I live in the the midlands too. I will be doing phase 2 at HMS Collingwood. I can drive but dont fancy driving home and back for a weekend, so i was wondering how the travel warrant works, can you request one anytime or are the specific reasons why one would be issued?
"Forces Discount Coach Cards
The Forces Discount Coach Card entitles all members of the regular forces and their spouses to a discount of approximately 33% on standard fares for nearly all National Express services in mainland Britain. Dependant children are not eligible for the Forces Discount Coach Card. However, children under 5 travel free provided they do not occupy a separate seat. Children aged 5 to 15 inclusive receive the normal child discount rate (full fare discounted by 30%) without requiring the card. Dependants aged 16 to 23 inclusive can purchase the generally available Young Persons' Coach Card. Application for Coach Cards are made via the Service Person's Unit Personnel Office or Ship's Office onboard."
@Soleil: My experience of Coach Cards is that they are not worth the hassle of application, as you can get much better discounts buy purchasing your tickets directly from the coach firms, in particular Megabus. Last November, I travelled with them from Pompey to Birmingham for a gig on a Friday, returning to London the following day for another gig and then onwards to Pompey on the Sunday - all for the princely sum of Â£7! Obviously the journey takes time, but for that price (and a decent MP3 player and book) it's worth it...
When you join the service, you will be given the option to buy an HM Forces Railcard, those who make the effort reap the benefits & get substantial reductions in the cost of tickets (Â£15 outlay & 33% off rail fares), particularly if they have the prescence of mind to book a few weeks in advance.
You will receive "Early Years" rail warrants when you first join - on other words you will get 4 free return tickets in your first year. If you rent or own a property you may get "Get You Home Pay" (GYHP) ** which is a monthly payment equivalent to a return rail ticket per month which is included in your wage.
All military bases usually have a "lifts book" where trained ranks offer spare seats in their car to various destinations across the UK for weekend or main leave travel. Legally, for insurance purposes, they cannot charge you for the journey however common courtesey would suggest you make a suitable contribution to the cost of petrol etc. Either way, it's one hell of a lot cheaper than buying a standard fare rail ticket.
Firstly your primary residence needs to be over 50 miles from your base.
You cannot sub-let the property & claim GYHP.
When you start RT, you may claim GYHP if you already rent or are already buying a property and you (&/or your partner) live there.
In order to claim you will be given an application form & must provide four "proof of residence" documents to the Pay Office in when you join.
The documents should be something like different utilities bills (Gas, Water, Electric, telephone), mortgage statement, rent agreement, TV licence, council tax bill etc. but they must ALL have your name & your residential address on them.