Train travellers could be missing out on big savings by leaving it to the last minute to buy their tickets, new research shows.
A ComRes poll of 2,050 people found that 49% routinely miss out on the significant discounts they could make by booking in advance.
Mytrainticket.co.uk, which commissioned the survey, said passengers could get up to 88% off the cost of rail journeys by booking ahead of time.
Cheapest rail fares
The lowest rail fares are usually available 12 weeks before the actual journey, when the train operating companies release their timetables, with costs then rising steadily until the day of departure.
Alistair Lees, managing director of MyTrainTicket.co.uk, said: ‘A change of mindset is needed when buying train tickets.
‘People need to get into the habit of booking train tickets in advance, just as they do with hotels and plane tickets.’
More rail journeys being made
According to the Association of Train Operating Companies (ATOC), 1.32 billion rail journeys were made in 2010 – more than in any other peacetime year since the late 1920s.
However, rail watchdog Passenger Focus found that only 82% of passengers are satisfied with the punctuality and reliability of trains.
Last week Which? launched a new tool to help passengers claim compensation for train delays. To see what you’re entitled to, just tell us who you travelled with and how long you were delayed for.
Our guide to cheap train tickets has more advice on getting the best deal.