Generally, it is far cheaper to travel by coach than train in the UK. The UK has an extensive coach network, and most parts of the country are accessible that way. Modern long-distance coaches are also much more comfortable than they used to be, often featuring wifi, power sockets, and video for passenger comfort.
In addition to the well-known national networks, small regional and local coach operators such as South East Coaches offer special services, like airport services. These smaller companies also provide coach hire for group travel. For travelling around the UK, the major National Networks offer by far the cheapest options.
National operators such as National Express operate large networks across the UK. There are also coach interchanges that allow feeder routes to connect to the primary networks. Some of the main interchanges are:
- Birmingham coach station
- Bournemouth travel interchange
- Heathrow Central bus station
- Leeds City bus station
- Manchester Chorlton Street coach station
- Milton Keynes Coachway
- Reading coach way
- Victoria coach station, London.
Operating from Victoria Coach station in London, several International routes link European networks to the British network. This connection allows people from many European destinations to change at Victoria and travel across the UK. Various European networks offer these services. British Intercity Network National Express also has routes to Amsterdam, Brussels, Paris. And Dublin.
National Express also has a large number of cheap tickets available. They sell a set number at a low price, then the price increases after that. It is wise to keep track of prices on the National Express website.
National Express offers several coach cards for regular coach travelers. The coach cards currently available are:
- The Senior Coach Card, costs 12.50 plus pounds, including 2.50 postage and packing. It provides a one-third discount on tickets purchased and a & pound; 15.000 discount return tickets midweek.
- The Young Persons Coach Card costs the same, and you also get a one-third discount on tickets (not the midweek benefit).
- The Disabled Coach Card costs the same as the Senior Coach Card and has the same benefits.
- Megabus also offers some coach discount cards; information is available on their website.
How Do I Get the Cheapest Coach Tickets in the UK?
- It is best to book early as possible. In most cases, the sooner you book, the cheaper your ticket will be.
- It is always best to try and travel during off-peak hours. Tickets during this time usually are cheaper.
- Always do your research; there are frequent promotional offers that can save you money.
Update – The situation in September 2021
In July 2021, a newly relaunched Flixbus has commenced expansion across the Uk and is now the fastest-growing long-distance coach network. However, they may now face a larger rival, with talks on 21st September 2021 between Stagecoach and National Express about a potential merger (takeover by National Express). This merger would create a powerful British international long-distance coach company. This move is a turnaround after Stagecoach sold Megabus to Flixbus, which later became Flixbus Uk, closed by Flixbus, and then relaunched. This competition can only lead to reduced-price tickets in the future as they compete