However, as I approached the upper age limit I began to use mine less and less as the online advance tickets were even cheaper than the off-peak online tickets and they had no further railcard discount.
I was glad to read the other day that ATOC has revealed a whopping increase in YPR sales of 60% over the last year. During 2011, 1.2 million YPRs were sold, which is broadly worth £33.6m to the train operating companies. Each railcard holder is calculated to make a saving of around £159 per year on an assumed 40 journeys during the same period.
I'm more shocked about the latter figure - 40 train journeys each year? That's just over 3 a month which, perhaps, is broadly accurate for a student at university who visits home semi-regularly or makes a short trip somewhere local with friends while away, but YPR holders can use one until they turn 26 - many years after the typical student has left uni.
I wonder how many of those using a YPR do so when the ticket they ultimately purchase doesn't offer a further railcard discount as the ticket type is ridiculously cheap? In the age of austerity when savvy commuters and leisure travellers are shopping around online for the cheapest, inflexible train tickets, more and more will not offer any railcard discount at all. I'd urge anyone reading this who is in possession of a YPR (and has therefore paid £28 this year) who isn't likely to make the average 40 journeys by train this year, to see just how often the buy a ticket online that offers no reduction for the YPR.
As I discovered, the infrequent traveller, who probably travels enough to save more than the cost of the YPR in train tickets over the year, may not actually do so if they prefer to use advance tickets purchased direct from the train operator's website. A friend attended Aberystwyth University a few years back and, like most who studied there, bought himself a YPR yet as he returned home just three times a year - all booked months in advance to coincide with the end of term - wasted money as the tickets he purchased were all advance and offered no YPR discount at all.