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Student Railcard Guide
If you're attending University this year, saving on travel costs should be one of your top priorities. Since public transport in the UK has been soaring year after year, you'll need all the extra discount you can get to save your money for fresher's week and the hordes of expensive textbooks. You can, if you intend to travel by train, purchase a Student Railcard, which saves you 1/3 off your train fare.
What is the railcard?
A student railcard costs just £30 for the entire year and entitles you to 1/3 off every train ride you'll take in that year. It works for stations across the UK and can be purchased online at www.16-25railcard.co.uk.
If you're studying for the full three years, you can save money by purchasing a 3 year railcard, which saves you £20 off the cost of renewing your 1 year railcard each year. If you want to purchase a railcard online, they'll have your card sent out to within the week - but make sure you do it before you shoot off to University!
Who can buy a railcard?
To buy a student railcard online, all you need is a valid credit or debit card, a UK driving licence or valid passport and a digital passport-style photo for your card. You can also apply for a student railcard if you're a mature student and over 25 by providing a valid student photo ID card and an application signed by your institution. However, you can only purchase the 3 year railcard if you can prove, as a mature student, you are studying continously for the 3 years.
You'll also receive discounts, vouchers and cheap holidays or events information from your student railcard provider, if you choose to provide e-mail contact details. Otherwise, your student railcard doesn't allow discount on anything except public trains.
Is it worth it?
Student railcards aren't recommended for travelling to and from work, or to and from places of study. Between 4.30am and 10am, peak time trains doesn't accept student railcard discounts. So, unless you plan on frequently travelling home and will save a significant amount of money with the 1/3 fare cut the student railcard provides, a railcard may not benefit you at all.