Other Support » Mobility » How To Save on Travel with the 16-25 Railcard

How To Save on Travel with the 16-25 Railcard

By IntFormalities
Published on May 22, 2024
Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Applying for your new discount railcard isn’t just about saving money and getting cheaper train tickets. It’s also a way to go and explore new places, make memories, and progress your education and career. In our easy-to-follow guide, we’re going to talk you through what a railcard is, how you can get one, who is eligible for one, and even what to do if yours is lost or stolen. Let’s take a closer look! 

A person holding the digital 16-25 Railcard on their smartphone.
The 16-25 railcard gives students and young professionals discount travel across the UK rail network

What Is a 16-25 Railcard?

The railcard, commonly referred to as a ‘young persons railcard‘ or ‘student railcard‘, is a discounted travel pass. It’s designed to make travel more affordable and accessible to students, graduates, and young professionals who need to get around the UK more easily.

How Does the Discount Railcard Work?

Student discount railcards are designed to cut the price of travel to make it easier for young people to continue their education, pursue an apprenticeship, and enter the world of work. You can get 1/3 off the price of your train tickets by presenting it at the time of purchase.

Here’s how it works: 

  • You will need to confirm you have a railcard when you purchase your tickets 
  • You will need to travel with your railcard so you can show it to the ticket inspector 
  • You will be responsible for making sure it has not expired on the day you travel 

Your discount applies at peak times, off-peak times, and for all Standard and First Class Advance tickets. To keep up to speed with the restrictions, such as the £12 minimum fare for morning peak travel, take a look at the full list of ticket types you can save on.

Who Can Get a Student Railcard?

Anyone aged 16-25 can use a railcard, and there are options to have a physical card in your wallet or a digital card on your phone. In both cases, the card will display a passport-style photo of yourself to prove your eligibility to use it. 

How Much Will a Railcard Save You?

For only £30 a year, or £70 for 3 years, you can save 1/3 of the price on your train fares. The same prices will be incurred when renewing your railcard. 

When you average the savings across everyone who uses a discount student railcard, it comes to a saving of £4.64 a journey. Or put another way, £182.00 a year. Considering you can have a card for nearly a decade, this is a four-figure saving as you enter the working world. 

Other Railcard Savings You Need to Know About

You can qualify for special offers, rewards points, and discounts for things like hotel stays and wellness products. For those looking to travel and explore new areas, you can save a 1/3 on the ticket price of PlusBus routes in over 280 towns and cities across the UK.

If you want to save money on day one, look for student bank accounts that will often provide free railcards as a teaser offer. 

How to Apply For a 16-25 Railcard 

The application process for the 16-25 railcard is simple. All you have to do is work through the following three steps:

  • Step 1: You will need a valid photo ID to prove your age. This could be a passport, driving license, EEA national identity card, or provisional driving license. All forms of photo ID must be valid at the time of your application 
  • Step 2: Take an up-to-date passport photo where your face is clearly visible and your facial expression is neutral 
  • Step 3: Click here to complete your purchase online and be guided through the final steps

Applying For a Railcard In-Person

You also have the option to download the railcard online application form below and complete it at home. Once you have it completed along with your passport photo, head to your nearest staffed ticket office to finish your in-person application. 

Accessing Your Digital Railcard

You will receive a unique digital code that grants you secure access to your new digital pass. It will arrive in the inbox of your registered email address and provide easy-to-follow instructions to activate your digital travel pass. 

Applying For a Mature Student Railcard 

Mature students (aged over 25) in full-time education can apply for a mature student railcard that gives them the same range of benefits as the 16-25 railcard. Complete the Mature Student Application Form below and have it cosigned by your university or college to prove you are in full-time study. You will also have to supply a clear copy of your student ID or NUS card. 

When To Expect Your New 16-25 Railcard 

Excited for your railcard to arrive so you can enjoy all the savings? The good news is that delivery times are laid out and reliable. If you have ordered a plastic 16-25 railcard, it will take up to 5 working days to arrive when ordered online. Special Delivery orders will reduce this to within 2 days (Monday to Thursday) and 3 days (Friday to Sunday).

And for those who have ordered a digital 16-25 railcard, it will come with an instant access download code that is sent to your inbox. Simply activate the code and start using your card right away

When to Replace Your 16-25 Railcard 

You must replace your rail pass if it’s lost, stolen, or expired. You can do this online by logging into your railcard account

Your Ticket to More Affordable Travel 

The discount 16-25 railcard allows you to save 1/3 on train fares so you can explore the UK, continue your education, and travel to job interviews for less. It can be renewed annually and must be taken with you when you travel. Remember you can download a digital card to your phone for ease of use.


Can international students use a young persons discount railcard?

Absolutely, this offer is open to anyone. Full details for those visiting the UK from abroad can be found here

Where can I use my railcard in London?

Save 1/3 on Anytime Day Travel as part of a trip that extends outside of London. Please note that a minimum fare of £19.10 applies at the time of writing. You can also load your discount onto your Oyster card and save a 1/3 on all single off-peak fares on a pay-as-you-go basis. This covers the Underground and DLR. 

Can I save 1/3 on train fares before my railcard arrives?

No, unfortunately not as the railcard contains a photographic ID element that proves your age and eligibility to the ticket inspector.

Share this post



You might also like...


Use our Contact Form to tell us what other topics you would be interested in learning about…