Can I get a refund on my railway season ticket?

When renewing your season ticket, you should automatically get any discount due to you for poor performance during the period that the ticket was available provided you are renewing on a like-for-like basis. A few train operators in the South East are, for example, currently giving a 5% discount as they have failed to achieve the levels of punctuality required. As you may receive such a refund upon renewal, you will not receive any refunds for individual delays (except if they are declared "void days" when operators will give discounts). We consider that the current system is very complex and unjust, and want operators to follow the system operated by London Underground, Thameslink Great Northern and Greater Anglia, where all ticket-holders are entitled to a refund after a specified length of delay that was their fault.

If you do not intend to renew your season ticket due to reasons of pregnancy or retirement, we would advise that you still apply for any discounts due, as we have had some success in persuading operators to be more flexible in these circumstances. If you are changing train company or your journey, you are unlikely to get a season ticket discount.

Operators may refuse either to give a refund on a season ticket, where you lost the original and hold a duplicate ticket or to give you a second duplicate ticket due to the risk of fraud. We consider that it is reasonable to expect passengers to take good care of their tickets, which can be expensive items. It should also be borne in mind that the operators offer a first duplicate as a gesture of goodwill, and are under no obligation to do so.

If you hand in your ticket early, you will not get a pro-rata refund on an annual season ticket. Annual season tickets are sold at a discount (about 25%) compared to the equivalent number of weekly tickets. Therefore, to put it another way, the last 10 weeks of travel are 'free'. For this reason, the 'free' part of the ticket is taken into account when calculating any refunds so this may mean that you will receive less than what you may have been expecting and sometimes there is little or no value left on a ticket that has been used for several months.