Terms & Conditions - Season Tickets

National Rail Conditions of Travel

All tickets and travel are subject to the National Rail Conditions of Travel. A copy of the 'National Rail Conditions of Travel' is available from staffed ticket offices or in a PDF to download at www.nationalrail.co.uk/nrcot

Using your Season Ticket

  • You can use your Season Ticket up to, and including, its expiry date for any number of journeys between the stations and/or within the zone(s) shown on it at any time of day. It may be used at intermediate stations, and on any permitted route, unless a route or any other restrictions are specified on the ticket. Details are available where these tickets are issued.
  • With First Class Season Tickets you may travel in the First Class or Standard Class areas of the train.
  • Standard Class Season Ticket holders may upgrade their Season Ticket to First Class at the ticket office before they board the train (or on the train if there is no open ticket office where you board the train).
  • Travelcard Season Tickets allow unlimited travel at any time of day on National Rail, London Underground, DLR and London Trams within the London Fare Zones Area which you have purchased.
  • Travelcard Season Tickets are also valid on most London Bus services throughout the London Bus network. For journeys starting outside the London Fare Zones Area, the Travelcard Season Ticket allows travel by train between the starting station and the London Fares Zones Area boundary, and then unlimited travel within the zones paid for. Full bus details are available Transport for London, 55 Broadway, London SW1H OBD Tel: 0843 222 1234
  • You cannot transfer your Season Ticket to another person.


Under the National Rail Conditions of Travel, you can use your Season Ticket in conjunction with another ticket.

For example, if you hold an Annual Season Ticket between Southampton and London Terminals and want to travel to/from Salisbury, your Season Ticket covers your journey between London and Basingstoke, so you will only need a ticket between Basingstoke and Salisbury.

If you are travelling to a destination not partially covered by your Season Ticket you will need a ticket to cover your full journey.


  • You will need to be able to produce a photocard to buy most Season Tickets. These are issued free of charge from staffed ticket offices and you must provide a recent passport-type photograph of yourself.
  • Where required, your photocard number must be on your Season Ticket. For your Season Ticket to be valid, you must show both your Season Ticket and photocard with matching numbers if requested by any rail staff.

Photocards for Children

  • All children aged between 5 and 15 (inclusive) require a photocard. Proof of age will be required when the Season Ticket is issued.
  • A photocard for a child aged under 14 is valid for 2 calendar years from the date of issue. So, for example, a card issued on 22 January 2011, expires on 21 January 2013.
  • If the child reaches 16 within 2 1/2 years of the photocard being issued, the photocard will be dated to expire on the day before their 16th birthday.


  • If you move house, change your place of work or wish to change the class of travel, you may apply to exchange any Season Ticket with at least 7 days remaining, for one with the same expiry date for your new journey or class. This is called a changeover.
  • A changeover may be applied for at the rail ticket office where the original ticket was issued or at any station relevant to the new journey. The new journey Season Ticket is a continuous renewal and it must start on the day following surrender of the original ticket. Any additional charge or refund will be based on the ticket prices when the original Season Ticket was bought, pro rata to the periods before and after the changeover.
  • No administration charge is made. Any ticket that has already been exchanged in this way may be accepted for further exchanges if necessary.


If you no longer need your Season Ticket, it can be returned to the retailer you bought it from to be refunded. This can be the ticket office you purchased it from, or another managed by the same retailer or operator. For Season Tickets purchased online or via telesales, the Season Ticket should be returned to that retailer.

You should be aware that the Season Ticket will need to be surrendered, so a refund should only be requested once you have completely finished using it.

Any refund is calculated from the date after the Season Ticket was returned to the retailer, and will be  the difference between the price you paid and the cost of a ticket or tickets for the period for which you have actually used the ticket up to and including the date a refund is requested. There may also be an administration charge of no more that £10.00.

Because of the discounts on longer term Season Tickets, refunds are not made pro-rata to the periods before/after surrender and annual Season Tickets may have no refund value after 10 months and 12 days.

Season Ticket Loans

For this reason, we recommend that employers' annual Season Ticket loan schemes are set up so that reimbursements are made in 10 equal monthly payments with two 'free' months at the end of the year, rather than in 12 equal monthly payments.

Refund Eligibility

There must be at least seven days remaining on a monthly or longer Season Ticket, or at least three days remaining on a 7-Day Season Ticket to obtain a refund (although on some 7-Day Season Tickets there may be no refund value after three days of use, dependent upon the relevant Anytime Day Return price.

In cases of illness, the refund can be backdated if you can produce suitable documentary evidence for a period before you hand in your ticket, provided that you have not started travelling again using your Season Ticket since your illness.


Please note: It is not possible to have a partial refund or allow a Season Tickets to be extended for periods of non-use e.g. annual leave.

Refunds are permitted on Duplicate Season Tickets. In these instances, an interview with the original retailer of the Season Ticket/Duplicate Season Ticket may be necessary. Please ask at the ticket office for more details.


The Passengers' Charter of each Train Company gives performance targets and details of the discounts available for Season Ticket renewals if the time keeping or reliability of the train service falls below set standards. The Train Companies will publicise details of any Season Ticket discounts.

Lost or stolen Season Tickets or photocards

  • If you lose your Season Ticket or it is stolen, report this immediately to the ticket office where you bought it. You should also report this to the police. If you or we cannot recover the lost or stolen ticket, we will then consider an application for a duplicate ticket, if the original was issued for a period of one month or more. We do not issue duplicates in respect of lost or stolen 7 Day Season Tickets. We may ask you or others for information. There is an administration charge when we issue a duplicate Season Ticket.
  • We will refund (with no administration charge) the cost of tickets you buy while you are waiting for the duplicate ticket to be issued, if you hand these tickets in.
  • If you lose your photocard or it is stolen, we can issue a new one, for which a further passport-type photograph is required. If we need to reissue your Season Ticket, an administration charge will be made.
  • Please refer to National Rail Conditions of Travel; Conditions 39.1-39.4 for further details

Damaged or defective Season Tickets

If your valid Season Ticket is damaged, illegible or defective, for example it will no longer work in ticket gates, it will be replaced at the office from which it was issued provided the Train Company which sold it can confirm the ticket is still valid.

Travel not covered by your Season Ticket

  • Please buy the appropriate additional ticket at the ticket office before you travel, if your Season Ticket has expired, does not cover your journey in full, has been left behind, or is for Standard Class accommodation but you wish to travel First Class.
  • If you are travelling from a Penalty Fare station on a Penalty Fare train and your Season Ticket does not cover you for all of your journey, you must buy an accompanying ticket or permit to travel, if you are able to, before you start your journey. If you do not you may be liable to a Penalty Fare. 

More information about Penalty Fares can be found at www.nationalrail.co.uk/penaltyfare

Season Tickets left at home

If you do not have your Season Ticket with you when you travel you must buy a ticket for your journey. You will be able to get a refund on the fare paid on the first two occasions this happens within a 12-month period. the first occassion will be a fill, refund of any ticket you have had to purchase to cover travel on that day, but on the second such occasion an administration charge will be made (see below).

There is a limit of no more than two of these types of refund will be made in any 12-month period. You will need to hand in the tickets you have bought, and should submit a refund claim of this type within 28 days of travel.

Season Ticket administration charges
Refunds £10.00
Duplicates for Lost or Stolen Tickets
c2c, Great Northern, Greater Anglia, Southern, Thameslink and London North Eastern Railway £20.00
All other Operators £10.00
Issue of Replacement Photocard (including for a new Season Ticket) Not more than £10.00
Replacement of Damaged or Illegible Season Tickets (including those which can no longer operate ticket barriers) Free of charge
Please note that these charges are subject to change.

34% discount on off-peak travel for Annual Gold Card holders

  • There is no discount on First Class fares even if the Gold Card is First Class.
  • Annual Gold Card holders buying discounted Day Travelcards (Off-peak) for accompanying adults or children must buy one for themselves if their Annual Gold Card is not valid for travel on all the London Fare Zones.
  • For full terms and conditions, please see the Network Railcard website.

First Class upgrade for Annual Gold Card holders

View more information about Upgrading to First Class.