How do I sell rail tickets Applying for a license Marketing plan Bonds Rail Industry Commission FAQs Forms Ticket Issuing Systems

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: As an ATOC Agent, what rail products can I sell?
A: ATOC Agents can sell the full range of National Rail Products which are made available by all
Train Companies.


 

Q: What Rail Products can I NOT sell?
A: Season Tickets, local promotions, short term promotions, certain types of tickets which include
entrance to Theme Parks or exhibitions and special fares introduced by Train Companies from
time to time.


 

Q: How will I obtain Ticket Stocks
A: When you are appointed as an ATOC Agent, you will be given an account code which will
entitle you to request rail ticket stock from ATOC's approved suppliers.


 

Q: What costs are involved?
A: There will be an initial set up fee of £300 plus VAT. This is a non-refundable charge. The costs
for most Ticket Issuing Systems if appropriate, are shown in appendix 2.0. A Bond or Banker's
Guarantee might be needed in which case your bank might raise a charge for this service. If you not have the required number of staff having attained the ATOC CORAC exam you will also need to factor in this cost(s), further information can be found on the 'Training' tab of this website.


 

Q: How long does the licensing application procedure take?
A: A completed application, where you have  at least two members of staff with a valid CORAC Certificate, appropriate financial security and a robust Marketing Plan could be complete in around six to eight weeks. All applications are referred to Train Companies for their endorsement. 


 

Q: What level of Commission will my agency earn?
A: Currently, the basic rate of commission is 3%. This may be changed from time to time. Any
incentives over and above the basic rate of commission must be negotiated with individual Train
Companies who may agree a specific proposal, based on their company's level of sales at your
agency.


 

Q: Is there a minimum level of rail sales turnover needed before a licence will be
granted?
A: As a guide the minimum requirement in the first year's trading should be between £25,000 and
£50,000. Consideration may be given by ATOC if the circumstances were that the agent was in a
rural area and revenue expectation was less than £25,000.

Q: What happens to the Licence in the event of a change of ownership/shareholding?

There are three scenarios to consider

Scenario 1

Change of ownership - If the licensed company number is to be sold outright and will continue to trade under the same company registered details then all we will require is the details of the new owners. Following satisfactory investigation of the new owner/parent company then from our point of view it would continue ‘business as usual’.

Bond – If the agent currently provides a bond then this will remain in place unless a new bond is provided by the new owners/share holders, if this is the case the original bond can be returned to the bond provider on receipt of the replacement bond, this is an ideal time to review the bond value.

Please note: If the company registered name changes and the existing bond is going to remain in place we would require an amendment from the bank/bond provider to reflect the new registered name.

TARIF - Under this scenario the agents TARIF membership will continue.

Scenario 2

Change of ownership – If the business of the licensed agent is being sold to a new company who also holds an ATOC rail licence we will require the details of the new owners as soon as possible to enable us to evaluate the effect the additional business is going to have on the new owning company.

In this situation the original rail licence code will be closed on the date of sale. If a separate rail licence code is still required then a new code will need to be allocated, please allow at least 6 weeks for the application to be processed.

Bond – If the new owner is a bond holder, the value of the bond would need to be increased to cover the additional sales.

TARIF – If the new owner is a TARIF member then equally the level of insured cover will need to be increased; application will need to be made to the insurer for approval if the insured level is/will breach the £250K governance of ATOC.

Scenario 3

Change of ownership - If the business of the licensed agent is being sold to a non ATOC licensed registered company they will be required to complete and return an ATOC rail licence application form. As the application process generally takes around 6 weeks it is vital this is submitted as soon as possible. The existing rail licence of the agent will be closed upon date of sale.

Bond – All new rail licence holders are required to supply a bond. The bond value is calculated on the value of the 2 highest consecutive period’s sales.

TARIF – TARIF applications are not considered until the company has completed a 3 year period without any instances of late settlement or default.