Frequently Asked Questions?

Most frequently asked questions

  • Can I get a refund or extension if I have been unable to use my Railcard during lockdown?

    Unfortunately no. After careful consideration, the government has confirmed to us that Railcards will remain non-refundable and will not be extended. Refunding or extending Railcards would come at a significant cost to the taxpayer, at a time when the focus must be on maintaining rail services to support the country’s recovery from the pandemic. Please rest assured that this decision hasn’t been taken lightly and was made at the highest level.

  • How do I add a digital 16-17 Saver to my phone?

    If you have already bought a 16-17 Saver and opted to have this on your mobile device, you should have received a 16-17 Saver download code by email.

    Once you've got this download code, go to the Railcard app, tap on the ‘+’ button in the top left of the screen and enter your code. Your 16-17 Saver should then be downloaded to your mobile device. 

    Click here for a step by step on how to add a digital Railcard to your phone.

  • My digital 16-17 Saver download code won’t work

    Your download code may have expired or been used on too many devices.

    Login to your account and request a new digital 16-17 Saver download code.

    You can only store your digital 16-17 Saver on a maximum of 2 devices, so you may need to remove your 16-17 Saver from an existing device to add it to a new one.

    Click here for a step by step on how to generate a new download code.

  • I can’t find the digital 16-17 Saver download code. Where do I find this?

    Check your mailbox (including your junk mail) for an email from our 16-17 Saver team.

    If you still can’t find it, login to your 16-17 Saver account and click 'Manage Railcard' to see your download code. If you still can’t find it, click 'Get New Download Code'

    Click here for a step by step on how to find your download code.

  • What is a digital 16-17 Saver?

    When buying the 16-17 Saver, you can choose to have your 16-17 Saver on your phone (digital) or to have a plastic card posted to you. 

    If you want to start using your discount straight away, then the digital 16-17 Saver is the best option as you don't need to wait for the post. 

    To get your 16-17 Saver on your phone, you will need to download the Railcard app and use the download code provided when your order is complete.

    The digital 16-17 Saver can be stored in the Railcard app on up to two devices.

    Click here for more information on managing your Railcard

  • How can I buy a digital 16-17 Saver?

    You can buy a 16-17 Saver through this website (Click "Buy online" and digital will be the default option) or by telesales on 0345 301 1656.

    Click here for more information on managing your Railcard

  • What is a download code?

    If you choose to have your 16-17 Saver on your phone, you will receive a download code when your order is complete.

    You'll need to download the Railcard app and enter the download code to get your 16-17 Saver on your phone. 

    Click here for more information on download codes and managing your Railcard

  • What happens if I lose my device?

    In the unfortunate scenario where you lose your device, you can simply add your digital Railcard to a new device. If your Railcard is already associated to two devices, please log in to your account and you will find an option to Manage your devices for any active Railcards you own. Simply select the device you want to remove. Once you have done this you will be able to add your Railcard to a new device.

  • What happens if I don’t have reception or I am offline?

    Don't worry, once your digital 16-17 Saver is on your phone, it will be available even when you have no mobile data or Wi-Fi.

    As long as your mobile device has connected to the internet at some point within the last 72 hours, your app will continue to show your 16-17 Saver.

    You will need an internet connection though to buy the 16-17 Saver or add the 16-17 Saver to a new device.

  • How do I unblock my 16-17 Saver?

    You will need to contact our customer support team on 0345 301 1656 so that we can better understand the activity that has caused your 16-17 Saver to be blocked.

    If appropriate, they will be able to help you get back online with your 16-17 Saver.

  • Why has my Railcard been blocked?

    If we detect suspicious activity on your 16-17 Saver, it will be blocked until we have had the chance to speak to you.

    During this period, your 16-17 Saver will no longer be valid for travel.

    If your 16-17 Saver has been blocked, you will need to contact our customer support team on 0345 301 1656 (7:00am to 10:00pm every day except Christmas Day).

    **Excessive device changing can result in the 16-17 Saver being blocked**

  • What is an acceptable image to use for my 16-17 Saver photograph?

    The image should be a good recognisable likeness of you.

    We prefer colour pictures but black and white images are acceptable. Your head and shoulders should be in close-up, with your face clearly visible and filling approximately 70% of the frame (in the same way it would for a passport or driving licence). The image must be in sharp focus.

    Please make sure that your face is not obscured by hats or hair.

    The file of your photo must be either a .jpg, .bmp, or a .gif and must not exceed 5Mb. with a resolution of at least 300dpi. We will reject photos if they are not appropriate and ask you for a more suitable image.

  • I am having trouble uploading my photo for my 16-17 Saver – what can I do?

    Sorry that you're having trouble uploading your photo. There can be a number of reasons and some can be difficult to diagnose, so we’ve compiled a list of trouble-shooting tips that you can try:

    • Close your web browser before restarting it and logging in again, then try uploading the photo again
    • Enable Javascript on your web browser. Your web browser may be configured in a way that it makes uploading the photo more difficult (such as having the Javascript disabled). Please check your settings and ensure that Javascript is enabled.
    • Make sure you have up-to-date web browser software. Although our website supports the top browsers (such as Internet Explorer, Chrome, Safari, Mozilla Firefox and Opera), some older versions of these browsers are more likely to cause problems uploading image files to our website. Try updating your web browser to the latest version, or try a different web browser/computer.
    • Make sure your image is 5MB in size or less. We accept images up to 5MB in size but the smaller the file the better - it will take less time to upload. Crop your photograph before uploading and/or reduce the quality but be careful - the picture still needs to be clear enough to print on the 16-17 Saver
    • Check that your internet service provider (ISP) is not experiencing problems. These are often difficult to detect but if other websites are unusually slow (especially noticeable when downloading images), then your ISP may be having network issues or might be congested. You may want to check with your ISP by visiting their 'service status' webpage

    If you have done all of the above and are still experiencing problems, then please call us on 0345 301 1656 (7am to 10pm every day except Christmas Day).

  • Where can I buy the 16-17 Saver?

    The 16-17 Saver is available to buy online from this website or by phone on 0345 301 1656 (7:00am to 10:00pm every day except Christmas Day). You won't be able to buy the 16-17 Saver at a National Rail Station.

  • Can I continue to use my 16-17 Saver if I have my 18th birthday before it expires?

    No, your 16-17 Saver will be issued for either:

    • a maximum of 1 year from the date of purchase; or
    • the period from the date of purchase until the day before your 18th birthday if your 18th birthday falls before the expiry of 1 year from the date of purchase.

    However, if you buy a discounted Season ticket before your 16-17 Saver expires, you can continue to use your discounted Season ticket for up to four months after expiry of your 16-17 Saver, as long as your Season ticket is still valid. The 16-17 Saver will have two dates shown on it:

    • "Valid until"  - which is the expiry date up to which you can purchase and use new tickets.
    • "Season Ticket valid until" - which is the last date that you can continue to use any valid discounted Season ticket for travel. This is four months after the expiry date of the card.


  • Can the 16-17 Saver be used to buy Season tickets?

    Yes, the 16-17 Saver gives 50% off Standard Anytime, Standard Off-Peak, Standard Advance and Season tickets. 

    It is designed to enable 16 and 17 year olds to access the same half price child fares that they could access until they were 16.

    The 16-17 Saver cannot be used as a Photocard for a paper Season ticket and if you are buying a paper Season ticket for the first time you will need to have a photocard created at a staffed National Rail Station. You will need to provide a passport-type photograph for your Photocard and the Photocard must be carried when travelling.

    If you are buying a smart Season ticket, you usually will not require a separate Photocard to validate your Season ticket. 


  • Is this a one‐off fee?

    No. The 16-17 Saver is valid for one year, or until the customer turns 18, whichever comes first.

  • Can I use the 16-17 Saver in Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland?

    The 16-17 Saver can only be used for rail discounts in England, Scotland and Wales on all train operators except ScotRail and Caledonian Sleeper. They cannot be used for rail travel in either Northern Ireland or the Republic of Ireland.

    If you live in Northern Ireland you can buy a 16-17 Saver to use for travelling in Scotland, Wales or England.

    For more information on concessionary rail travel schemes in Northern Ireland please see or the Republic of Ireland please see

  • What do I do if my 16-17 Saver is lost or damaged?

    If you bought your 16-17 Saver online, you will need to get a replacement online. You can only apply for a replacement 16-17 Saver seven or more days after the date of original purchase.

    You will have to pay a £10 administration fee if your 16-17 Saver was lost or damaged.

    To apply for a replacement 16-17 Saver, please login here and follow the instructions on screen.

    If you bought it over the phone, you will need to contact our customer support team on 0345 301 1656. You will have to pay a £10 administration fee.

    Until you have your replacement 16-17 Saver, we’re sorry but you will have to pay the full fare. The lost discount is not refundable.


  • The system says my passport code is “invalid”. What can I do?

    We accept machine readable passport codes from ALL countries except for those issued in the Philippines and Bangladesh prior to 2010. So if you have a valid passport your passport code should work.

    When inputting your passport details into the system please ensure you are entering all characters including each chevron “<” where it appears on your passport. You will need to input:

    • 10 digits or characters into the first box
    • three letters in the second box identifying your nationality
    • seven digits in the third box
    • an F or M identifying your gender in the fourth box
    • seven digits in the fifth box
    • the last two digits of your passport code in the sixth box

    If all of the above information is correct and the system says that your number is still invalid, please check that the information you have supplied on the Cardholder Details page is correct. You must:

    • use your full name as it is shown on your passport. Do not use any shortened version of your name (for example, “Bob” when you are “Robert” on your passport)
    • put your personal name in the “Your First Name” field and your family name in the “Your Surname” field
    • make sure that your gender is as it is shown on your passport

  • I have a promotion code to use towards the cost of my 16-17 Saver – it is not working. What can I do?

    Please check that you have read each character of the code correctly. We do try to use codes that are easy to read, but it's easy to confuse:

    1. the letter “I” with the number “1”
    2. the letter “O” with the number “0”(zero)
    3. the letter “S” with the number “5”.

    If any of these characters appear in your code please try their alternatives. If this does not work please call us on 0345 301 1656 (7am to 10pm every day except Christmas Day) and we will be able to check the status of the code you have.

  • How long do I have to wait for my 16-17 Saver to arrive?

    If you are buying your 16-17 Saver online and request a plastic card, we will despatch it within one working day and send it free by First Class post. Please allow five working days for your 16-17 Saver to arrive.

    You will not be able to collect your 16-17 Saver from a rail station. We add an extra week’s validity to your 16-17 Saver to allow for delivery time.

    You cannot travel on discounted tickets until you have received your 16-17 Saver. You cannot use your printed out confirmation of sale to get a discount. The 16-17 Saver is the only proof of entitlement to discount that rail staff can accept.

    If you have purchased a digital 16-17 Saver, then you will be sent an email with a unique download code that should be used to download the 16-17 Saver into your Railcard app.

  • Can I buy the 16-17 Saver for another person?

    Yes, you can buy 16-17 Saver for a friend or family member if they are eligible. You will need to supply the evidence of age eligibility (such as a passport or driving licence code) as well as a photograph.

    To order the 16-17 Saver for someone else, when you get to the question, "Is this 16-17 Saver for you or someone else?" choose the option for "Someone else" and continue the process. You will have the option of having the 16-17 Saver delivered to the address of your choice in Britain or abroad or to be sent a download code to get a digital version on a smartphone. We'll also provide information as to how the 16-17 Saver holder can create their own 16-17 Saver online account if they wish. 

  • How do I buy my 16-17 Saver for the first time?

    You can buy a 16-17 Saver from this website. You will need:

    1. Evidence of age - a valid UK driving licence, passport or national ID card
    2. A good quality digital passport-style photo of you
    3. Debit or credit card for payment

    If you don't have any of the above forms of ID, you can upload a scan of your birth certificate or a Government-approved PASS card instead. Please note that applications using these forms of ID will take a little longer to process.

    If you choose to have your 16-17 Saver on your phone, we will send you a download code and you'll need to download the Railcard app. You can then use the code to download your 16-17 Saver to the app and start using it straight away.

    If you choose to have your 16-17 Saver posted to you, we aim to despatch this within one working day of your order and it’s best to allow up to five working days for your 16-17 Saver to arrive. It’ll be sent out free of charge by First Class post, but if you prefer, you have the option to pay for Special Delivery. If you live abroad, you can get International Tracked Signed delivery for £10. 

    You’ll need to have your 16-17 Saver with you to be able to get a discount on your rail ticket, so be sure to leave enough time before your journey for the 16-17 Saver to reach you.

  • How does 16-17 Saver differ from the 16‐25 Railcard?

    16-17 Saver gives 50% off Standard Anytime, Standard Off-Peak, Standard Advance and Season tickets for travel at any time of the day.

    The 16‐25 Railcard is aimed at leisure travel and gives 1/3 off Standard Anytime and Standard Off-Peak tickets, as well as Standard and First Class Advance tickets. A £12 minimum fare applies to journeys starting between 4.30am and 10:00am on week days. The 16-25 Railcard discount does not apply to Season tickets.  

  • Why would the tax payers have to pay for a Railcard refund or extension?

    Due to the pandemic far fewer people have been travelling by train. This means that the government is offering additional financial backing to the rail industry so that services keep running to support the economy.

  • Who is eligible for the 16-17 Saver discount?

    The 16-17 Saver can be purchased by all 16 and 17 year olds who live in Britain or abroad. 

  • Can I use my 16-17 Saver for tickets for travel on the London Underground?

    If you are buying a National Rail ticket for travel into London from outside London Zones 1-9, then you will be able to buy a Travelcard as part of your rail ticket which includes travel on National Rail, London Underground, Docklands Light Railway and buses in London. 

    If you are buying a National Rail ticket that includes travel across London, then you will be able to use your National Rail ticket on London Underground to transfer between National Rail stations. 

    16-17 Saver discounts are NOT valid on:

    • Oyster pay as you go daily price cap and pay as you go single fares for journeys on National Rail, London Underground and Docklands Light Railway
    • London Day Travelcards and Travelcard Season tickets within Zones 1-9
    • Tickets wholly for travel on London Underground and Docklands Light Railway

    If you travel frequently in the London fare zones, you should consider getting a 16+ Zip Oyster photocard.

  • Is my phone compatible for the digital 16-17 Saver?

    The Railcard App is available to download from the Apple Store and the Google Play store.

    The App is only compatible with devices that have the following software: Apple iOS 10 and above and Android 4.1 and above.

    The Railcard app is not compatible with Windows Phones.

  • Why can’t the train companies pay for the refund or extension?

    Due to the pandemic fewer people have been travelling by train. Funding is currently being used to keep services running to support the economy.

  • Can visitors to Britain buy the 16-17 Saver online?

    Yes, if you live outside Britain and don’t have an address in Britain, you can get International Tracked Signed delivery for £10. 

  • How can I prove I’m 16 or 17?

    Your age can be verified using your passport, driving licence, national identity card,  birth certificate or any Government-approved PASS card.

    Either enter the details in the online form (passport, driving licence or national ID card) or upload a scan of the document (birth certificate or PASS card). Applications using scanned uploads will take a little longer to process.

    If you're buying over the phone, you'll need to provide us details of your passport, driving licence or national ID card. If you are providing a birth certificate or PASS card, this will need to be emailed to us. Our customer support team will provide more details when you call. 

  • I'm 18 just after the start of the academic year? Will I still be able to use the 16-17 Saver to get to school or college?

    Only customers aged 16 or 17 are eligible for the 16-17 Saver. 

    The 16-17 Saver will be valid for one year or up until your 18th birthday, whichever comes first. 

    If you buy a Season ticket with a 16-17 Saver discount before it expires, you can continue to use it for up to 4 months after the expiry date. The expiry date and the date that you can use your Season ticket until are shown on the 16-17 Saver. 

    Some train companies and/or local authorities offer discount products to support students getting to school and college until the end of the academic year, including customers who are 18. Check with your local train company or local authority for more information. 

  • How long will the 16-17 Saver be valid?

    A 16-17 Saver will be valid for one year or until the holder’s 18th birthday, whichever is earliest.

  • How much does the 16-17 Saver cost?

    The 16-17 Saver costs £30.

  • Why have you introduced this new discount?

    Young people are required to stay in education or training until their 18th birthday, but they only have access to half price child rail fares until their 16th birthday. This new card is designed to bridge that gap and provide an additional two years of child fares to support young people.

  • Can I have a plastic and digital version of my 16-17 Saver?

    You can choose to have a 16-17 Saver on your mobile device or sent to you by post at the time of purchase. You can not have both.

  • How quickly will I get my new digital 16-17 Saver?

    In most cases, you should get your 16-17 Saver download code immediately after completing your purchase. You can then use the code to download your 16-17 Saver to the Railcard app. If you have uploaded a scan of a document to verify your age, your application will take a little longer to process. 

  • What is the 16-17 Saver?

    The rail industry worked with the Department for Transport to deliver this new product that extends child fares to 16 and 17 year olds.

    The new product gives young people 50% off most rail fares (including Season tickets). The new 16-17 Saver will help connect young people with opportunities further afield.

  • Can I use a provisional driving licence to prove my age online?

    Yes. Provisional driving licences can be used to validate your age online and over the phone.

    Other forms of identity that you can use include a valid passport or national identity card. You can also provide scan of your birth certificate or Government-approved PASS card.

  • What happens if I have no battery life or can’t show my 16-17 Saver?

    If you don’t have any battery life, or have forgotten your device, it won't be possible to check that your 16-17 Saver discount is valid.

    You could be asked to buy a single ticket for your journey, or be issued with a Penalty Fare.

    If you do get caught out while travelling, you can make one claim a year to be refunded for any extra fare or penalty you incur.

    For a list of train companies in Great Britain, and their details, click here.

  • Why is the title "Mx" not available when I come to make payment?

    If you have given your title as "Mx" during the application process, this will be shown on your 16-17 Saver and in all correspondence that we have with you. However, the secure payment process is delivered by our payment provider and we are only able to offer the range of titles that it provides.

  • Can I travel on discounted tickets if my 16-17 Saver expires before I complete my journey?

    Discounted tickets are only valid if you are using them with a valid 16-17 Saver. If your 16-17 Saver expires before the end of your journey, you will need to renew it to be able to complete your trip using these tickets.

  • What do I do if my 16-17 Saver has been stolen?

    If your 16-17 Saver has been stolen and you have been given a crime reference number or documents by the police, then we will give you a free replacement.

    To replace a stolen 16-17 Saver you bought online, please login to your account and follow the replacement process, you will need to quote your crime reference number. If you bought your 16-17 Saver over the phone, please call us on 0345 301 1656 (7am to 10pm every day except Christmas Day).

  • Can I renew my 16-17 Saver?

    Yes, providing that you are still 17, you can renew the 16-17 Saver. Your 16-17 Saver will be valid up until the day before your 18th birthday.

    However, if you are approaching your 18th birthday, then you may want to consider purchasing the 16-25 Railcard as it may provide you discounts for a longer period. See for more detail. 

  • How can I remove my 16-17 Saver from an existing device?

    To remove your 16-17 Saver from an existing device you will need to login to your account and find the option to manage your 16-17 Saver.

    Then just choose the device you want to remove your card from.

  • Which services can the 16-17 Saver be used on?

    Tickets with a 16-17 Saver discount will be valid on services provided by all English and Welsh train operating companies, including cross-border journeys into Scotland. Discounted tickets will not be valid on ScotRail or Caledonian Sleeper services at the time of launch.

    For details of the ticket types that you can get a discount on with a 16-17 Saver click here

  • I am getting the message "Internal Server Error" during the application process. What can I do?

    The “Internal Server Error” message is a generic error message which relates to issues to do with the way your browser is interfacing with the 16-17 Saver website. Sometimes this problem can occur if you are using compatibility mode in Internet Explorer (versions IE10 and lower).

    In Internet Explorer 10 you can click the compatibility mode button to switch it on or off.

    In Internet Explorer 11 there is no compatibility mode button so to access the Compatibility settings you will need to click on the Settings icon. In the menu that is subsequently displayed you will find “Compatibility View Settings” – click this. In the Settings panel that displays, make sure that is not the box entitled, “Websites you’ve added to compatibility view”. If it is please click on the entry and click the remove button, then click to close it.

  • Can I use my 16-17 Saver in conjunction with Train Company special offers?

    No, the 16-17 Saver cannot be used in conjunction with any other discount.

  • Can I buy tickets at a discounted rate before my 16-17 Saver arrives?

    No. You must always carry your 16-17 Saver with you on any journey where you have bought discounted tickets with it.

    Therefore, if you buy discounted 16-17 Saver tickets before you receive your 16-17 Saver, you do this at your own risk.

  • Why can’t I add my 16-17 Saver to another device?

    You can store your digital 16-17 Saver on up to two devices at a time.

    If you want to add it a third, you will need to remove it from one of your existing devices through your account.

  • Will a customer be able to get a refund if they turn 18 during the card's validity?

    As soon as a customer of the 16-17 Saver turns 18, their card will no longer be valid and no refund will be given.

  • Will this product benefit just students or apprentices also?

    This product will benefit all young people between of 16 and 17, including apprentices, and will help connect them with opportunities further afield.

  • Will I receive the 16-17 Saver discount on any chargeable items I take on the train with me?

    The 16-17 Saver discount does not cover charges on various articles or animals.

    For details about which items carry a charge, and details of the charges, please call National Rail Enquiries on 03457 48 49 50

  • What methods of payment are accepted?

    We accept online payment via credit and debit cards. The cards accepted are: Visa, Visa Debit, Visa Electron, MasterCard, MasterCard Debit, Maestro and Solo.

    We cannot accept American Express or Diner's Club.

  • What happens if I don't have my 16-17 Saver with me and I have to buy a new ticket or pay a Penalty Fare?

    If you are travelling by train on a ticket with 16-17 Saver discount, you must travel with your valid 16-17 Saver. If you forget your 16-17 Saver you will either be required to buy a new ticket or you may on certain services be liable for a Penalty Fare. However, a train company will normally allow you to claim back this extra expense on the first occasion in each year where this happens.

    Each train company will have their own process for doing this. You will need to provide proof of your 16-17 Saver and either the original and additional tickets that you have purchased, or if you have not yet paid, details of the notice to pay or notice of Penalty Fare. Where you have already paid for additional tickets you should contact the relevant train company’s customer services department; in the case of a notice to pay of notice of Penalty Fare, you should follow the instructions included on how to challenge or appeal the charge.

  • The system won't accept my driving licence code - can you help?

    If you are using a driving licence to apply, please make sure that the name you use to apply for your 16-17 Saver is typed into your application in exactly the same format in which it is shown on your driving licence.

    This means that if an apostrophe or hyphen in your name has been left out of your name on your driving licence you need to leave it out of the name you use for your 16-17 Saver.

    For example, if your name is “O’brian” and it is shown as “Obrian” (without the apostrophe) on your driving licence, then you should type it as “Obrian” in your 16-17 Saver application.

  • My 16-17 Saver has not arrived in the post. What can I do?

    You will need to wait FIVE working days and then log back in to your 16-17 Saver online account, select ‘Replace your 16-17 Saver' and then click on the ‘Not received’ button on the left.

    If you then press ‘continue’ this completes the replacement application process. Please check that your address is correct before you order. You will be sent a free replacement provided you do this within 30 days of your purchase date. We believe this is long enough for a customer to notify us they have not received their 16-17 Saver.

    If 30 days has passed from your date of purchase you can still request a replacement card, but you will have to pay a £10 replacement fee.

    You’ll need to have your 16-17 Saver with you to travel on discounted 16-17 Saver tickets.

  • Can I use my 16-17 Saver to buy tickets for other people?

    No. The 16-17 Saver is for your use only, and provides discounts only on tickets bought for your own use. It does not cover anyone accompanying you.

  • Can I use my 16-17 Saver to buy my ticket on the train rather than at a station?

    Only if there is no ticket office, or the ticket office is closed and there is no ticket machine available to buy your discounted ticket at the station at which you began your journey. If this is the case you can buy your discounted ticket from ontrain staff.

    Otherwise, if ticket facilities were available at the station you could be charged the full price Standard Single fare.

  • Can I claim a refund if I don't use my 16-17 Saver?

    No. Unfortunately once the 16-17 Saver has been issued it is non-refundable.

Can't find an answer? 

If the answer to your question is not in the above or you are having problems purchasing your Railcard, you can contact us

Train Companies

If you have any questions concerning rail ticket prices or journey planning National Rail Enquiries will be happy to help you.

If you have any comments about a specific rail journey please contact the train company that provides the service. To find their contact details see the list of Train Operating Companies