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I know I will be making a trip on a particular day, but I don't know exactly what time; yet, I still want to save money by purchasing the savings fare. How close to departure time of a train can I still purchase the savings fare ticket?

Update: Yes, I'm referring to Deutsche Bahn. However, the tickets are for Euro Night.

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That depends on the fare type. I think each fare type has a hard limit. Of course you also run the risk that the quota for that fare is reached before you get around to buying the ticket. –  Gilles Oct 10 '13 at 21:47
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are you talking about Deutsche Bahn, the national German railway company? Because it's not really clear! –  Dirty-flow Oct 11 '13 at 8:27
    
I've made the experience beforehand while buying the saving ticket for Switzerland from Deutsche Bahn, that they tend to run out fairly quickly. Usually you still get a cheaper than normal ticket even just one or two weeks beforehand, but it won't be the cheapest and you'll have to be really flexible as to which train to take. –  drat Oct 11 '13 at 8:56
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2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

First, as Gilles pointed out there's likely a limit to how many on each train have this rate, so if you wait too long you risk missing out.

However, assuming they're available, this link would appear to have the required information, for regional savings fares:

Deutsche Bahn offers saver fares on long-distance travel within Germany for all customers.

To obtain the Sparpreis 25, the ticket must be purchased at least three days in advance.

Note that they also point out what we've suggested, that:

Please note that Sparpreis tickets are subject to availability.

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Availability is much more of an issue than any official limit. Basically, the Sparpreis offers exist in order to allow price discrimination: get people who care more about convenience than money to pay more, without losing customers that can't/won't afford the full price. So they're designed to run out well before the day the train runs and the sooner you buy, the cheaper it will be.

However, if it is an expensive ticket, there may be a semi-workaround: The cancellation fee for Sparpreis tickets is only 15 EUR before the day of the trip. So even if you're not sure about the day and time, it may still be worthwhile to buy a ticket for the most likely time (or even more than one) as soon as possible, and cancel it if your plan turns out to be different. 15 EUR is typically much less than the money you save by getting an early Sparpreis ticket.

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