually factor in sale prices.
  • 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 50p booking fee payable by card.