Where a changeover to a cheaper season ticket is refunded at the pro rata of the full 52 weeks, and an annual is refunded at pro rata of only the first 40 weeks, is it worth doing a changeover to a cheaper one and then getting that refunded?

The short version is that refunding a changeover takes the fact that it's been changed into account as part of the calculation.

Here's a worked example using current fares:

Let's say you hold a Cambridge - London Zones 1-6 Travelcard valid from 2nd January 2020 to 1st January 2021 at a cost of £6684 (£167.10 a week).

Changing that to Hatton - Lapworth (£172.00 for the Annual, £4.30 base weekly rate) with effect from 18th March would have netted you a refund of £5173.60.

If you then request a refund from 23rd March, the first step is to recalculate the original changeover for the new expiry date, as the period of validity will be less, thus the notional daily rate for each ticket will be higher.

The full working out follows, but essentially in this case, you'd end up owing the TOC £119.10(!)

We're now looking at a season ticket validity of 2 months 22 days, which is a multiplier of 10.5. This gives a revised price for the original ticket of £1754.60 and for the new ticket of £45.20.

The notional number of days for calculating the base rate drops from 365 to 82 (2 months at 30 days, plus 22 'odd' days), giving revised base rates of £21.40 (up from £18.31) and 55p (up from 47p).

Our changeover is now valid for 6 days, giving us a credit on the original ticket of £128.40 and charge for the new ticket of £3.30, leaving a refund due of £125.10.

Now we can calculate our refund:

To work out the price

**actually** paid we deduct the credit from the original changeover from the original purchase price of the Annual then add the charge for the replacement ticket. In this case, that's £6684.00 - £5309.90 + £136.30 = £1510.40.

To work out what

**would** have been paid had the season been bought to expire on the date submitted for refund, we basically do the same thing but with the prices for the revised changeover. So that's £1754.60 - £128.40 + £3.30 = £1629.50.

We then subtract the amount that

**would** have been paid from what was

**actually** paid to determine the gross refun, giving us £1510.40 - £1629.50 =

**-£119.10.**