The United Kingdom has an extensive and well-connected network of bus routes.
In urban areas, you’ll probably find a bus stop every few minutes walks from your home.
This means that public transport is a great way to get around if you don’t own a car.
You can also get an unlimited number of journeys on most services within a day or a period with a pass known as the ‘Bus Pass.
However, individual tickets are usually quite expensive and not the most cost-effective way to use public transport in the UK.
UK Bus Tickets
Bus tickets are available for purchase online.
You can also purchase them at a bus station or on the bus if there is a ticket machine on board.
If you’re visiting the UK, you can also purchase tickets at any train station or via an app called My Bus.
There are no specific prices for each area or route.
Instead, separate prices are depending on the type of ticket you buy.
Where to buy UK bus tickets?
Most bus operators in the UK offer tickets online, but some still sell them at bus stations.
The following bus operators offer online ticket sales:
- First: The biggest operator in the UK, serving major cities like Liverpool, Birmingham, and Glasgow as well as rural regions.
- Stagecoach: An operator serving the UK, Netherlands, and Ireland.
- Arriva: Operates in Wales, the Midlands, and East England. – National Express: Operates in the UK and Ireland.
- Megabus: Operates long-distance routes between the UK’s major cities as well as to Paris, Brussels, and Amsterdam.
- Bus Online Travel: A ticket broker with a wide selection of bus operators including Eurolines, National Express, Megabus, and Scottish Citylink.
- MyBus: An app which allows you to buy tickets for various bus operators including National Express, Megabus, and Stagecoach.
What are the Types of UK bus tickets?
Depending on your route and the number of passengers, there are several types of tickets you can purchase.
- Single Tickets: A single ticket allows one person to travel to one destination on a particular date. These are often very expensive and not the best value for money.
- Return Tickets: Return tickets allow a person to travel to two destinations, either on consecutive days or at a later date. They are cheaper than single tickets but not as cost-effective as other options.
- Day Return Tickets: Day return tickets allow one person to travel to two destinations on the same day. They are generally cheaper than single return tickets.
- Bus Passes: A bus pass allows unlimited travel for a certain number of days. A pass for one day is often cheaper than paying for multiple single fares.
- Concession Tickets: Reduced-fare tickets are available for anyone under 16, 65 or over, or anyone with a disability.
- Student Tickets: Student tickets are available for those studying at a university or a secondary school.
Are there Other ways to save on UK bus travel?
- Buy a return ticket instead of two single tickets. If you have a return journey, you can use the remaining ticket on a different day for a friend or family member.
- Book tickets online a few weeks in advance to get the best prices.
- Travel on a weekday instead of a weekend as buses is less full during the week.
- Consider multi-day passes for longer journeys such as an Intercity or Megabus pass.
- Bring a friend so you can share a ticket. If you’re travelling with a large group, an operator called Scottish Citylink offers a ‘group booking’ option where you can buy a single ticket for all members of your party.
The United Kingdom has an extensive bus network.
Tickets can be purchased online, at bus stations, or on board.
There are several types of tickets available including single, return, and multi-day passes.
Travellers can save money by booking in advance and travelling during the week.