If you're going to be taking several train journeys per year in the UK, and especially if you won't be starting your journey until 10am, it's well worth investigating the railcards available, as for certain classes of journeys then can yield a large saving. (They're especially good for families, students, people travelling in the south-east of England, and the over 60s)

I've been making good use of my railcard this year, and it's due for renewal fairly soon. I know I'll want to use it on the day after it expires, but there are normally long queues at the ticket office at that time, so renewing it then will mean having to get to the station much earlier that usual.

What I'm wondering is if I could go to the station at a quiet time before the railcard expires, renew it, and have the remaining time from the old railcard added to the validity of the new one?

2 Answers 2


When you apply for renewal of a railcard, the form has a specific section which asks for details of previous railcard, including date of expiry.

What is then done is that the new railcard you receive is postdated to the date of expiry of your existing card.

I've done this with my 16-25 railcard in the past, so I know!

Just FYI: In most cases of identities with validity that can be renewed, a similar system of postdating is adopted, as opposed to varying the validity date. This is to ensure that very few errors and frauds occur in the system. In some cases it is also possible for you to directly request for a postdated validity period for various obvious reasons.

  • Hm .... I currently hold a 1 year railcard that expires in February 2017. I'm 24 in about 2 weeks time and can still get myself a 3 year 16-25 card. So I wonder ... if I get it just normally it will then expire in July 2019 but what happens if I enter the details of my current railcard? It surely won't add 7 more months to it?!
    – kiradotee
    Jul 7, 2016 at 12:14

Yes, you can renew early, and have the validity of the new railcard extended to cover the existing time on the old one.

I'm not sure how much in advance you can do it, but there were no problems when I asked to renew mine a few weeks in advance. They looked at the date on the old railcard (not easy - it had faded quite a bit), filled in most of the renewal form for me, attached the old railcard to the part of the form they keep, and then issued me with a new railcard with an expiry date in 12.5 months time.

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