In my view, a lot of people are paying more than they need to, and with a little bit of effort they could travel much cheaper.
Before you begin your email of complaint, take a look at this price comparison which I pulled together in 2015 with the following criteria:
- Standard adult return fare, not a day return (validity is usually 90 days)
- Starting from the mainland to the Isle of Wight
- I only included books of tickets where you buy 10 or less returns with a validity of 12 months. I didnâ€™t include deals where you buy 20 or 40 returns or a season ticket as that is more akin to commuting rather than occasional travel.
- Turning up and buying a one off return journey on one of the foot passenger ferries is always the most expensive option.
- Taking the car ferry from Southampton as a foot passenger takes an extra 30 minutes, but saves you about Â£9 over two legs.
- If you use the Ryde Pierhead to Portsmouth Harbour route as a foot passenger three or more times in a year, then you should buy a Multilink pass. Even if you donâ€™t get through all five tickets, you will still save money.
- If you use the Hovercraft three or more times in a year, you should buy a regular travel card.
- If you are travelling to or from Southampton about once a month over a year then the cheapest deal by far is a book of 10 returns on the car ferry. Travel ten times and youâ€™ll save yourself about Â£100 compared to the passenger ferry.
- The new Scoot ferry from Yarmouth to Lymington is cheaper than a one off Wightlink fare on the same route (on the day fares), but Wightlinkâ€™s Multilink option is cheaper if you are taking that route four times in a year.
So whatâ€™s the secret to getting the cheapest Isle of Wight foot passenger fares?
Do a bit of research, have a guess of how many times youâ€™ll travel over a year and then pay in advance. And if you're only travelling once and want to save some money, get the car ferry as a foot passenger and pretend it is a cruise...
Shhh...don't tell anyone.