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Child Fares on London Transport

Last checked: 3 June 2024
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 within London as long as an adult accompanies them. Up to 4 children can travel per adult
  • London’s buses with or without an adult

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, London Overground and most National Rail services if they have an 11-15 Zip Oyster photocard.

The child-rate single fare with an 11-15 Zip Oyster is 95p (peak) or 85p (off-peak) for zones 1-6.

Like the ordinary adult Oyster card, there’s a daily cap – the maximum amount deducted from the card in one day. It’s £4.25 peak and £1.80 off-peak for zones 1-2.

This is the cheapest deal for 11-15 year olds. The card is not available from underground stations, although you can apply online. It is available to non-UK residents but you’ll need to apply at least 3-4 weeks in advance. There’s also a non-refundable £15 administrative charge.

Travel in London without an 11-15 Zip Oyster

Applying for a 11-15 Zip Oyster is not worth the trouble unless you’re a resident or frequent visitor.

There are a few other options for young visitors that will save money:

Bus-only travel for 11-15 year olds

If an 11-15 year old does not have an 11-15 Zip Oyster, Visitor Oyster Discount or child-rate Travelcard the best option is to let them use your contactless debit/credit card and pay the adult-rate bus fare of £1.75. (NB only one card can be charged per passenger) or buy a £5.90 adult-rate one day bus pass. See London bus tickets & passes for details.

Young visitor Oyster discount

If you don’t want to apply for an 11-15 Zip Oyster, the cheapest way for 11-15 year old visitors to travel is the Young Visitor Oyster Discount. This is a special discount added to an ordinary Oyster card. It’s valid for 14 days. After 14 days, the discount automatically expires and the card can be used as a ordinary adult Oyster card.

There’s a £7 fee for the Oyster card (non-refundable). Single fares and the daily cap for the underground and buses-only are 50% cheaper than adult fares.

For example:

  • Unlimited travel by underground in zone 1-2 is £4.25 per day
  • Unlimited travel by bus is £2.65 per day, for the whole of London

It’s available from:

  • Underground station ticket machines: you need to buy an Oyster card (£7) or use a Visitor Oyster Card. Ask a member of staff to apply the discount to the card via the ticket machine.
  • Transport for London Visitor Centres
  • Victoria train station ticket office

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 a child-rate weekly or monthly Travelcard.

You must apply online. There’s a non-refundable £20 administrative charge for the 16+ Zip Oyster. If you live outside the UK, you must apply for your card at least 4 weeks before arrival in London.

Without a 16+ Zip Oyster, a 16 or 17 year old is classed as an adult and must either:

  • pay the adult fare
  • buy an adult-priced Travelcard, bus pass
  • use an ordinary Pay as you go Oyster card with an Oyster or Contactless payment.

18+ Students

Students aged 18+ resident in London during term-time can apply for an 18+ Student Oyster photocard. It might also be possible to apply for a 16+ Zip Oyster.

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) 2024

Zones Peak Off-Peak
Zones 1–6 £0.95 £0.85
Zones 1–9 £1.85 £1.30

11-15 Zip Oyster daily cap prices 2024

11-15 Zip Oyster Daily Cap prices
Zones Peak Off-peak
Zones 1–2 £4.25 £1.80
Zones 1–3 £5.00 £1.80
Zones 1–4 £6.15 £1.80
Zones 1–5 £7.30 £1.80
Zones 1–6 £7.80 £1.80

Child one day Travelcard 2024

These are the prices for the Child One Day Travelcard.

Child One Day Travelcards
Zones Off Peak Anytime
Zones 1–4 n/a £7.90
Zones 1–5 or 6 £7.90 £11.30


Off Peak: Valid for travel after 09:30 Monday–Friday and all day Saturday, Sunday & Public Holidays.

Anytime: Valid for travel before 09:30 Monday–Friday.

See London’s Transport Zones if you’re not familiar with the zones and the areas they cover.