Discounts for children on London transport are straightforward for children aged 10 and under. For children aged 11-15 it’s slightly more complicated.
Children under 5
Children under-5 travel free on all types of transport in London when travelling with an adult.
- up to 4 children are allowed per adult on London buses, the underground (tube), DLR and London Overground.
- up to 2 children under-5 travel free per adult on National Rail (trains)
Children aged 5-10
All children aged 5-10 travel for free on:
- the underground (tube), DLR, London Overground and some National Rail services as long as an adult accompanies them. Up to 4 children can travel per adult
- London’s buses with or without an adult
This probably won’t apply to many visitors but children who want to travel without an adult on the underground, DLR or London Overground and most National Rail services in London can apply for a 5-10 Zip Oyster photocard to qualify for free fares.
There’s a £10 administrative charge for the 5-10 Zip Oyster. This is not refundable.
Children aged 11-15
Children aged 11-15 travel for free on London’s buses and at child-rate Pay as you go Oyster fares on the underground (tube), DLR and London Overground IF they have an 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard.
This is not available from underground stations, and if you don’t live in London you’ll need to apply for one at least 4 weeks in advance.
There’s a £15 administrative charge for the 11-15 Zip Oyster. This is not refundable.
With an 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard, children can:
- travel free on London buses
- pay the child-rate Pay as you go Oyster fares.
Without an 11-15 Zip Oyster, there are three options.
- Young Visitor Discount on an Oyster.
- One Day Travelcards (from an underground or train station) or weekly/monthly Travelcard (from a train station). These are worth buying if you want the 2 for 1 offers at London attractions – anyone aged 5-15 can buy these.
- Paying the full-cash fare.
Scroll down for full details. Some of these tickets and passes are only available from certain places.
Children aged 16-17
Children aged 16-17 can apply for the 16+ Zip Oyster Photocard. With this they:
- pay Oyster Pay as you go fares at half the adult rate on the bus, tube and most National Rail services in London. (Children resident in London with a 16+ Zip travel free on the buses)
- can buy child-rate weekly or monthly Travelcard.
There’s a £20 administrative charge for the 16+ Zip Oyster. This is not refundable.
Without this, a 16 or 17 year old is classed as adults and must either pay the adult fare, buy an adult-priced Travelcard, bus pass or use an ordinary Pay as you go Oyster card.
There are no other discounts for students not studying and living in London.
Child ticket prices (11-15 years)
11-15 Zip Oyster pay as you go single fares (PAYG) 2016
|Zones||PAYG (Peak)||PAYG (Off-Peak)|
11-15 Zip Oyster daily cap prices 2016
Like the ordinary adult Oyster card, there’s a daily price cap on child-rate Oyster Pay as you go fares. This is the maximum amount deducted from the card in one day.
|Zones||Daily Cap (Peak)||Daily Cap (Off-Peak)|
Young visitor Oyster discount
If you don’t have time to apply for an 11-15 Zip Oyster, the next cheapest way for 11-15 year old visitors to travel is the Young Visitor Oyster Discount. This is a special discount applied to an ordinary Oyster card. It’s valid for 14 days. After 14 days, the discount expires and the card can be used as a ordinary adult Oyster card.
There’s a £5 deposit, and like the ordinary adult Oyster card this is fully refundable. Single fares and the daily cap for the underground and buses-only are 50% cheaper than adult fares.
- Unlimited travel by underground in zone 1-2 is £3.25 per day (daily cap)
- Unlimited travel by bus is £2.25 per day, for the whole of London.
It’s available from:
- Underground station ticket machines but you need to get a member of staff to help you.
- Transport for London Visitor Centres (not Gatwick)
- Victoria train station ticket office
For visits of 5-7 days (and/or if you plan to visit lots of tourist attractions), it’s better value to buy a child weekly Travelcard from a train station. See below.
If you’re in London for 3 or more days, a Child Weekly Travelcard is cheaper.
Off Peak: Valid for travel after 09.30 am Monday-Friday and all day Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays.
Anytime: Valid for travel before 09.30am Monday–Friday.
See London’s Transport Zones if you’re not familiar with the zones and the areas they cover.
Child-rate weekly and monthly Travelcards are available from train stations. Any child aged 5-15 can buy one.
All you need is proof of age and a passport-sized photo – it doesn’t have to be photo quality – it could be something you print from your PC, but there are usually photo booths at train stations. They will make a free photocard for you on the spot.
Child single cash fares 2016
These are the full cash fares for the underground for children aged 11-15 if they travel without an 11-15 Zip Oyster card, Visitor Oyster Discount or a Travelcard.
Bus only travel
There is no child-rate fare for buses, and you can no longer pay on the buses. If an 11-15 year old doesn’t have an 11-15 Zip Oyster, Visitor Oyster Discount or child-rate Travelcard the best option is to buy an adult-rate one day bus pass which costs £5. See London bus tickets & passes for details.
Last updated: 3 August 2016