Two new discount ticket offers have been launched giving a discount for regular commuters and people who travel occasionally along the same route.
The new Auto-Renew Monthly Season ticket offer lets you buy your normal monthly season ticket as normal, but if you commit to doing so for a year, then the final 12th month travel card will be free of charge.
You have to use the South Western Railway smartcard, which is valid for use on the TfL network, so you could for example buy a travelcard from Waterloo station and use it for London commuting.
Although the saving over the year isn’t as high as you would get from buying an Annual travelcard upfront, it is one option for spreading the cost and still making a saving.
For example, a person using a Zones 1-2 travelcard would pay 11 times £131 per month, costing £1,441 per year — vs £1,572 if you bought 12 monthly travelcards. By comparison, an annual travelcard bought in full upfront would cost £1,364.
For people commuting in from outside London, for example, from Woking to Zones 1-6, then the cost could be £387.90 per month — so £4,267 per year (11 monthly payments) saving you just under £400.
That compares to an annual travelcard of £4,040.
While buying an annual travelcard upfront gives the biggest saving, this new offer does let people who can’t afford that upfront cost to gain some savings on their monthly commute.
SWR have also started offering Carnet deals, as a number of other train companies already do. This lets you buy a batch of 10 tickets for a specific journey in advance, and get a 5% discount.
The discount is less than other railway companies offer and they expire in two months instead of the usual three months, but it has the added advantage of offering unlimited travel on the day you use the ticket — so you could make several trips on the day you use the ticket.