Fares Guide (Jan 2017)

This is an old page. The current version can be found here.

Despite setting zonal fares a few years ago, the fare structure for rail journeys is incredibly complex and getting worse. TfL have a series of pages on their website which describe the various scales in great detail. The problem is that they don’t make it very clear that each page only applies to a subset of all the lines. They also include a lot of duplicated information about caps and travelcards which makes the pages look more complex. In an effort to simplify some of the information, this site now hosts a page with all the daily caps and travelcards for zones 1-9. And we also have a single page listing all the different adult single fares both zone by zone and scale by scale, complete with a colour coded map to help decide which scale applies to your journey.

The single fare finder on the TfL website is the bible for finding the fare between any two rail stations in the Oyster area. When you select your start and end stations and type of fare (adult, child, etc) it will display the fares for the default route and any alternative routes below. It is really important to describe your journey the right way round though, because the times when peak fares apply can be different depending on the direction of travel.

There is only really one flaw with this utility and that is that it doesn’t describe what it thinks the default route is. In most cases this doesn’t matter, but it can cause confusion in some cases. You also need to be careful when selecting stations which are split in two but with the same name (eg Lewisham NR and Lewisham DLR). The default route from Richmond to Lewisham NR is via Waterloo and Waterloo East while the default route from Richmond to Lewisham DLR is via the District Line and the DLR. The latter also offers a cheap roundabout route avoiding zone 1 via Overground, Stratford and the DLR.

126 thoughts on “Fares Guide (Jan 2017)”

  1. How much is a 6 months travel card for zones 2 to 4.? if this is not available, how much is the annual travel card?

    • Hi Amma,

      The prices are on the caps and travelcards page linked at the top of this page. Six months is just six times the monthly price.

  2. Hello Mike,

    I’ve discovered what may be an interesting anomaly when investigating the new(-ish) Overground loop, and would like your input on this. The relevent journey is Clapham Junction -> Highbury & Islington.

    First, fare finder output:
    £4.30/£3.70 Via Zone 1 changing between London Underground and National Rail at Blackfriars, Cannon Street, Charing Cross, London Bridge, Victoria, Waterloo or Waterloo East
    £4.30/£3.70 Via Zone 1 changing between National Rail and London Underground at Vauxhall

    Obviously this is TfL-LU(2) for the Overground loop as the default and NR1-T(1-2) for going via Vauxhall or Victoria with Southern or SWT as the alternatives.

    However, there are two actually very practicable routes which should be TfL-LU(1-2):
    – Overground to Clapham High Street -> OSI to Clapham North -> Northern Line to Stockwell -> Victoria Line
    – Overground or Southern to West Brompton -> District Line to Victoria -> Victoria Line

    What happens on these routes? The first one leads through an OSI, so the system *should* know that something is happening, but it’s not something the fare finder accounted for. So how is it charged? The fare finder alone is inconclusive.

    Even more interesting is the second one – not only is there no OSI, there are no intermediate ticket barriers *full stop*. There is nothing to tell the system you *aren’t* travelling the default route along the Overground loop, and thus nothing stopping it from billing a blatant TfL-LU(1-2) journey as TfL-LU(2) – or is there?

    I don’t know and have no way to test, which is why I’m asking you. It’s a surprisingly simple and useful exploit if true (and/or possibly a massive failure on part of the fare finder).

    • Clapham Junction to Highbury & Islington is one of a number of journeys involving around half of the Overground circle which can be made either way. They choose to ignore the fact that one way goes through zone 1 at Shoreditch. In the case of the Clapham North/High Street option it will sadly be charged via zone 1 in the reverse direction if you are using Oyster. The West Brompton and Victoria option is a lucky consequence which they probably feel most people will ignore as there are plentiful faster trains between Clapham Junction and Victoria on NR.

  3. I see. How very curious indeed. Just out of interest, does the system at least charge using the correct fare scale when using the Clapham North/High Street option? You didn’t specify.

  4. Hi,
    Why there are different fare from Z1-Z5 traveling if under ground(UG) only(£4.70) and if travelling in Z1(UG)- Z5(national rail) its £5.00 ? .
    Whereas I have noticed if journey is from Z1-Z4, its same £3.90 irrespective of UG only or UG+national rail.

    • Hi Atul,

      The different fare scales are incredibly complicated. The fact that two different fare scales happen to be the same for zone 1-4 is chance. If you look at the single fares page you’ll see just how complex it is.

  5. Hi there.

    My first post so please be gentle with me if a stupid question or if I may have posted in the wrong place 🙂

    My typical adult journey once a week is Woking to Bank tube via London Waterloo – sometimes peak sometimes off peak.

    Historically I have purchased an all zones travel card for £29 . However I’m thinking that for the sake of two trips on the one stop drain that it may be cheaper to buy an overground travel return and use my oyster for the Waterloo-Bank hop on the drain ?

    Any advise on my logic or otherwise would be greatly appreciated ?

    Many thanks

    • Hi,

      Yes, your logic is correct for the anytime and off-peak versions. If you satisfy the conditions for the super off-peak travelcard then that is slightly cheaper than the super off-peak return plus two zone 1 tube singles. For super off-peak you can’t arrive at Waterloo before 1200 or leave between 1600-1900.

  6. Hi mike, I’m not sure if this is the place to post this but I’m not sure where else, so here goes.

    I’m travelling from walthamstow to kempton park NR station on saturday. I understand that kempton park is just outside of the oyster area. Also, it is served by trains every half an hour.

    With this in mind i’ve checked single fare finder and train fares from different stations, after balancing time taken, cost and route.

    I have an oyster with my 16-25 railcard added as I am currently a student. I am planning to travel from walthamstow central to highbury and islington, get an overground train to west brompton via willesden junction, changing onto the district line to wimbledon (where i touch out) and then use a train ticket to kempton park. Although it will take some time, its not a short journey and I worked out combined oyster and ticket cost works out as £6.70 return, or slightly more (8.35 i think) if i get home the fastest way from wimbledon.what do you think?
    what route would you advise?

    • Hi Dave,

      You seem to have done your homework. Don’t forget that you will need to touch in at Wimbledon if you are continuing to Waterloo, so it won’t be on the same train as you’ve come from Kempton Park. Personally I’d do either route, the difference is really dictated by whichever of cost or time is more important to you.

  7. Mike

    Thanks for your advice re Woking-Bank options.

    Your sight highlights how complicated the Oyster is for occasional travellers and tourists. For the latter it should be essential reading for overseas visitors !

    I wonder if I could trouble you with one more question re my travel from Woking ?

    A couple of times a month I will travel up from Woking to the West End , Camden or the O2 arena.

    Is there an sppx rule of tumb for these multi station tube trips to when I should purchase a one day all zones travel card OR get a return overground ticket & use my oyster for the tube ?

    Thanks again for all your help here

    • Hi,

      Waterloo to Bank is a zone 1 tube fare so the same maths applies to any zone 1 journey (eg the West End). Off-peak the same fare also applies to zone 1-2 as well which includes Camden and the O2. Obviously if you make more than one return tube journey the combined travelcard and ticket from Woking makes more sense.

  8. Hi Mike,
    I often go home from the West End from Charing Cross on the Northern Line, change at Balham then NR to either Wallington or Carshalton. Off-peak £3.20 great.

    Last week I got on at Leicester Square instead. £4.70? Both in Zone 1. Why is it £1.50 more to go one more stop on the Northern Line.

    Next time I’ll be walking to Charing Cross!

    Thanks for the great website.

    • Hi Dan,

      £4.70 is actually the correct fare. Charing Cross LU is a special case until August while Southeastern trains from Charing Cross do not call at London Bridge. I’m not sure that changing at Balham is an approved alternative route, but because it’s not defined separately it works in this case. After August you’ll neeed to use Southeastern to London Bridge to get that fare.

  9. Hi Mike,
    I would like to ask how much the weekly/monthly travel card from Twickenham to Weybridge costs? Is it cheaper to go by bus 281 and change to 461, where would I need to buy the ticket for bus 461?
    Many thanks

    • Hi Simone,

      Twickenham to Weybridge season tickets depend on whether you travel via Clapham Junction or Virginia Water. Weekly (monthly) tickets cost £50 (£192) via Virginia Water and £63 (£242) via Clapham Junction. I’m sure that the bus would be cheaper, but I don’t know details for the 461. I imagine you would give the money to the driver on that bus as it isn’t a TfL service.

  10. Hi,

    I have an 18+ oyster card with a zone 2-5 travelcard. I’ve found that when making the journey from Balham to Archway I keep being charged even though they’re both zone 3, is it because i’m using the northern line?

  11. Hi Mike

    I recently made two almost identical (peak) journeys but the fare charged for one was more than double the fare charged for the other.

    Journey #1 (£2.00):

    Wandsworth Town (Z2 NR) – Whitechapel (Z2 LU/NR)
    Via Zone 1 changing between National Rail and London Underground at Vauxhall

    Journey #2 (£4.30):

    Clapham Junction (Z2 NR) – Whitechapel (Z2 LU/NR)
    Via Zone 1 changing between National Rail and London Underground at Vauxhall

    All SWT trains from Wandsworth Town to Vauxhall stop at Clapham Junction anyway, so it seems odd that joining at Clapham Junction (instead Wandsworth Town) costs 115% more, especially as both stations are in Zone 2.

    BTW, for journey #2, it would have been 80p cheaper for me to catch a bus from Clapham Junction back to Wandsworth Town (£1.50), jump on the train at Wandsworth Town for Vauxhall (stopping at Clapham Junction!). This would have cost less at £3.50 (£2.00+£1.50).

    (A similar thing happens when I travel from Shoreditch High Street to Clapham Junction via the SLL Overground. The fare is £2.90. If I continue the journey beyond Clapham Junction to Wandsworth Town (changing at Clapham Junction) the fare drops to £2.70).

    Although the fares are correct I was wondering if you could throw any light on the reason(s) why there is such as huge difference in the fares for these two journeys and why it costs more than double when I join journey #1 en route at Clapham Junction.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Paul,

      I can explain both issues and it’s all down to the complexity of fares in London.

      The first issue is a mistake, which might now get rectified. The default route takes the South London Line to avoid zone 1. They have added alternatives for changing at the South London terminals but forgotten to add changing at Vauxhall as a separate entry. The rule is that any route which isn’t described by an alternative route is charged at the default rate, so that’s what you get.

      The second issue is the difference between the TfL-LU scale zone 1-2 single and the NR1 scale zone 1-2 single. TfL-LU is charged if you remain on TfL services (most LO/LU/DLR) while NR1 is charged if you keep to NR services which include LO. Normally NR fares are higher, but in some cases it does go the other way by 10-20p. Take a look at our single fares page to see just how complicated it all is.

  12. Hi,

    Don’t know if you can help me but I need to travel at peak times from Isleworth to Oxford Circus for 3 months over the summer. I have a 16-25 railcard but can’t get an 18+ student oyster. Can I get any kind of discounts or do I need to pay for monthly oyster travel cards?


    • Hi Lauren,

      I’m not sure how much it might help but the 16-25 railcard has no minimum fares in July and August. You could therefore buy daily travelcards at discounted rates in those months. Beyond that you are limited to full price tickets so you might as well use the Oyster.

  13. Hello Mike,

    Hope you are well. Was wondering if you could help me figure something out.
    Used to live in Docklands, DLR Zone 3, and just moved to Charlton. The train station is indicated as Zone 3 as well.

    I noticed that Pay As You Go Oyster fare in peak from SW train from Charlton to London Bridge, and then Northern Line to Angel, which is my daily commute, has charged me £5 instead of the £3.30 which I thought was the peak fare for Zone 3 to Zone 1.

    Does that mean that the standard weekly Z1-3 ticket of £38 pounds won’t cover this journey (Chartlon to London Bridge, then Northern Line to Angel)?

    Also, would it be a better option to take a bus to North Greenwich Underground and use the Jubilee Line instead, and change again at London Bridge for Northern Line to Angel? Would you be please advise which is the more cost efficient journey?

    Thank you for your help.

    • Hi Maria,

      It’s the difference between the types of train you use, and particularly the mixing of NR and TfL on a journey involving zone 1. If you look at the single fares link at the top of this page you should see the fares in question.

      Anyway, yes a zone 1-3 travelcard will cover your entire journey. You should also find that the journey home is subject to the zone 1-3 daily cap of £7.60. For this reason getting a bus to North Greenwich won’t actually reduce the return fare, although it would save 20p on a single journey.

  14. Thank you very much Mike. Didn’t realise that using a different type of train affects the single prices. Happy to know the weekly and monthly cards are still the same price and cover all modes 🙂

    So if I use NR and Tfl from Charlton I will need a Z1-3 card, but if I use a bus to North Greenwich and use only TFL to Angel, I will need a Z1-2 card as North Greenwich is Zone 2/3, right?

    So a bus + Tfl could be cheaper option than NR + Tfl?

    • Hi Maria,

      Yes, that’s right. I’d forgotten that North Greenwich is dual zoned so that probably is a worthwhile saving.

  15. Hi Mike
    next September my daughter will be traveling to school from Banstead Rail station to Carshalton Beeches. What is the cheapest option for her. I’ll be getting her a 16+ Zip card.

    travel time will be 7:30am returning 16:15


    • Hi Peter,

      There’s only one route between those stations so the 16+ zip card will offer the best value fares.

  16. Hi Mike,

    I’m looking at commuting from Barking to Richmond. Would a ‘Zone 4 only’ railcard work for this and if so are their any rules against it?

    • Hi Andy,

      No it wouldn’t work. Firstly you can’t get a single zone travelcard and secondly you have to pay for every zone you travel through. You’d need a minimum of zones 2-4 for that journey.

  17. Hi Mike, in the past I have gone from Upminster to Ravenscourt Park for £1.50 off peak by tapping on the pink readers at Stratford and Gunnersbury. Now this route is missing from the fare finder as I have been charged £3.10. I have written to them and they say I need to go via West Brompton. Yet if you look at the fare finder from Stratford to Ravenscourt Park it shows my old route via Gunnersbury. Something looks wrong here as it used to show this. How can I get them to fix this as its the same situation if you put in say Barking or West Ham to Ravenscourt Park. Cheers!

    • Hi Andy,

      That’s quite frustrating. You’ll need to write back to them and press them further. Explain that via Gunnerbury is one fewer change of train, costs the same amount and is offered by their journey planner when specifying travel via Willesden Junction. Assertively request the reason why the route was removed and ask them again to consider reinstating it.

  18. Hi
    Apologies if this is the wrong forum or a ridiculous question but I am very confused with all the info out there! My 18 yr old is due to start college in October and will travel between South Wimbledon and Borough daily, plus odd trips home to Stevenage and odd trips to the Alexandra Palace or Wood Green areas – I am just wondering what will be the most cost effective way to travel – maybe 2 separate visits? She dies have a 16-25 Railcard. Thank you!

  19. Hi Mike

    Can you give me an idea about whether the Android Pay and Apple Pay contactless payment methods are subject to “Oyster-rate” fares and capping, please?

    Thank you!

    • Hi Nick,

      Yes, both Android Pay and Apple Pay charge Oyster fares. They are also subject to daily and weekly (Mon-Sun) capping in the same way that contactless payment cards are. This sometimes works out cheaper than Oyster capping.

  20. Hi Mike,

    Thanks for that information! (Your website is tremendously helpful, by the way – great work!)


  21. Hi Mike

    I come in mainline to Tottenhale from Cambridge. I use the Victoria line and then northern to get to Kentish town. what is the best fare for the route, will I be charged for zone 1, as the 2 stations are in zones 2 and 3


    • Hi Keith,

      If you change trains or travel through zone 1 you will be charged for doing so. See the first FAQ here. Is Kentish Town West an alternative option? If you change at Highbury & Islington onto London Overground you will avoid zone 1.

  22. Hi Mike
    I’ve just got a new job so will be looking to travel to Wandsworh Town from Canonbury. It looks like the best route is to go on the Victoria line from Highbury Islington station to Vauxhall then the National Rail Service to Wandsworth town. That route appears to be £4.20 during peak time. I would really appreciate it if you can confirm if that journey will cap at £6.50 per day for the return journey? If so, will it make a difference if I get a bus from Vauxhall to Wandsworh town instead of National Rail (gets me closer to work for rainy days). I’m thinking it will be best to buy a zone 1-2 monthly pass as long as this journey (ie tube/national rail or tube/bus) falls into that category.

    • Hi Julie,

      Yes, either tube and NR or tube and bus will be capped at £6.50 per day. And a monthly travelcard will cover both options too.

  23. Hi Mike

    Hope you can help me.

    Was expected to have moved to Surrey by now but things are delayed at the moment so I will have to travel from Becontree station to Redhill station for work.

    Struggling to find an alternative, from London Bridge to Redhill return is about £21.80 and that’s not even including Becontree to London bridge.

    Will using an oyster or contactless card all the way help reduce price.

    Kind regards

    • Hi Jay,

      You have my sympathies trying to do that journey with the current Southern situation.

      Oyster/contactless may be able to help, but it depends how much effort you want to put in. Can you start your journey by 0630? If you can then Oyster is off-peak. Can you split your journey (touch out and in again) at East Croydon? If yes (and it’s a big if with the current issues unless you’re changing there anyway) then the fares are cheaper thanks to the bonkers cheap fares between East Croydon and Redhill. Can you avoid zone 1 (travel via Whitechapel/Shadwell/Canada Water and New Cross Gate)? If yes then it can be cheaper in the peak, but not off-peak unless you touch out and in again at East Croydon as well.

      Becontree – Redhill £12.50 peak, £8.00 off-peak, avoiding zone 1 £11.40 peak, £8.60 off-peak.
      Becontree – East Croydon £6.60 peak, £4.70 off-peak, avoiding zone 1 £3.50 peak, £2.50 off-peak.
      East Croydon – Redhill £5.20 peak, £3.00 off-peak.

      Finally, check out fares for paper tickets between London Bridge and Gatwick Airport. Perversely it can be cheaper to buy long and stop short. There is an anytime return from London to Gatwick (not valid on Gatwick Express) for £17.60. Part of this is because you are going against the peak flow.

  24. Hi Mike

    Nice pages with lots of info as it is very difficult to understand TFL’s price policy.
    I was wondering when a journey is counted as done in peak time and off-peak time.

    Yesterday I had taken the tube from Leyton at 15:36 and exited at Dagenham Heathway at 16:15. Although peak time starts at 16:00, it charged me off peak, £1.50. Why is so? I was thinking regardless of when you enter or exit, if some part of your journey is at peak, it will charge peak. If I enter at 18:45 and complete my journey at 19:45, will it still charge off-peak?

    On return my journey was from 17:05 to 17:50, which is completely in peak period so it charged peak fare, £2.40.

    Best Regards

  25. Hi ,
    I ll be travelling from Goodmayes to Mile End almost daily for university this year, any ideas how I can save money getting there and back , TFL annually prices are insane!

    • Hi Sandy,

      I think the only way you’ll make a significant dent in your travel costs is if you’re eligible for a Student 18+ Oyster. I’m not sure whether you can buy an annual travelcard that way, but monthly or longer period (ie a term) travelcards are certainly possible. You’ll probably waste a lot with an annual travelcard unless you are planning to commute during the holidays as well?

  26. Hi Mike,

    I’ll be traveling from Chesham to Bond Street daily , please could you tell me how much this will cost, if there is any way of saving money, and which is the best kind of card to get.


    • Hi Nicola,

      The Oyster fares finder tells me that it’s £7.00 peak single or £4.10 off-peak. If you only make the journey 5 days a week then a weekly travelcard is overkill, so use PAYG. There are no alternative routes/fares for this journey.

  27. Hi
    I’m travelling from Welling to Isleworth and back on Saturday, leaving Welling just after 9.30 and returning from Isleworth about 4.30 to get back to Welling by 6ish.. Not sure which is best- a day return using my network card, using my Oyster card or using contactless card. My route would be Welling to Waterloo East then walking over to Waterloo main.

    • Hi Maddy,

      With Oyster or contactless each single fare will be £2.80, so £5.60 return. The Network Railcard fare is £5.75.

  28. Hi Mike

    I’m getting “No fares found” when trying to use the TFL Single Fare Finder for the following journeys. I’m looking to travel via London Bridge (LU/NR).

    – Liverpool Street (LU) to London Waterloo East (NR)
    – London Waterloo East (NR) to Bank (LU)

    I guess this must be a glitch in the system but do you know if I will be charged the correct fares for these journeys all the same?

    • Hi Paul,

      You are likely to be charged the NR1-T rate of £4.10 peak/£3.50 off-peak for those journeys. Why do you want to use NR between London Bridge and Waterloo East? For the first journey you’d be better off using the Jubilee line to either Southwark or Waterloo. For the second journey you’d be bonkers not to use the Waterloo and City line.

  29. Thank you for the update. (Just wanted to go via London Bridge so we could take a peak at the new London Bridge station.)

  30. Hi Mike, been recommended you on Twitter. Hope this is ok to post here. My husband starts a new job in Victoria next month and one of the perks his new company will give him is a free annual oystercard for travel in zones 1-9. As he will also need an annual season ticket for the national rail part of the journey from paddock wood into Charing Cross, he’s uncertain what season ticket he needs to buy. We’ve asked southeastern and national rail enquiries and neither sounded sure of their answer and each said something different. Someone on Twitter said that the national rail part of the journey should be for travel between paddock wood and zone 9, is that correct? And do you know how much that would cost per year? So confusing! The oystercard seems to cover as far as knockholt, but his train doesn’t stop at that station. Southeastern Twitter said he would have to change at Sevenoaks to a train that stopped at knockholt so he could touch in his oystercard there, that sounds like a right palaver. Be grateful for any help you can offer, thank you.

    • Hi Annick,

      Southeastern are nearly right, but they really should know the rules. It’s all explained on the Mixing Oyster and Paper Tickets page. Basically, the train he’s on at Knockholt must stop there if that’s the station his season ticket goes to. There is no need to get off to touch in though. If there are trains from Paddock Wood which call at Orpington then for about £160/year more he wouldn’t need to change, or maybe change at Tonbridge onto a not so fast but not quite slow train.

  31. thanks Mike, so it’s not possible to get a season ticket from paddock wood simply to ‘zone 9’ to avoid the necessity to stop at any particular station?

  32. Annoyingly the paddock wood trains are all fast from Sevenoaks to London and I know he wont want to have to change trains!

    • Hi Annick,

      Zonal travelcards have to include at least two zones and the last zone on the Sevenoaks line is zone 6, so it would have to be Paddock Wood to zones 5-6. There’s not a lot I can suggest to get round the issue of changing trains. Either try and get his work to contribute the value of a zone 1-9 travelcard towards his Paddock Wood to zones 1-6 paper travelcard, or move house to somewhere with direct trains to Dartford or Swanley which are both in zone 8.

  33. Thanks again, really helpful. Sorry to be dense, but he’d decided that rather than having to change trains, he would just get the season ticket from PW to London terminals and pay the extra (he will get a discount through his job on the national rail part of his travel too). Does that mean we could make it a bit cheaper by getting the season ticket from PW to zones 5-6 without the need to change to a train that actually stops somewhere in those zones? Sorry to keep asking questions but nobody else has been able to advise us. If that’s right, do you know where I can find out the cost of the season ticket?

    • Hi Annick,

      Yes you can, and it is cheaper too. The website brfares.com has all the details. Paddock Wood to London Terminals is £105.50/week whereas Paddock Wood to zones 5-6 is £83.90/week. Multiply those prices by 40 to get the annual versions. You can see the zones 5-6 option when you select a station in those zones as the destination, eg Orpington.

      It shouldn’t be necessary, but I’d carry a copy of NRCOC condition 19 with me just in case an inspector starts querying validity. They sometimes forget that the train doesn’t need to stop if both seasons are zonal.

  34. Thank you again Mike. That is so helpful. Fantastic website!

    I shall certainly take your advice re printing condition 19 for him 🙂

  35. Hi Mike
    My son will start uni at Hendon next week and will travel regularly from Kings Lynn to Kings Cross at weekends, there and back. His Halls are at Cricklewood, therefore travelling every day to and from Halls to Hendon. He will obviously need a student Oyster Card and Rail Card. Is it cheaper to have the two combined or separate please?

    • Hi Sandra,

      Because Cricklewood and Hendon are both in zone 3 the 18+ Student Oyster will not save much over PAYG fares unless all ten single journeys are in the peak time, or there is significant other travel, which might include a bus as well as the train. The single train fares are £2 peak and £1.20 off-peak (with the 16-25 railcard attached to the Oyster). The zone 2-3 discounted travelcard is £17/week. He should definitely get the 16-25 railcard for the Kings Lynn to Kings Cross journeys. When he has both Student Oyster and 16-25 railcard then he should take both to a tube station and ask the roving staff to add the discount to the Oyster card. For his trips to and from Kings Cross he’ll need a PAYG balance to pay the zone 1 single fare (£2.40 peak, £1.60 off-peak with railcard discount).

      Hope this helps.

  36. Hi Mike
    Yes thanks very helpful. I get the 16-25 Railcard for his home journeys. So just to get this clear – he will then just need Student Oyster card which will have to be linked to the railcard to achieve the Oyster Card discount. For the time being until his cards come through he can use contactless for travel to and from digs to uni. He will only use his railcard for home journeys. the Oyster card will be used from St Pancras to Cricklewood (digs) and then from there to Hendon I imagine the peak time will be first thing in the morning. sorry, have to get this clear in my head ….!

    • Hi Sandra,

      The Student Oyster allows purchase of discounted travelcards. Travelcards have to be a minimum of 2 zones so your son should get zones 2-3. Zone 3 is for digs to uni, for digs to St Pancras he’ll use zones 2-3 on the travelcard and just have to pay a single PAYG fare for zone 1. Single PAYG fares are normal adult fares where the off-peak versions can be discounted by adding a 16-25 railcard to the Oyster. Peak time is touching in between 0630-0930 and 1600-1900, but if he’s using the travelcard it won’t matter. Travel from digs to St Pancras is off-peak in the evening because it’s from outside zone 1 to finishing in zone 1.

      He will need to keep the 16-25 railcard with his Student Oyster once they are linked, just in case an inspector asks to see it.

  37. Hi Mike,

    I’m struggling to figure out the monthly season tickets for South West trains etc.

    I’m looking to get from Norbiton station to Becontree Station (zone 5 underground). Monthly from Zone 1-5 is £212, which I understand, but I’d have to travel from Norbiton to Waterloo on South West Trains and I can’t figure out what the cost is per month and it’s frustrating.

    Are there cheaper ways for this commute?

    Thank you and cheers,


    • Hi Jolyon,

      A zone 1-5 travelcard is valid for travel on South West Trains as well as the Underground so it is all you need.

  38. Hi. My office is moving to Chiswick Park and I’m hopeful of saving some money. I live in godalming and in the morning I can change at clapham junction so don’t need to pay for Waterloo. However in the evening, the trains are loads faster if I come in to Waterloo from chiswick on the overground, and then come out again. What’s the cheapest ticket I can get. I currently pay for the full monty to get to hammersmith with a godalming to London and all zones. Any saving on that would be great!

  39. Hi Mike,

    Hoping you can help. I am about to renewal my annual season ticket and want to make sure I am choosing the best option. I am travelling from Surbiton to Bank Mon-Fri and currently have a Z1-6 travel card. Would a travel card from Surbiton to London Terminals allow me to use the underground to Bank or would I need to pay separately? Thank you!

    • Hi Jenny,

      London terminals only takes you as far as Waterloo. You’d need to pay separately for the Underground.

  40. Hi

    I’m arriving at Gatwick Airport on Sunday 16th October. I need to go from there to Swanley meeting a relative at London Victoria.

    My research so far seems to suggest that I could pay in 2 different ways with a large gap in cost

    1. Pay about £26 for a Gatwick to Swanley return, or
    2. Pay £4.60 for a Gatwick to East Croydon return ticket ( getting me into the TfL zones then tap in and out both ways with bank card for the rest which with my estimations would be an £11.90 off peak zone 1-9 cap.

    Am I correct and would option 2 be the cheapest? I believe I’d need to get off at E Croydon each way though



    • Hi Colin,

      Yes, I think that is the cheapest. You definitely need to get off at East Croydon to start/end your contactless journey. Also, to travel via London the return ticket is actually £27.70. And the £4.60 ticket is only valid on Thameslink trains, not Southern.

  41. Thanks Mike, much appreciated.

    Rail travel far more straightforward up here in Glasgow!!!

  42. Mike
    Currently using Wimbledon to Croydon Tram travelling between Morden Road & Therpia Way tram stations. Planning in future to travel between Worcester Park & Therpia Way using train & tram changing at Wimbledon Rail station. Will a TFL monthly/annual zone 3-4 on my Oyster cover cost of journey or do I also have to pay additional £1.50 daily rate for each journey on tram or is inclusive? Confused!

  43. Hi Mike. Can you help me sort out the best option for our girls please. They are coming to London on 24th Oct to see a you tube celebrity thing so I got them train tickets from Leamington to Marylebone. (Got the specific time slots to make the fare the cheapest) now it has been revealed that they have to go to crystal palace fc. Can their tickets be extended so I can add the extra journey ? Or how much would separate tickets be? I’m not good with trains lol. Many thanks.

    • Hi Leanne,

      You don’t say how old the girls are. You can’t extend the advance tickets you already have without making them a lot more expensive. I think the simplest way to get there is Bakerloo line to Oxford Circus, Victoria line to Victoria and then Southern to Norwood Junction or Selhurst. DO NOT be tempted by Crystal Palace, it’s miles away. The ground (Selhurst Park) is about 10 minutes walk from either Selhurst or Norwood Junction and it is signposted.

      If you let me know ages and whether any railcards are held I can help further with costs.

  44. Hi Mike,
    I’m travelling semi regularly between Harrow & Wealdstone and New Barnet usually in the off peak with a 16-25 on my oyster.

    The single fare finder comes up with three different routes. I have been recently been charged £2.10 which is the Via Euston and King’s Cross (not London Underground in Zone 1) option. This is my preferred route. I have no problem walking between those two stations.

    However, my query is that because there are so few direct trains between King’s Cross and New Barnet, can I catch the underground from King’s Cross to Highbury and Islington (and vice versa) and then on wards to New Barnet?

    I would expect to be charged the standard £3.10 fare but I have found this quote on the Thameslink website;

    ‘Anyone for King’s Cross travelling on the inner suburban service should change at Highbury & Islington for the cross-platform interchange with the Victoria Line to King’s Cross; National Rail tickets are interavailable between these two locations’.

    Of course I am not using a National Rail ticket, but any clarification would be more than welcomed. I could always wait for the next Great Northern service but it is always nice to have another option.

    Thanks in advance,

    • Hi Jack,

      Sadly it won’t work, but not for the obvious reason. The fare from New Barnet to Kings Cross is the same to both the NR station and the LU station, so the interavailability is catered for. The problem is that there is no interchange defined between Euston and Kings Cross LU. So to keep the NR only fare you are limited to the GN services that stop at Finsbury Park.

  45. Hi Mike,

    Firstly I’d like to say this is a fantastic website, I seem to use it every day at the moment! I’ve got a question I hope you can help me answer. I travel into London off peak daily from Hertford East using my Oyster card (which also has my 16-25 railcard loaded onto it). According to the Oyster Single Fare Finder at off peak times with my railcard:

    Hertford East – Tottenham Hale = £2.30
    Tottenham Hale – Gloucester Road = £1.85

    Therefore this journey should cost £4.15. So I cannot comprehend why the single fare finder then says:

    Hertford East – Gloucester Road = £5.10

    This is £0.95 more than the cost of the two journeys I’m making. Considering I tap out at Tottenham Hale Rail and tap back in at Tottenham Hale Underground (and vice versa on the journey home), surely because my route is known I should be paying the exact, correct fare?

    I would like to know why an additional £0.95 is added on to the £4.15 that the journey should cost to make it £5.10.

    I look forward to hearing from you, thank you very much!

    • Hi Alex,

      The reason is down to the different fare setters. TfL control the fares for the Underground whereas Greater Anglia control all the fares from the Hertford branch, including through fares onto the Underground. Additionally, Tottenham Hale is an Out of Station Interchange meaning that journeys will be joined together if the interchange is made within the set time.

      However, the good news is that you can get round this at Tottenham Hale. At the gates you need to touch out on arrival, touch in to the next station, immediately touch out again, then touch back in a second time. This has the effect of breaking your journey into two so you will be charged the individual prices rather than the overall one.

      It’s only the people travelling from Broxbourne and beyond who benefit from this, anyone sticking within the zones needs the OSI to work normally to get the best fare.

  46. Hi Mike,
    Starting a new job in Wimbledon and trying to work out the cheapest option travelcard, contactless or oyster? Leaving surbiton at 8 in the morning coming back after 5pm.
    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Hayley,

      If you literally just use the trains then a paper season ticket between Surbiton and Wimbledon will be cheapest. If you also need buses, tram or tube then a zone 3-6 travelcard would be needed.

  47. Hi Mike,

    we will be arriving at Gatwick next Sunday. Our first destination in the morning will be in zone 1 and around noon we will head to our hotel in zone 2 (North Greenwich).
    From there we will go to Watford Junction an return in the late evening.

    We do have oyster cards from former visits as well as contactless creditcards. And we don’t mind to change trains (East Croydon?) if this makes the journey significantly cheaper.
    Which is our best option?
    Thank you for your help.

    • Hi Daniel,

      If you use contactless cards then splitting at East Croydon will be the cheapest. You need to touch out and back in again so that the journey from Gatwick is just to East Croydon. If you use Oyster it won’t make any difference because the Gatwick cap will still apply.

  48. Thank you for your reply.
    Can you tell me at which price journeys between gatwick and watford junction are capped when travelling off peak and using Thameslink services into London?

    Tanks again for your help!

    • That’s a very good question, Daniel. My understanding is that where two out-of-zone caps are required the most expensive of the two takes precedence. I recall someone trying this in the earlier days before Gatwick came along. Logic therefore suggests that the Gatwick cap is applied in this case, but I haven’t tried it myself. I’ll try and get an answer when I can.

  49. Hi Mike:

    I am travelling from Highate underground to Stamford Brook underground (and vice versa). The TFL Single Fare Finder shows a peak fare of £3.30 and an off-peak of £2.80.

    It also suggests an alternative fare as follows:

    “Avoiding Zone 1 via Camden Town/Camden Road (or Kentish Town/Kentish Town West) and Gunnersbury

    Peak: £1.70
    Off Peak: £1.50

    To ensure you are charged the appropriate fare you must touch on the pink card reader if interchanging at Gunnersbury”

    Does this mean that if I take the Northern line from Highgate to e.g. Kentish Town, leave the station (touching my contactless card on the way out), walk to Kentish Town West (touch in) and take the train to Gunnersbury (touching out with the pink reader), and then take the District line from Gunnersbury to Stamford Brook (touching out), that I will be charged a single fare of £1.50 for the entire journey (assuming off-peak)?

    I have asked London Underground staff and they were unsure, but assumed I would be charged for two separate journeys as I will be touching out at Kentish Town underground.

    Appreciate the website and thanks in advance for the help.


    • Hi Mark,

      Yes, that’s fine. All you have to do is make sure you touch back in at Kentish Town (West) within the OSI time. Also, you aren’t actually touching out at Gunnersbury, just letting the Oyster system know that you’ve changed trains there.

  50. Great, thanks, Mike. That’s what I had thought from reading the OSI information on here, but I was confused by the LU staff giving me different answers. Appreciate the help!

  51. Hi Mike, my daughter, aged 11, will be travelling from Amersham to Chalfont and Latimer five days a week between 8am and 4.30pm with a zip 11-15 oyster card during term time. Can you please let me know how to make sure she gets the best value travel? Many thanks, Kirstin

    • Hi Kirstin,

      There’s not really much that can go wrong with a single stop tube journey. Make sure she touches in and out on each journey and the single fare will be 85p.

  52. Hi Mike, I’m just wondering how much it will cost to get from London Waterloo to Hornchurch on my adult Oyster card? Many thanks, Morgan

  53. Hi Mike… I hope you can help me find out how to get the best fare for travel from zone 3 ( Wimbledon station ) to Staines which is outside London zones by annual travel card. I have annual travel card zones 1-6; is it possible to purchase an extension on annual basis from end of zone 6 to Staines ? if yes, then is it possible to load it on the same oyster card ?
    If not, what is the best way to get an annual travel card which allows me to both zone 6 and Staines ( frequent peak time daily commute ) ? Thank you for your help.

    • Hi Mona,

      You can’t put a season ticket from outside the Oyster area on an Oyster card. However, you can buy a travelcard starting at Staines including any 2 or more zones starting with 6. You don’t actually need zone 1 to get to Staines as Clapham Junction is in zone 2. If you don’t mind a short walk you can also lose zone 2 because both East Putney (District) and Putney (SWT) are dual zoned 2/3 and you would only be using zone 3. You can see the walk on this map.

  54. Thank you so much Mike,
    sorry if this is a stupid question, but from where can I buy this travel card ? would it be a paper ticket ? does this mean that I touch in in Wimbledon by Oyster and exit out in Staines by paper ticket ? Thank you again for your patient advice.

    • Hi Mona,

      You can buy the ticket from any National Rail station. It will be a paper ticket and you won’t need to use your Oyster card when travelling within the zones covered.

  55. Thank you so much Mike,
    One ( hopefully last ) question. I now have annual travel card zones 1~3. I will need to change that first with TFL by phone ( right ?? ) and they will send me a new oyster zones 2-6 ( right ?? ) After that I take this adjusted travel card and go to national rail and ask them to move it from oyster to paper ticket and pay for the extra amount to add Staines ? right ?after that, when I need to travel via zone 1, will I have to pay for the whole trip ie. as if I do not have annual card ??? for example, if I need to exit in Waterloo ( zone 1 ) and take the tube to another destination, how would I pay for that ?? it must be by oyster which will not register the season ticket as it will have moved out of the oyster to the paper ticket, right ? or can the season ticket be stored both on oyster and on paper ticket in the same time. Very sorry for the stupid question and Thank you again for your quite kind help.

    • Hi Mona,

      Contact TfL and ask them how to changeover the season ticket in one go. It’s not a procedure that I’m particularly clued up on, but it’s definitely possible. You may have to go to an Underground station and ask the staff to use their special menu to do it.

      As for going into zone 1, you have two cost-effective choices. You can either change at Clapham Junction and touch your Oyster in there and then get the next train to Waterloo. Then you’ll only be paying for zone 2 twice. Or you can change at Vauxhall which is dual zoned 1 and 2. You could then exit the NR station and use you Oyster to enter the LU station and only pay for zone 1. Both are a bit of a pain, but better than paying the whole fare ignoring the season ticket.

  56. Hi Mike,

    Looking at options of travel from Woking to Liverpool street.
    either travel card all the way or break the commute into ticket for travel to Waterloo then contactless card to get through Bank and Liverpool street.

    Will travel likely 3 days per week. And one return journey rather than numerous trips back and forth on tube each day.

    I presume using the ticket + contactless approach will work out more cost effective?

  57. Hi Myles,

    Sorry for the delay. Yes, for one tube journey each way it is cheaper to get the ticket to Waterloo and use contactless or Oyster for the tube.

  58. Hello
    I am writing to inquire about travel options between Letchworth Garden City and Putney. The option I have found at the moment would be to buy a travelcard, costing £130.40 per week (Letchworth Garden City + Zones1-6). Is there any way I can avoid zone 1 (which would make the travel cost a little bit more bareable) or any other route to get to Putney in order to reduce the travel cost? Thank you in advance!

    • Hi Nikki,

      You are basically limited to avoiding zone 1. There are a couple of sensible options. In both cases you need to change at Finsbury Park (unless you are on a Moorgate train) and Highbury & Islington. You then take London Overground to either: Richmond and then SWT to Putney; or West Brompton and then District Line to East Putney. Hope that helps.

  59. Hi Mike,
    My regular commute is from Grange Park (on GN route) to East Croydon – both in Zone 5. Hitherto, I’ve always purchased an annual Zones 1-5 travelcard for this purpose. However, over the last couple of years, I notice that the National Rail Season Ticket Calculator also offers up a cheaper ticket that states “Not valid for travel on London Underground services”. I realise the route that is probably intended for this type of ticket is using London Overground from Highbury & Islington to avoid zone 1. However, my preferred (slightly bonkers) journey is Grange Park to Moorgate, walk to London Bridge, then Southern/Thameslink to East Croydon – and the reverse on the way home.

    I have been taking this route for the last couple of years and barely used the underground. So it strikes me that if the London Underground restriction on the cheaper season ticket is interpreted literally, I should also be able to use it for my normal commute and save myself circa £600 p.a.

    When I asked ticket office staff last year about this, I was told that the ticket would not be valid because I would not be allowed to travel into Zone 1 – even just on NR services. However, that is not what the ticket restriction states and after a lot of searching information, some of it from this site on fares guidance, I’m beginning to wonder if I was advised wrongly. Is it possible to say definitively whether “Not valid for travel on London Underground services” means literally what it says – or in fact means not via Zone 1?

    I’ve searched long and hard for an answer to this question, but to no avail so far. Please can you help?!!

    Thanks in advance,

    • Hi John,

      Not Underground means exactly what it say on the ticket. There are two likely recommended routes; via Kings Cross and St Pancras International, and via Highbury & Islington (which doesn’t avoid zone 1 at Shoreditch High Street). I see nothing wrong with your prefered route either as long as you don’t use the Undergound between Moorgate and London Bridge (or pay using Oyster).

  60. Hi mike,

    If I buy a weekly travel card zones 3 to 6 to travel from Wimbledon to Feltham on my oyster,
    Do I get charged extra for change at Clapham junction?

    Thanks in advance

    • Hi Raju,

      Yes, you will be charged a zone 2 single. You can travel via East Putney and Putney to avoid this charge.

  61. Hi Mike,

    Many thanks for the advice, I will try it out this week!

    Best regards,

  62. Hi Mike,
    Happy New Year. I need advice. I would like to travel from Ockendon (so C2C) to East Ham on a daily basis. Ideally leave Ockendon on the 7.26am (direction Fenchurch ST), change at Barking for tube (District of Hammersmith), and return in the evening catching the tube from East Ham at about 4 pm. What would my daily travel cost? Is there a ‘cap’?
    Thanx in advance

    • Hi Tienche,

      Ockendon to East Ham is £4.20 peak and £3.20 off-peak. The evening peak starts at 1600, so it might depend on what you mean by about 4pm. The daily cap for the Grays area stations doesn’t work properly, but you won’t go anywhere near it anyway as you’re not using zone 1.

  63. Thanx for that info, Mike. If I tarted my journey (i.e tapped in) before 4 pm, does it make any difference to the ‘cap’? Just being curious here.

    • Hi Tienche,

      If you touch in before 4pm you’ll be charged the off-peak fare. The daily cap is £23.00 which you won’t get close to.

  64. Hi mike,
    I’m trying to find monthly prices for feltham to Oxford Circus could you help.

    • Hi John,

      That’ll be a zone 1-6 travelcard. See the 2017 caps and travelcards link at the top of this page for more details.

  65. Mike,

    Am hoping you can help(!!) – saturation point reached with trying to compute all the info’ on the different pages … I am trying to find the most cost effective way to travel from Sipson / West Drayton to Vauxhall every day Monday – Friday, without extending the journey past approximately 1.75 hours in totality? Does it make any difference cost wise getting the overground from West Drayton to Paddington as that route on testing so far is definitely the most time efficient?

    Your help would be much appreciated!

    • Hi Lizzie,

      You don’t say what the alternatives being considered are. If you need to use buses around Heathrow then TfL buses are included in any travelcard you might get for the rail travel whereas other operator’s buses are not. When it comes to the rail travel the same fares are charged on both the West Drayton mainline and the Underground so only the zones matter. West Drayton is zone 6 as are the Heathrow Terminals (Underground only), while Hayes & Harlngton and Hatton Cross are zone 5. At the other end you can save money if you don’t go into zone 1 but it is a faff and will take time. You’d need to change at Earls Court, West Brompton and Clapham Junction.

      I hope that helps, but do ask again with more specifics on the options if you’re still stuck.

  66. Hi Leigh,

    I don’t know where you’ve got those figures from unless maybe you are looking at child/16-18 figures for last year. The 2016 PAYG singles were:

    Grays – Ockenden: £2.30/£2.00 now £2.30/£2.10
    Grays – Upminster: £2.80/£2.50 now £2.80/£2.60

    Which I make a 0% increase for peak and 10p or a 4-5% increase for off-peak.

    As for your little rant – that’s now been deleted.

  67. Hi Mike
    do you know if there is any discussion of putting annual season tickets between 2 distinct points within the TFL zone onto Oyster? It seems odd in this day and age still having paper tickets that need replacing 2or3 times a year. I use southern and if I was outside zone 6, I could load the season ticket onto the KEY,

    • Hi Peter,

      It’s outside the scope of Oyster in it’s current form. When Oyster goes to the back office like contactless then who knows. It may be considered now TfL are contracted to maintain point-to-point seasons on the Anglia lines.

Comments are closed.