Wightlink provide answers to OnTheWight price change questions

We put six specific question to Wightlink about their new pricing scheme. Here are their answers.

Wightlink ferry under dark clouds

After the reaction this week from Islanders to the much higher prices that some people using Wightlink’s new booking system were getting, OnTheWight wanted to get a better understanding of what was happening with the Wightlink system and why some prices were so much more expensive.

OnTheWight’s questions
Below are six questions that OnTheWight put to Wightlink, complete with the answers they provided.

While the answers aren’t as direct as we’d have hoped, it’s good that Wightlink are engaging – as can also be seen on their Facebook page.

We’ve added a summary of what their answers seem to be saying under the Q&A.

Here’s the full Q&A

  • Q: A 5.1m van. Travels three times a week. Booked last week for £60. This week £164.80. Would you imagine this price increase to be possible?

    A: Under the new booking system, vehicles are charged according to how much space they take up on board. Some anomalies have arisen, we are asking all customers with concerns to call us to discuss their individual cases and travel requirements

  • Q: Any plans to adjust prices lower?

    A: The new system is revenue neutral, Wightlink is not making money out of the changes, there are both winners and losers.

  • Q: Is it right that van booking from the Island have now lost the discount they used to have over Mainland van bookings?

    A: All journeys are charged the same, regardless of where they start. However only Islanders and people with a residence on the Island can buy Multilink passes to travel at a discount.

  • Q: Was VAT not charged on small vans 5-6m previously?

    A: VAT is and was charged on freight vehicles. However if vans were shipped from the Island on ‘tourist’ tickets, they did not attract VAT. Now all cars and vans under 5m are zero rated for VAT.

  • Q: Did there used to be a 5m+ van size _and_ a 6m+ size? ie the 6m+ has been removed/moved down to the 5m+ ?

    A: Freight and vans over 5m are charged by the metre. There used to be a category for ‘up to 5.5m’. This has been withdrawn. Now, any vehicle between 5.01m and 6m is now classified as 6m.

Here’s our summary /strong>

  • On the steep price rises – They might be ‘anomalies’. Contact Wightlink to try and resolve the high prices.
  • Apparently no plans to reduce the prices. With new system “there are both winners and losers”
  • There is no longer a discount for Island-based ferry bookings
  • Freight and vans over 5m are now charged by the metre. The previous ‘up to 5.5m’ category has been withdrawn

Image: nicksie2008 under CC BY 2.0

Friday, 29th November, 2013 1:30pm


ShortURL: http://wig.ht/2boa

Filed under: Ferry, Island-wide, Isle of Wight News, Top story

Any views or opinions presented in the comments below must comply with the Commenting 'House Rules' and are solely those of the author and do not represent those of OnTheWight.

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21 Comments on "Wightlink provide answers to OnTheWight price change questions"

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Engaging!!! You are kidding. They engaged by sticking up their prices! It’s not a debate we want!

Charles Courtney
That is part of the problem retiredhack. They don’t have a rate card as such because they have adopted the airlines type system of dynamic pricing, so that the higher the demand for a particular sailing, the higher the price goes for the remaining spaces. This makes it very hard for us to make direct comparisons and allows for easy obfuscation on Wightlink’s part. I for one… Read more »
Most of their responses are statements rather than answers to the questions. Statements rather than answers are often the last refuge of a scoundrel. Just to clear up one point. There are still modest discounts on return journeys starting from the island for domestic vehicles, as against those starting on the mainland. The typical return fare from the island for car-plus-seven is £72, against £76 from the… Read more »

Now just tell me again: how do I manage to squeeze seven (!) people into my little Skoda?

Charles Courtney

Grandma & Grandad on the roof rack but lying down, lest they break the 2.24m height restriction!


Quite. Among those who gain are those with cars big enough to accommodate seven people, but stay under 5 metres; large people carriers such as the Ford Galaxy for example. They will no longer have to pay the additional passenger fare (£7.50 single) for each occupant above four.

Happy Daze

How right you are RH.

Needed to buy some more Multilinks yesterday to find that my wife and I will now be paying for five phantom passengers on each of our trips to visit the grandchildren!

This price rise is not insignificant!


This is a classic business tactic: advertise something of fantastic generosity – for a circumstance that will rarely happen.

Island Monkey

And they wonder why Islanders hate them?

Wightlink are as high handed and as arrogant as any loathsome politician.

Only using an alternative operator and a protest will work and even that is not a certainty.

Dreadful company.


The Macquarie Banksters are hated so much in Australia they are called, “The Vampire Kangaroo”…Bloodsucking Financial Terrorists according to Max Keiser.


Well these extra charges will come in handy when the Scooterists come over on August Bank Holiday. Clearly they do not take up much room and so their tickets will be considerably reduced. Although you will make the extra on the Vans that bring the custom scooters over.


Quote: The new system is revenue neutral.

Could we have an accurate breakdown of the winners & losers to prove this?


the best……………it’s not Wight link ?

Tim Brayford
The question that I have asked Wightlink and they have been unable to answer is:- For my Nissan Navarra which is just under 5.3m long I have actually got to pay for a space for a vehicle up to 3 x the size at 15m! How is this “fairer pricing”? I have now asked Wightlink this several times and had no meaningful response from them. To be… Read more »

With the constant changing of ‘Fare Pricing’ I cannot help wondering what impact this new system of charging will have on deliveries especially with the increase in mail order purchases, and not forgetting trades-people and all those attendees of Festival’s coming from the mainland.

Surely, this must directly or indirectly affect all residents and tourists both living here and coming to the Island.


Braveheart, most of the larger customers will have trade accounts and be subject to a different ‘non-proletariant’ and considerably more generous pricing structure.

Wight link must be investigated again by the monopolies and mergers commission , this latest stunt takes the biscuit island residents need by law of the land a %50 reduction in all fares regardless of what size vehicle they drive this law should also apply to red funnel a computer system can easily check that vehicles are registered to an island address to stop abuse. maybe the… Read more »
by there own admission the state they have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds on a new ticket and pricing system .well in a recession for a company to be able to spend so much money proves they were charging far to much even before the latest hike , instead of spending all this money in a system designed to rip us off further they could of… Read more »
A pontoon style bridge with a 50m swing pivot system in the centre to allow boats to pass is needed 50 million is the price tag 50 thousand isle of Wight residents can all collectively chip in to build it at a cost of approximately £1,000.00 each those residents will then equally own the bridge and have free travel to and from the island for life they… Read more »
@brunel “A pontoon style bridge with a 50m swing pivot system in the centre to allow boats to pass is needed 50 million is the price tag” ……. and the rest for things such as road links at either end to road networks etc, As an indication, the new Forth Road Bridge cost £1.6 BILLION and is considerably shorter than a Solent bridge would have to be.… Read more »

Good job we can always rely on you for facts and figures when this issue comes up, Cicero!