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 services between Paddington and the Airport; 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. Travelcards are only valid to/from Stratford International if marked Plus HS1.
The first table lists all the daily caps. 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.
The second table lists all the paper travelcards. Note that there is no off-peak zone 1-4, use the zone 1-6 instead.
|All Adults||Children 5-15||All Railcards|
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.
|2-3, 3-4, 4-5, 5-6||£26.30||£101.00||£1,052||£13.20||£50.70||£528||£18.40||£70.70||£736|
|2-4, 3-5, 4-6||£29.10||£111.80||£1,164||£14.60||£56.10||£584||£20.30||£78.00||£812|
* Annual seasons are not available on Jobcentre Oyster cards.
+wj Travelcard seasons for zones 2-9 and 4-9 also include Watford Junction.
73 thoughts on “Daily Caps and Travelcards (2019)”
There is one aspect of Oyster caps that is completely omitted on TfL website, and I hope you’ll find it possible to cover it on your website, perhaps on a separate page.
As a regular overseas visitor to London, I sometimes have to combine an airport trip with multiple city centre trips on the same day. Calculating the scenario “morning arrival into Heathrow, trip to the centre, then multiple trips in zone 1” is relatively easy – Zones 1-6 cap is normally achieved, and I probably end up with 12,8 pounds spent at that day.
Now imagine the very same trips, but taken in reverse order: I spend the day in the centre, making 5-6 different trips and thus achieving a 7-pound Zone 1-2 cap, then take the underground for a night flight out of Heathrow. How that last journey would be priced? Would it just cost a regular price of 3,10 offpeak and 5,10 peak? Or would the system take into account all previous travel on that day and trigger Zone 1-6 cap, thus actually putting the price of that single tube ride at 5,80?
(I personally normally avoid finding it out by just exiting at Hammersmith and using a separate Oyster card for further travel to Heathrow – since it’s anyway cheaper than any of the two scenarios above. But still want to know the solution to this puzzle)))
I am working on a page devoted to capping examples, and the airport conundrum is definitely one that will be covered.
What I can confirm is that a tube trip to Heathrow after capping at zones 1-2 would be charged at £3.10/£5.10. No attempt would be made to claw back any earlier free journeys. What you do (splitting at Hammersmith) is the equivalent of what contactless does both ways. You’re charged the zone 1-2 cap for your buzzing round the city plus a zone 3-6 extension fare for the airport bit. It’s therefore a lot cheaper when you start at Heathrow and the same as using two cards when you finish at Heathrow without the need to step back a train at Hammersmith.
Heathrow Express will accept Oyster and Contactless from the 19th February. No caps will apply. An off peak journey will be £22 and a peak journey will be £25. (This fare will be determined by using the readers on Platforms 6&7 at Paddington.
Given the £0 entry charge at Heathrow, I wonder what measures will be taken to avoid card abandonment at Paddington after touching out.
Thanks for this. I don’t think the gates at Paddington will let people out if they haven’t got enough money to pay. Exit thresholds are a relatively new concept to me, but I think they mean that if the balance is below a certain level after the fare has been deducted the gates won’t open.
The problem with that will be that the nearest place to top up Oyster at present is either underground station as all the readers at TVMs in the National Rail station have been replaced with ITSO smartcard readers.
Hmmm. I see what you mean. Unpaid fare notices?
Enforcement of UFNs might be problematic given the non-UK and accommodation addresses that would be given by many HEX travellers…
Hello, now that TfL Rail has taken over Heathrow Connect, are paper travelcards accepted between Hayes & Harlington and Heathrow?
Yes they are.
Thanks for this useful webpage.
If you get buses are they included in the daily cap?
Yes they are.
Could please tell me if you start your journey on a bus both Peak or Off Peak Monday to Friday does this start the amount of the cap that you get charged for the rest of the day.
Please take a look at Peak, Off-peak and Caps and also Capping Examples. Hopefully they should explain how the system works.
Hello I have a gold card added to my Oyster card and sometimes travel in London from either Belvedere National Rail Station Zone 5 or Abbey Wood and Woolwich Arsenal Zone 4 I gain 1/3 off off peak travel on oyster but wonder what effect this has on daily capping the daily cap zone 1-4 10.10 pounds and 1-5 12 pounds Seems to gain 1/3 off due to gold card if my initial starting journey is off peak and still remains even when a return journey is peak What is the difference between peak and off peak capping? is the 1/3 off only applied if the first journey of the day is off peak Also does it matter if the first tap in or out is national rail or Tfl stations ? Today I travelled from abbey wood to Queensway off peak then Queensway to forest hill peak then forest hill to woolwich arsenal off peak and was only charged 6.65 pounds that’s 1/3 off a 10.10 cap Normally I travel from belvedere to Charing Cross peak then reverse the journey off peak costing 5.30 plus 2.30 gaining 1/3 off the second journey 7.60 total despite both containing peak journeys.
Hi D Bruce,
Have you read the Peak, Off-peak and Caps page and the Capping Examples page? They should hopefully explain how it works.
My wife is an additional card holder on my credit card account. She therefore has a credit card with the same number that I do (i.e. two cards for the same account). If we both used our cards in the same week would both of our journeys count towards the weekly cap?
They certainly shouldn’t. My wife and I are in the same situation with one of my credit cards and TfL manage to separate them. I think there is an additional identifier which is different between each card.
Hi Mike – I am getting really confused about a journey I intend to make next week and am wondering if you can help. Me, my wife and 8 year old son will be travelling from Grange Park station to Gatwick Airport station in the early afternoon (off-peak). For the two adults, we can use Oyster/Contactless and it will cost a very reasonable £8.30 each. However I’m having difficulty establishing how to pay for my son.
As a young child, he normally travels on TFL for free with us, but I believe this journey is not free for 5-10 year olds. If he uses a standard Oyster card or one of our other contactless cards he will be charged as an adult. If he buys a paper ticket on the day, I believe this will cost £12, which seems bizarre relative to the price we will pay as adults.
I think we are too late to get him a 5-10 Zip Oyster card as these take over a week to process, and in any case will involve a £10 admin charge, so again will result in a higher than adult cost if this is factored in. The child Oyster fare with one of these cards is £2.35.
I’ve heard there is an option to convert an Oyster card into a child card for up to 14 days at a time (see young visitor discount at this link)
So, I guess my question is if we arrange to get the young discount added to one of our Oyster cards, will that result in him being charged the child Oyster fare of £2.35 for this journey? If not, is our best option simply for him to travel as an adult using one of our contactless cards, rather than buy him a paper ticket? Or can you think of a better way?
The young visitor discount is actually half the adult price, so similar to the 16-18 zip card. If it is too late to get a zip card for him then this will be the cheapest way. The only problem is that you’ll need to get the discount applied before starting the journey, and the child must be with you when you get it done. Oakwood or Southgate are probably your nearest tube stations.
If your son regularly uses trains from Grange Park then it may be worth getting the 5-10 zip card anyway. He can then travel for free on pretty much all rail in London and it lasts until his 11th birthday. It also means he can be all grown up when travelling with you as he’ll be touching his own card.
Thank you Mike. Fantastic help as always. We live near Oakwood tube and I popped in today to check they could do the Oyster conversion which they confirmed.
I have been considering the 5-10 ZIP card for him, but I can only think of one journey we’ve ever made where he had to pay which means the £10 admin charge becomes a relevant consideration in the cost/benefit analysis!
Nevertheless, there’s still 2.5 years until he’s 11 so I guess it’s bound to come out on the benefit side in the end…
Please can you tell me who I need to make the check payable to for a zone 1-4 year travel card. Thank you
That will be down to the actual retailer you buy from. Many of the train companies no longer accept personal cheques.
Hi Mike ,i am about to start an apprenticeship and will be traveling by train from welling to London bridge then tube to Southwark,i will be getting an apprentice oyster card ,is it worth getting a 16-25 railcard as i cant understand what discount i would get on top of the oyster card one.Thank you
The Apprentice Oyster card gives you 30% off the price of travelcards, but you still pay full adult single fares. You’ll need zones 1-4 for your commute so any travel in those zones is covered. If you travel out from zone 4 (eg Dartford is zone 8) then the railcard will give you 34% off off-peak fares and caps. The railcard is also useful for longer distance rail journeys if you make any.
I’m about to move to London to start my Postgrad degree and will be commuting from Stratford to the city centre area, would you say that I should just get the Annual Student Travelcard covering zones 1-2/3 or the student Oyster?
The 18+ Student Oyster card will allow you to buy a zone 1-2 travelcard at the discounted rate. You don’t need zone 3.
Hi i am Henrik and i just want to know how much a annual traincard/oyster card will cost me if i travel from Colindale – Canterbury West ?
You need the Canterbury Stations to Zones 1-6 Travelcard season which is £6300/year. You can’t put this on an Oyster card, but you can get it on Southeastern’s smartcard called The Key. That ticket allows you to travel from the South London Terminals (Charing Cross, Victoria etc). If you also want to be able to use the High Speed line from St Pancras International then it’s £7416/year.
I live in zone 4 Grange Hill and work in zone 2. Putney. I have a zone 1-4 travel card which is costing me the earth. I don’t work in zone 1 but have to travel through it. Any advice as to how to make it cheaper for me?
Yes. You can avoid zone 1 by changing at Mile End, Whitechapel and Clapham Junction (or Stratford, Canada Water and Clapham Junction). As long as you touch the pink reader while changing at either Whitechapel or Canada Water then you only need zones 2-4.
I am soon to start a course which will make me eligible for the Apprentice Oyster Card.
I understand this will give me a ~£500 discount when purchasing the yearly travelcard for zones 1-3.
The thing I am really struggling with is *how* do I actually purchase a yearly travelcard for zones 1-3? Google is not helpful..
Also, is there a time limit on when I can purchase said travelcard? I’m sure I heard somewhere that you have to order it by a certain date in October…
Many thanks for your help,
All the information should be here: https://tfl.gov.uk/fares/free-and-discounted-travel/apprentice-oyster-photocard?intcmp=54726
Hi Mike. I live in east London and commute from East London to west London three days a week. I go both at peak and off-peak times on the tube. My 16+ oyster card expires on Monday and I will use my 18+ oyster card on that day. I usually take the central line from Newbury Park to Ealing Broadway (vice versa for off-peak) on Thurday and on Monday + Friday I go from Newbury to Osterley taking the central line then taking picaddily at Holborn which is in zone 1 (vice versa for off -peak). I wanted to ask you two questions : 1. Will I need to tap on a pink card reader if I do this journey on Monday and Friday? 2. What travel card is better for doing all of these multiple journeys every week? Please advise TODAY ASAP.
The 18+ Student Oyster only discounts travelcards by 30%. Therefore you are better off using PAYG for only 3 days a week. If you have a 16-25 railcard then you can add that to the Oyster to get 34% off off-peak single fares. There is no need to touch any pink readers when travelling via zone 1.
My son (18) has started a permanent job in London. It is not an apprenticeship programme. We live in zone 6 and he needs to travel to zone 1. What is the best travel ticket (annual pass) for him to buy. Is it simply the annual travel card?
To properly advise I’ll need to know full details of the journey, including whether any buses are involved.
I have a student 18+ oyster and I have made yesterday a travel card, zones 2-6. I am living in zone 5 but I need to travel to zone 6 (Surbiton) as I am enrolled at Kingston University. Yesterday I have found that I was charged. I don’t know why as I have touched my oyster on the pink reader all the time. What can be the problem?
You’ll need to tell me where you start your journey and what route you take.
I am starting my journey in Chingford and I am taking 379 bus to Chingford Station. From there I am traveling to Walthamstow Central with overground and taking victoria line to Highbury&Islington. From there I am taking the overground to Clapham Junction. Then I change with South Western Railway to Surbiton.
The problem is that from Chingford to Surbiton the system assumes you go through zone 1, there are no alternative routes defined. There are some workarounds that you can do which will split your journey into 2, both of which will be covered by your travelcard.
Firstly, taking your journey as you currently do, instead of touching pink at Highbury & Islington exit through the gates and enter back in again. You’ll still need to touch pink at Clapham Junction, but you shouldn’t be charged as the system knows you’ve avoided zone 1.
Secondly, stay on the overground train to Hackney Downs, transfer to Hackney Central via the link bridge (ignoring the pink reader), but touch out and back in again at either Downs or Central. You can then pick up the overground to Clapham Junction as before, where you still need to touch pink. This cuts out the Victoria line completely which may end up saving you a bit of time.
Thirdly, stay on the overground train to Bethnal Green. From there walk about 10 minutes to Whitechapel and pick up the southbound overground to Clapham Junction. No need to touch pink there now because it’s the default route from Whitechapel.
I hope one of these routes works out for you.
Hi i wanted to buy monthly travelcard from zones 3-8 but in machine it said only zones from 3-6.As i live in zone 8 can travel with this travelcard to work which is zone 3 and to home which is zone 8?.Thank you so much in advance
The outer zone travelcards which don’t include zone 1 are only in certain combinations. The one you’d need is zone 2-9. There might be a paper alternative if you can let me know what the zone 8 station is.
Hello Mike I’m going to start travelling 2 days a week from Becontree station zone 5 to zone 2 in Oval plus a 7 days travelcard buss pass. Is it any price to make cheaper with a 18+ oyster if i pay together for weekly fare???
The 18+ Student Oyster discounts weekly travelcards by 30%. The most you would use on a single day is 1/5 of the normal adult price so you are better off using normal fares for the trains. If cost is really a problem and you can spare a little time then change at Whitechapel onto an Overground train to Clapham High Street, then walk a couple of minutes to Clapham North and take the Northern line up to Oval instead. That avoids zone 1 and costs quite a bit less.
Hi Mike, my daughter (18) just starting commuting from Bexleyheath (Zone 5) to Syon Lane (Zone 4). Is it cheaper for her to buy a weekly/monthly travelcard or use Oyster with a young persons railcard? Thank you
Assuming the commuting is being made at peak times then the railcard won’t help. If there are no buses involved then you have two options. A rail only season ticket between Bexleyheath and Syon Lane is valid via Waterloo East/Waterloo and is £45.70/week. A travelcard season for zones 2-5 allows Bexleyheath – Denmark Hill – Clapham Junction – Syon Lane and is £34.90/week. This can be put on an Oyster card and if occasional travel was required via Waterloo she’d only be charged a zone 1 single of £2.80 each time. If she needs buses at either end and wants to go via Waterloo then a zone 1-5 travelcard is £60.00/week.
Hi Mike, can you tell please what zone is ockendon? And how much will be weekly travel from Ockendon to london zone 1? Thank you.
Ockendon is outside the TfL zonal system. For technical reasons you can’t actually put a travelcard on Oyster from Ockendon because you’ll be overcharged if you did. If you just want Fenchurch Street then the weekly c2c season is £61.20, if you also need the Underground then it’s £91.90. If you only want to travel between Fenchurch Street and another zone 1 Underground destination then you could use PAYG for the tube (10 x £2.40 = £24) with the c2c season.
I live in Putney, and use the Putney railway station which is on the cusp of zone 2/3. I’ve been purchasing monthly TFL pass to zone 3 because I wasn’t sure if I needed zone 3 or not? What does it mean zone 2/3?
Thanks in advance
A dual zoned station means that you only need to pay from that station for the zones in the direction of travel. If you are commuting to zone 1 then you only need a zone 1-2 travelcard. If you were commuting to Richmond you’d need zones 3-4. You only need both zones 2 and 3 if you are travelling through Putney from one side to the other.
How do i get a annual travel card with a student photocard oyster for the 30% discount. I cant get it at underground stations and I cant find a number to call.
I commute from Zone 3 (Walthamstow) to Watford, via Euston. I have a 12 month travel card with Gold Card attached to it. I pay £1.20 for journey from Euston to Watford (and then £1.20 to return in the evening).
My travel card expires at the end of 2019 . I will then be commuting for one further month (up to 31 Jan 2020) and after this I will no longer need a travel card.
My questions is, is it cheaper to buy another 12 month travel card and then cancel it on 1Feb2020 or buy a 1 month travel card ? From what I understand my refund will be cost of the 12 month travel card minus cost of a 1 month travel card (and not cost of yearly card minus cost of yearly card divided by 12).
What I am not sure of is does the £1.20 fare include a discount from the Gold card. And if I don’t have a Gold Card, how much will it cost to travel Euston to Watford ?
Best wishes, Will
I’m not sure whether you can get an annual travelcard unless the 18+ Student Oyster has at least a year left before expiry. If it does then you should be able to log in to your photocard account and buy from there.
Yes, the refund will be annual minus the monthly. If you only have a monthly then I’d expect the fare to go up to £1.80 if its off-peak. The problem is that I can’t work out what is causing that fare to be charged. Can you confirm what zones your travelcard covers and/or what the price was. Also please confirm which Watford station (Met, High Street or Junction).
My travel card is a 12 month zones 1 – 3 (with Gold Card). I travel Walthamstow to Kings X on Victoria Line and then Euston to Watford Junctions Monday to Friday on the 7:23am and then return in the evening on 17:35 from Watford Junction to Euston. The travel card cost £1,600 (purchased December 2018). The cost of a 2020 travel cards are:
One Month – £158.30
Twelve Month – £1648
Note, to get the £1.20 fare I need to break the journey, which I why I alight at Kings X and walk to Euston. Otherwise I am charged £3.50 single.
That makes sense now. Yes, without the gold card discount it will be £1.80.
I live near Latimer road station zone 2 and go to Univerisity in Nortwick park station zone 4. I usually get zone 1-4. Can i get zone 2-4 only? I do pass zone 1 but only a few stops.
If you travel via Paddington and/or Baker Street then you will need to pay for zone 1. There are two avoiding zone 1 routes: via Hammersmith and Rayners Lane requires zones 2-5; while via Wood Lane/White City, Shepherd’s Bush, Willesden Junction and Brondesbury/Kilburn can be done with zone 2-4 but will take ages. You could go from Willesden Junction to Kenton which is a short walk from Northwick Park and cuts out a chunk. As you are using a travelcard you can also walk between Shepherd’s Bush Market and Shepherd’s Bush which cuts out the one station hop on the Central line.
Hi, husband has just been down to Brentwood station to renew annual season ticket and has been told they no longer issue paper tickets but he can preload an Oyster card with £3660. Does this work exactly the same as what he had before? I’m assuming that it doesn’t deduct a daily rate or it will run out by October! Tbh, I find the whole thing very confusing.
£3660 is a zone 1-9 annual travelcard. It does work exactly as before, he just touches the card to open gates rather than putting the paper ticket through the slot. It doesn’t deduct any money from the PAYG balance unless he goes outside zones 1-9. He should get a gold record card which he can use to get discounted off-peak tickets throughout the South East Gold Card Area. It would also be worth setting the discount flag on the Oyster card so that off-peak fares to Shenfield can come off the PAYG balance at the discounted rate. This is also the case for other extensions like Hertford, Potters Bar or Gatwick Airport.
Hi there, I’m about to move to Wimbledon and will be commuting in to Vauxhall every weekday (leaving 7:15am). I will also travel to Oxford Circus to go to the gym, either from Pimlico/Vauxhall on weekday evenings after 5pm, or from Wimbledon at weekends. I currently live in zone 2 and just have an annual zone 1-2 travelcard but am not sure if a zone 1-3 annual travelcard is the best value for money when I move? Thank you!
For your commute you definitely need zones 2-3 because of the buses. The difference between zones 2-3 and 1-3 is currently £596/year. If you make more than 248 single tube journeys in zone 1 in a year then the zone 1-3 travelcard is worthwhile. From your post it looks like you go to the gym quite a bit, so I’d go for it.
Just adding to my comment above to say that I will also get the bus to and from wimbledon station each morning and evening.
I just bought a 7 day zones 1-2 travelcard. If I want to go to Wembley Stadium which is zone 4, how much will I have to pay for this ride?
That’s a zone 3-4 extension fare which should be £1.70 peak or £1.50 off-peak.
May I know how is this extension fare derived? Is there a table to refer to?
If it’s a simple extension then it’s usually the single fares for the zones not covered by the travelcard. You can get this information from the fare tables in the fares guide section. It gets more complicated if the travelcard is in the middle of the journey. Sadly this is not one of the most transparent aspects of the Oyster fares structure.
Perhaps a silly question but is it possible to add a season ticket to Oyster that covers Watford Junction into zone 1 (travelcard?).
Would this also be counted as an LNWR route that might be covered by the proposed compensation offer?
Yes, you can put a Watford Junction to zone 1 travelcard on Oyster. I’ve not seen a proposed compensation offer, but I’d be surprised if holding the season ticket on Oyster meant you were inelligible.
I just took the Southeastern rail from Stratford International to St Pancras and was charged some money. I thought it was covered under the 7 day zones 1-2 travelpass?
If you read the first paragraph on this page you’ll see that the Southeastern High Speed route is one of two in zones 1-6 which is not covered by capping or a travelcard.
Thanks Mike! I just saw it! Also can I check that the weekly cap Mon-Sun covers all routes (buses, trains and rails) as the 7 day travelcard just that they start on different days?
Yes, the weekly cap covers the same things as a travelcard other than it always starts on a Monday.
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