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About Road Equivalent Tariff (RET) fares

Isle of Mull RET

Your guide to ticket changes and how Road Equivalent Tariff will benefit you

What is RET (road equivalent tariff)?

RET is a distance based fares structure, which underpins the Scottish Government commitment to providing one single overarching fares policy across Scotland's entire ferry network. RET bases ferry fares on the cost of travelling the equivalent distance by road.

The RET formula for calculating fares is a combination of a fixed element (to ensure services remain sustainable and to cover fixed costs such as maintaining harbour infrastructure and vessels) and a rate per mile (calculated by analysts using contemporary independent research by RAC). The RET formula will be monitored and reviewed annually by Transport Scotland.


What is the main benefit to you?

RET will bring significant reductions in fares along with a simple and transparent fares structure which is fantastic news for not only the communities which we serve but also the customers we take to the destinations.

When does RET come into effect?

Following the phased roll out of RET pilots to parts of our network in recent years, all remaining routes will benefit from fare reductions when the Winter Timetable opens on 26 October 2015. All fares are listed in the Table below.



RET passenger fare

RET car fare


Wemyss Bay / Rothesay



Colintraive / Rhubodach




Oban / Craignure



Lochaline / Fishnish



Fionnphort / Iona



Tobermory / Kilchoan



Small Isles

Mallaig / Eigg



Mallaig / Muck



Mallaig / Rum



Mallaig / Canna



Sound of Barra

Castlebay / Lochboisdale



Barra / Eriskay



Sound of Harris

Berneray / Leverburgh



Tarbert Harris / Lochmaddy




Mallaig / Armadale




Sconser / Raasay




Largs / Cumbrae




Oban / Lismore




Tarbert / Portavadie




Which routes will be included?

Routes currently with RET

Ardrossan to Brodick

Ardrossan to Campbeltown

Campbeltown to Brodick

Claonaig/Tarbert to Lochranza

Coll to Tiree

Coll/Tiree to Castlebay

Tayinloan to Gigha

Kennacraig to Colonsay

Kennacraig to Port Ellen/Port Askaig

Oban to Colonsay

Oban to Coll

Oban to Port Askaig

Oban to Tiree

Port Askaig to Colonsay

Mallaig to Lochboisdale

Uig to Lochmaddy

Oban to Castlebay

Oban to Lochboisdale

Uig to Tarbert

Stornoway to Ullapool


Routes with RET from 26 October 2015

Barra to Eriskay

Berneray to Leverburgh

Castlebay to Lochboisdale

Colintraive to Rhubodach

Eigg to Canna/Muck/Rum

Fionnphort to Iona

Largs to Cumbrae

Lochaline to Fishnish

Mallaig to Armadale

Mallaig to Canna/Eigg/Muck/Rum

Muck to Canna/Rum

Oban to Craignure

Oban to Lismore

Rum to Canna

Sconser to Raasay

Tarbert to Portavadie

Tarbert Harris to Lochmaddy

Tobermory to Kilchoan

Wemyss Bay to Rothesay

How will this affect your tickets?

Certain ticket types which we currently offer will be withdrawn. These include:

• Multi Journey tickets on certain routes

• Saver Return and 5 and 9 Day Saver Return

• Islander Return

• Island Rover

More information on ticket types can be found below.

Multi Journey 

50 Journey 

30 Journey 

Island Hopscotch

Season Tickets

Electric Car Fares

Blue Badge Holders

Concessionary Travel

Rail and Sail


Group Tickets

Commercial Vehicles

Multi Journey Tickets

Multi journey tickets are being removed to simplify the fares structure. However, steps have been taken to ensure that no one will pay any more for an RET ticket than the single equivalent of a standard multi journey ticket. Multi journey tickets will only be valid until

25 October 2015 so please bear this in mind when purchasing these tickets. If you currently have a book and haven't used all the tickets, we will provide a refund on the unused portion on receipt of the tickets. The current Refund Policy will apply.

50 Journey Tickets

The only two routes that will retain their 50 journey car and driver books are Wemyss Bay to Rothesay and Colintraive to Rhubodach. These tickets are being retained as it is cheaper than the equivalent RET fare.

30 Journey Tickets

30 Journey tickets for our Berneray to Leverburgh and Ardmhor to Eriskay routes are no longer available. RET is cheaper than these tickets.

Island Hopscotch Tickets

Island Hopscotch tickets will still be available under RET.

Season Tickets

Our Wemyss Bay to Rothesay, Largs to Cumbrae and Oban to Craignure (6 and 12 months)

Season tickets will remain and be valid for 1, 3, 6 and 12 months.

Electric Car Fares

The discounted electric car fares on Mull and Bute will be removed when RET is introduced on these routes.

Blue Badge Holders

From 26 October 2015, any customer who holds a blue badge will receive a 25% discount on the vehicle in which they are travelling. The discount will be available on car, motorhome and motorbike fares. In cases where the new discounted RET fares are more expensive than the previously available discount, the fares will be capped at the lower level. The discount will be open to both islanders and non-islanders that hold a Blue Badge.

Concessionary Travel

There will be no change to concessionary travel.

Rail and Sail

Rail and Sail tickets will still be available and will be updated to reflect the reduced RET fare.


There will no longer be the option to purchase one ticket for a coach and all its passengers.

Coaches will be charged at a fixed price and a rate per 1/2m. This charge includes the driver.

All passengers will need to have a valid ticket for travel.

Group Tickets

Group tickets will not be available under RET as the passenger ticket is already discounted.

Commercial Vehicles

There will be no change to the fares for commercial vehicles, however small CVs up to 6m in length (rather than the previous 5m) will now qualify for the RET car fare.

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