From booking in advance to travelling at off-peak times there are lots of ways you could be saving money on train tickets. 

With thousands of people across the UK reliant on trains to get from point A to point B, and regulated rail fares, as well as the general cost of living on the rise, tips on saving money can be vital. 

Consumer site Which? have you covered - they have come up with 12 tips that will assist you in finding the cheapest train tickets available ahead of your next journey.

News Shopper: Did you know you can get cash back on some train tickets?Did you know you can get cash back on some train tickets? (Image: PA)

12 tips to help you find the cheapest train ticket

Book in advance

According to Which? there are a set number of reduced-price, advance tickets allocated to specific train services and sold on a first-come, first-served basis.

Advance fares are typically available to buy up to 12 weeks before you travel, but there are exceptions so it is always worth checking for those tickets.

While advance seats are traditionally sold up to the day before travel, some rail operators now sell advance tickets on the day, available up to 10 minutes before departure.

Which? added: "You can ensure you're first in line for the cheapest advance fares by visiting the National Rail website, which has future release dates for advance bookings and the latest time you can book.

"What's more, some train companies, including Avanti West Coast, CrossCountry and LNER offer ticket-alert emails, meaning you'll be the first to hear about any new ticket releases. You can also sign up for these releases from Trainline."

News Shopper: Traveling at off-peak times and splitting your ticket can save you money in some cases.Traveling at off-peak times and splitting your ticket can save you money in some cases. (Image: PA)

Travel off-peak

Off-peak and super off-peak tickets refer to quieter periods on timetables. 

They are not as cheap as advance fares, but they give passengers more flexibility and help you avoid the high cost of fully flexible anytime tickets.

Which? said train companies can set their own peak and off-peak hours within a window defined by the Department for Transport.

Split your ticket

Which? said: "Instead of buying one single 'through' ticket for your journey – same journey, same seat, no changes – you can buy multiple tickets to cover its component parts.

"This ticketing hack allows you to pick up the cheapest fares for different parts of your route, capitalising on advance tickets and off-peak fare changes.

"The only rule is that your train must stop at the stations named on your ticket."

Once you know what journey to ask for, you can buy these tickets online or at the station.

News Shopper: Pembrokeshire, The Cotswold line and Devon and Cornwall all have their own railcard.Pembrokeshire, The Cotswold line and Devon and Cornwall all have their own railcard. (Image: Transport for Wales)

Get cashback on your ticket purchases

According to Which? a number of train companies and ticket websites are listed on cashback websites such as Quidco and TopCashback. 

If you buy your train ticket on a cashback website, you should get a small percentage of each purchase you make.

Which? said to also consider purchasing tickets through the Virgin Trains Ticketing app, where you can book for journeys across the UK and earn points for every £1 spent if you're a Virgin Red Member.

Virgin Red is free to sign up to and points can be swapped for Greggs sausage rolls, concert tickets and Virgin Atlantic flights.

Get a national Railcard

Which? said: "If you're eligible for a Railcard and make a few off-peak train journeys each year, the amount you save will mean it more than pays for itself.

"Most Railcards cost £30 for a year, and get you a third off both standard and first-class tickets.

"Notable exceptions are the Disabled Persons Railcard, which costs £20 a year for one-third off tickets, and the 16-17 Saver, which offers 50% off for £30."

News Shopper: According to Which? regulated rail fares have gone up by 5.9% in England and Wales and an average of 7% in Northern Ireland. According to Which? regulated rail fares have gone up by 5.9% in England and Wales and an average of 7% in Northern Ireland. (Image: PA)

Look for a regional Railcard

These are less well-known national Railcards available that are usually cheaper.

Which? said: "They also give sizeable discounts, typically between a third and 50%, but only for trips within certain areas."

These railcards include:

  • Cambrian Railcard
  • Cotswold Line Railcard
  • Dales Railcard
  • Devon & Cornwall Railcard
  • Esk Valley Railcard
  • Highland Railcard
  • Pembrokeshire Railcard
  • Valleys Senior Railcard
  • Valleys Student Railcard

You can find more details on the relevant rail operator's website or at local train stations.

Use season tickets

Which? said: "If you're a regular commuter, an annual season ticket will almost certainly be your cheapest option.

"There are also weekly and monthly season tickets, which tend to work out cheaper if you're making multiple repeat journeys over those periods.

"Season tickets covering more than one month but less than a year are also available."

Try a flexi season ticket

Which said: "These are meant to save passengers at least 20%, although the savings may be less on some routes."

Flexi season tickets are only available in England, but other networks offer discounts for those only travelling into work a few days a week.

Travel in groups

Train companies can offer a discount if you're travelling in a group.

Which? said: "Groups of three to nine adults can save one third on off-peak tickets when they travel together through the GroupSave discount."

Check price caps vs travelcards

Which said: "Depending on how many journeys you make in one day, daily capping could be cheaper than buying a day travelcard ticket. 

You can check whether a cap or a travelcard is best with Transport for London's (TfL) tool.

Add your Railcard to your Oyster card

News Shopper: Adding your railcard to your Oyster card could save you money.Adding your railcard to your Oyster card could save you money. (Image: PA)

Check the Transport for London (TfL) website for information on the Railcards that are eligible.

Then, to link them, just ask a TfL staff member at any station.

Look for special offers

Which? said to keep an eye out as train companies sometimes have special offers available.