Daily Caps and Travelcards (2018)

This page details all the London wide caps and travelcards which apply to rail travel. These caps apply to all modes: National Rail, Underground, Overground, TfL Rail and DLR. The only rail services within zones 1-9 which are not covered are the Heathrow Express/Connect services between Hayes & Harlington and the Airport [which do not accept Oyster, contactless or travelcards] and Southeastern high-speed between St Pancras International and Stratford International [where Oyster and contactless can be used, but fares charged are additional to any caps and travelcards are only valid if marked Plus HS1].

The first table lists all the daily caps. Where an off-peak figure is coloured red this is the value for part-time workers or regular off-peak travellers. The daily figure can be found in the column to the left. Anyone exceeding the red figure on 2 or more days in one week, 4 or more days in two weeks or 8 or more days in four weeks will be eligible for an automatic refund down to the red figure. These are processed in the week after the Monday to Sunday week that the eligible charges were made and should be collectable on Oyster or credited to the contactless card by the Friday.

All Railcards refers to those that can be added to Oyster: 16-25, Senior, Forces, Disabled and Annual Gold cards. Most refers to the same list apart from Disabled.

Daily Oyster Caps (+Contactless for Adults)
Student 18+
11-15 16+/Jobcentre Plus Most
Zones Anytime Off-peak Anytime Off-peak Anytime Off-peak Anytime Anytime Off-peak
1-2 £6.80 £6.80 £3.40 £1.50 £3.40 £3.40 £6.80 £4.50 £4.50
1-3 £8.00 £8.00 £4.00 £1.50 £4.00 £4.05 £8.00 £5.30 £5.30
1-4 £9.80 £9.80 £4.90 £1.50 £4.90 £4.90 £9.80 £6.45 £6.45
1-5 £11.60 £10.70* £5.80 £1.50 £5.80 £5.35* £11.60 £7.65 £7.05*
1-6 £12.50 £10.70* £6.25 £1.50 £6.25 £5.35* £12.50 £8.25 £7.05*
1-7 £13.50 £12.50 £6.75 £1.50 £6.75 £6.25 £13.50 £8.90 £8.25
1-8 £16.10 £12.50 £8.05 £1.50 £8.05 £6.25 £16.10 £10.65 £8.25
1-9 £17.80 £12.50 £8.90 £1.50 £8.90 £6.25 £17.80 £11.75 £8.25

*Figures in red are the effective caps for regular off-peak users after the automatic refunds have been allocated. The actual on-the-day caps are as shown in the column to the left of the red figure.

The second table lists all the paper travelcards. Note that there is no off-peak zone 1-4, use the zone 1-6 instead.

Daily Paper Travelcards
All Adults Children 5-15 All Railcards
Zones Anytime Off-peak Anytime Off-peak Anytime Off-peak
1-4 £12.70 £6.30 £12.70
1-6 £18.10 £12.70 £9.00 £6.30 £18.10 £8.30
1-9 £22.80 £13.50 £11.40 £6.70 £22.80 £8.90

The third table lists the different season ticket prices. There are no single zone travelcard seasons. If the required combination isn’t shown (eg 5-7) then the price is the same for a larger zonal coverage (in this case 4-7). If only zone 2 is required then choose 2-3, for only zone 6 it is 5-6. Adult and Child (5-15) travelcards can be bought on paper. 16+, Jobcentre, Apprentice and Student 18+ travelcards all require the appropriate Oyster photocard to be held.

Travelcard seasons
Adult 11-15/16+/Jobcentre* Apprentice/Student 18+
Zones Weekly Monthly Annual Weekly Monthly Annual* Weekly Monthly Annual
1-2 £34.10 £131.00 £1,364 £17.10 £65.70 £684 £23.80 £91.40 £952
1-3 £40.00 £153.60 £1,600 £20.00 £76.80 £800 £27.90 £107.20 £1,116
1-4 £49.00 £188.20 £1,960 £24.50 £94.10 £980 £34.20 £131.40 £1,368
1-5 £58.20 £223.50 £2,328 £29.10 £111.80 £1,164 £40.70 £156.30 £1,628
1-6 £62.30 £239.30 £2,492 £31.20 £119.90 £1,248 £43.60 £167.50 £1,744
1-7 £67.70 £260.00 £2,708 £33.90 £130.20 £1,356 £47.30 £181.70 £1,892
1-8 £80.00 £307.20 £3,200 £40.00 £153.60 £1,600 £55.90 £214.70 £2,236
1-9 £88.70 £340.70 £3,548 £44.40 £170.50 £1,776 £62.00 £238.10 £2,480
2-3, 3-4, 4-5, 5-6 £25.50 £98.00 £1,020 £12.80 £49.20 £512 £17.80 £68.40 £712
2-4, 3-5, 4-6 £28.20 £108.30 £1,128 £14.10 £54.20 £564 £19.70 £75.70 £788
2-5, 3-6 £33.90 £130.20 £1,356 £17.00 £65.30 £680 £23.70 £91.10 £948
2-6 £42.60 £163.60 £1,704 £21.30 £81.80 £852 £29.80 £114.50 £1,192
2-7 £44.20 £169.80 £1,768 £22.10 £84.90 £884 £30.90 £118.70 £1,236
2-9 +wj £60.10 £230.80 £2,404 £30.10 £115.60 £1,204 £42.00 £161.30 £1,680
4-7 £32.00 £122.90 £1,280 £16.00 £61.50 £640 £22.30 £85.70 £892
4-9 +wj £53.80 £206.60 £2,152 £26.90 £103.30 £1,076 £37.60 £144.40 £1,504

* Annual seasons are not available on Jobcentre Oyster cards.

+wj Travelcard seasons for zones 2-9 and 4-9 also include Watford Junction.

38 thoughts on “Daily Caps and Travelcards (2018)”

  1. Hi Mike
    My annual Z1-3 Travelcard is due for renewal shortly, but I know I am moving to Dartford and will need Z1-8 in a few months’ time. Clearly, adding a Z4-8 Travelcard at a later date would not be the cheapest option. I thought I had read somewhere on here that you can add zones to an annual Travelcard and be charged the difference between the annual rates for the two cards proportional to the time left on the card, but I can’t find it now. Looking at the TfL website https://tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments/replacements-and-refunds/reduce-or-add-zones-on-your-travelcard it appears that you can only add zones to a Travelcard on Oyster online, but if I follow the link and log in to my account, I can’t see that option (or is that because my Travelcard is near expiry?), only the option to have the existing card refunded, in which case I would be charged as if I had bought an odd-period Travelcard , which would mean cancelling the card and having to get a new one for the Z1-8 Travelcard. Is it still possible to add zones at the annual rate and if so how?

    • Hi Nick,

      I don’t know what the situation is now, but amending a season ticket has always been possible so I don’t see why it shouldn’t be now. You may be right that it doesn’t offer you the option if you have less than a month to go. I’d call the helpdesk and see what they say.

      Also, before you commit to an annual you might want to consider what your journey is from Dartford. There might be a cheaper way of doing it. If you let me know your London destination (and whether you use a bus) I can have a look.

  2. Hello Mike,

    Your table above indicates that the off-peak refund for part-time workers and regular off-peak travellers for Zones 1-4 has been abolished (for railcard holders the normal off-peak cap was £6.25, lowered to £6.00). Could you please confirm that this is indeed the case, as TfL’s page on their website still has the 2017 figures.

  3. Thanks, Mike. I’d seen the latter, but not the former. Reading between the lines, as the full adult reduction on Zones 1-6 is £1.80, I’ll hazard a guess that for railcard holders the cap for Zones 1-6 will be reduced by £1.20 to £7.05, and for Zones 1-5 by 60p to £7.05.

  4. Hi Mike,
    I noticed in the New Year that my fare for a zone 3 to 3 (LU and NR via Waterloo/Vauxhall) has increased by nearly £2 to £5.20. It appears they’ve hiked fares into/out of central rail/underground interchange stations significantly – regardless of direction of travel. I only saw this on my tapping out today and checking my journey history confirmed I was not paying this fare last year. I assume this is because, although I’m travelling against the main crush into central London during my journey, I’m still causing extra congestion they’re trying to curtail. Thankfully the cap is £8 but now my regular commute reaches the weekly cap outright I’m considering a LU only journey and a switch to contactless over non-capping oyster! Thanks

    • Hi Ben,

      Please can you detail your stations. The zone 1-3 NR1-T fare which is now £5.20 was £5.10 last year. If it’s really gone up by nearly £2 then it looks like you were actually getting a cheaper ride than you should have been thanks to the long-standing works at London Bridge. The ticket acceptance and revised Oyster prices ended on Jan 2nd.

  5. Hi Mike,
    My journey is from East Finchley to Wimbledon – Northern line or Northern+Victoria via Vauxhaul or Waterloo then SWR to Wimbledon. I think you’re right that I was getting a cheaper fare, although I wasn’t aware of the NR1-T fare zone beforehand. My journey history now shows quite clearly now the change in calculation of the fare from 2017 to 2018. I was looking all over for an explanation but couldn’t see anyone talking about it. Why would the London Bridge works affect the fare on that route?

    • Hi Ben,

      Right, nothing to do with London Bridge I now think. It looks like they’ve removed a long standing anomaly which meant that TfL-LU fares were charged for mixed journeys starting or ending at Wimbledon. I’ll try and make some enquiries. I remember someone talking about Wimbledon to Oxford Circus a few years ago.

      All I can say is that for that journey you should have been paying NR1-T, though I appreciate it’s not much consolation to you now. You do have the option of using the District line which will give you the old fare again.

  6. I would like to purchase a Zone 2-4 annual ticket, however the price here (£788) seems very different from the price on the TFL website (£1128). Am I overlooking something?

    • Hi Brian,

      The £788 price is the Apprentice annual. Only the first 3 columns relate to Adult fares.

    • Cheers Hassan,

      Shame they haven’t updated the heading though. There’s no refund anymore for zone 4.

  7. Hi, a few questions if I may;

    I am potentially starting a new job and will need to commute from Brentwood to South Quay. Can you recommend the cheapest way to do this as an annual ticket. Do I need to mix gold card with oyster or can I purchase a Zone 2-9 gold card? if so would this be a paper ticket or placed on to an Oyster card.

    Later in the year/next year I might also be moving house and would be using Romford to South Quay plus a bus to Romford, I’m guessing a straight forward Zone 1-6 annual gold card would be best for this route?


    • Hi Tony,

      Yes, you can purchase a zone 2-9 travelcard. It can be on paper or on Oyster. If it’s annual and on Oyster you’ll be sent a paper gold record card. When you move to Romford you can switch to a zone 2-6 travelcard.

  8. Hi,

    I am about to start traveling from Grays to Canary wharf and am trying to work out if using a contactless card to travel during peak hours 5 days a week will be cheaper than getting a travel card. I can get help to buy a annual season ticket after a year but don’t know if sticking with PAYG will be cheaper.

    • Hi Lucy,

      It’s a borderline case. If you only travel 5 days a week then PAYG is cheaper than a weekly travelcard season. For an annual season you would need to travel on 219 days (almost 44 weeks) to make it worthwhile. Obviously if you would use the ticket for other things then it may be better value. An annual season also gives you gold card benefits too.

  9. Hi,
    I’m going to be travelling from East Croydon to Richmond via Clapham Junction daily soon and need to buy a monthly travel card.
    Should I get a 2-5 travel card as I’m going through (but not stopping) at Clapham Junction or can I get a 4-5 travel card?
    I’d also need bus and tram as well.
    Thank you.

    • Hi mut316,

      You’ll need a zone 2-5 travelcard if you travel via Clapham Junction. That will also cover you for trams and buses throughout London as well.

      If money is tight then you can do it on a zone 3-4 travelcard. Take the tram from Croydon to Wimbledon then District line to East Putney, walk a short distance to Putney and then take SWR to Richmond.

  10. Hi Mike,

    I have moved from Surrey to London and am located in zone 1. I need to commute from Zone 1 to Weybridge and was wondering if you are able to advise on what’t the best/cheapest ticket options are for this commute? At the moment I’m using contactless to Waterloo and then purchase paper ticket upon arrival at the station.

    Thank you 🙂

    • Hi Ellie,

      You probably need a Weybridge to zones 1-6 travelcard season. These can be used either way round, but the outboundary station has to be stated first

  11. Using contactless – PAYG. I was recently charged £7.70 for a day. The travel was one DLR (zone 2) at £1.50 off peak and one DLR (zone 2) at £1.70 (peak) and a vast number of buses and tram journeys (capped at £4.50).
    As the bus and tram cap isn’t related to zones, I had expected the zone 1/2 cap of £6.80 to kick in. Have I misunderstood the rules?

    • Hi IslandDweller,

      That’s a puzzle. Can you provide the full journey history?

    • Hi IslandDweller,

      Thanks for the journey history. That shows me that you didn’t cap that day overall. This is a bit of a grey area, but if you use a tram then the system knows you are in zones 3-6. Indeed a zone 1-2 travelcard is not valid on trams and will deduct PAYG credit if you use an Oyster with the travelcard on it. So, it seems as though you would have been capped at £8.00 had you made another rail journey.

  12. Hi Mike,
    What is the deal with adding the high speed onto travelcards. I cant seem to find any information. My journey is going to be from Marble arch out to Darant valley hospital. Im tempted to catch the kings X to ebbsfleet and then cycle but would like the option of overground from london bridge to dartford. And im wondering what throwing zones 1-6 in after that would set me back? Thanks

    • Hi Parkman,

      The £21.70 off-peak day travelcard from Ebbsfleet to zones 1-6 would cover either way. More detail on high speed fares and supplements can be found on the southeasternrailway.co.uk website.

  13. Hi! I travel between zones 2-3 only and don’t pass through zone 1. This is 5 days per week for work. Does it make a difference if I use contactless or a travel card? What if I drop back to 4 days working per week?

    • Hi Alex,

      If you travel for 5 days then it is possible that contactless might be less depending on what your actual journey is. If you drop to 4 days then contactless will be less than a weekly travelcard, assuming you don’t use trains on your days off.

  14. Hi Mike
    I will soon be travelling from Erith to Crouch hill or Finsbury park station for work, i was thinking of getting an oyster 2-5 Zone, would I be passing through zone 1 at all? and what is my best option

    • Hi Eva,

      The first problem is that Erith is in zone 6. Crouch Hill is not doable without being charged for zone 1, but Finsbury Park is possible. You need to travel from Erith to Woolwich Arsenal, then DLR to Stratford, touch the pink reader before taking the Overground to Highbury & Islington, touch another pink reader then take either Great Northern or the Victoria line to Finsbury Park. If you don’t touch the pink readers you’ll be charged as if you’ve gone via London Bridge and Thameslink.

  15. Hi Mike

    Could you please confirm:

    I need to travel from my house (zone 2) to work (zone 3). There is an annual travel card for zone 2-3. Does this card include travel to, from and around zone 1 as well? Or just travel to and from zones 2 and 3? For example: if I want to travel from work to and around central (zone 3 to 1) or if I want to travel from home to and around central on weekends (zone 2 to 1) can I use this card? Or do I have to purchase a zone 1-3 travel card?


    • Hi Steph,

      The zone 2-3 travelcard only covers zones 2 and 3. If you travel to/from or through zone 1 then you’ll be charged a zone 1 single fare each time from your PAYG balance. If this is just occasionally then stick with zones 2-3, but if your commute takes you across zone 1 then get zones 1-3.

  16. Hi Mike,

    I was travelling from Cheshunt to LDN Liverpool street, now I am changing job will work at Stratford

    I have annual oyster card/golden card
    can I have my money back , for the diffrence
    what is the most cost effective way would be?

    • Hi Merci,

      Sorry for the delay responding.

      Your best plan is to ask for an exchange. This will be calculated pro-rata so you’ll get a refund for the remainder of your ticket in terms of the difference in cost. Assuming you have a zones 1-8 travelcard at present you can change that to a zones 2-9 which is cheaper. At todays prices the 1-8 is £3300/year while the 2-9 is £2480/year. There is an even cheaper ticket for zones 3-8 at £2176/year, but you can’t load that onto an Oyster card. You would also be restricted to using the direct trains between Cheshunt and Stratford rather than the alternative route via Hackney Downs/Central.

  17. Hi Mike
    Firstly thank you greatly for your contribution and attention to the queries.
    I m currently at East Greenwich and need to commute for work to Canary Wharf. The shortest route is a bus (188) and the Jubilee line from North Greenwich to Canary Wharf; both the stations are in Zone 2. What would be the cheapest way to travel on a monthly basis?
    Thank you,

    • Hi Animesh,

      You need a zone 2-3 monthly travelcard, currently £101. Also, if you are close enough to Maze Hill station to walk then you could consider taking the train to Greenwich and the DLR to Canary Wharf. You might find that quicker than the bus if traffic is bad.

  18. Oyster is available at Ware/Hertford East (called zone 11) but there are no listed Oyster caps – do they not exist for us?

    • Hi Keith,

      Yes they do, it’s just this page is only for zone 1-9 caps and travelcards. I am planning extending the scope at some point.

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