Tube and train fares are about to increase, and New Year’s Day will be the last time that people can get the old prices.
Train journeys across the national rail network will be increased by 1.1 per cent from 2 January, officials have previously said. And Tube prices will go up by 1 per cent at the same time.
The increases mean that anyone needing to buy a travelcard should do so before 2 January, to lock in the old prices. Since some season tickets and travelcards can cost thousands of pounds, buying ahead of the price increase could give a substantial saving over waiting.
If you are looking to make the most of the cheaper prices, then buying an annual travelcard will allow you to pay the cheaper fare for the longest. But, depending on how often you travel, it might mean that you’re also paying out for journeys that you aren’t taking.
Whether you should buy a weekly, monthly, annual or just pay as you go will depend how often you are travelling. The precise differences in prices — and therefore how often you need to travel to make it worth it — depends on which zones you are looking at, but there are some rough ways of deciding which ticket to buy.
Roughly, if you are travelling five days or less a week, then pay as you go will be best. If you travel six or more days then getting a travelcard is probably better.
(If you travel irregularly or only at off-peak hours, then going pay as you go is probably better no matter how often you journey, since you can only get cheaper tickets when using pay as you go fares.)
If you tend to travel most days of most weeks, then getting a month travelcard is better. If you do that and are sure that you will continue to do so throughout the year, then getting a year’s travelcard is probably best — and, again, will allow you to keep the cheap fares for longest.
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