Woman raging after railcard mistake gets her slapped with £100 fine

Man inserting a subway pass
Always make sure you check terms and conditions before travelling with a railcard -Credit:Getty Images/iStockphoto

Having a railcard can save you a fortune on trains.

But sadly, this is only the case if you're following the rules. Failing to do so can see you get slapped with an £100 fine.

And that's exactly what happened to one unfortunate passenger, who didn't realise there would be an issue hopping on a reduced fare train during peak hours.

The video sparked a lot of discussion online – as many seem to be learning something new about railcard use. In the post, the passenger revealed she'd been fined for travelling with a 16-25 card early in the morning.

Looking devastated on TikTok, a woman explained: "Me when I was literally having the worst month of my life and I started sobbing in front of a train ticket inspector when she fined me £100 because I used my railcard before 9.30am."

In response, one person said: "I think based on doing a lot of travel with a Railcard during peak times in the past. That she has probably actually done here is travel with an off peak ticket in the morning – as normally if you try to use a Railcard on a fare where it cannot be used it will just not apply the discount. I haven’t seen the original TikTok - so I might be wrong, but I would explain the £100 penalty fare."

Another added: "Most ticket inspectors won't really care, but there's a minimum fare of £12 to travel before 0930 with a 16-25 railcard. This essentially means that if your total ticket cost less than £11.99 with discount, then it is an invalid ticket before 0930. I have never seen this enforced in practice, but it is a rule. I'd argue that the TOC should offer a fare excess to £12, as this is what a e-ticket would be sold at."

A third responded: "You can still use your 16-25 railcard on peak services, just that a £12 minimum fare applies during the peak times. More than likely they used the railcard and purchased an off-peak ticket, and then tried to use it on a peak service or an advanced ticket for the wrong service."

The railcard website explains that the 16-25 railcard carries a minimum fare of £12. Between 04.30 to 10.00 from Monday to Friday, the discount applies to fares above this minimum.

It doesn't apply to advance tickets, journeys on public holidays or journeys during July and August. It is also subject to change depending on the validity of your railcard.

This clears the matter up for those who were confused – with one person pointing out the importance of reading up on the terms and conditions before travelling. They added: "Read the terms and conditions and understand them. In regard to national railcards you can buy peak tickets, but there is a minimum spend."