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Child Fares on London Transport

Last updated: 28 July 2021
Discounts for children on London transport are straightforward for children aged 10 and under. For children aged 11-15 it’s slightly more complicated.

Coronavirus/COVID 19: Face coverings are still compulsory on public transport in London (under-11’s are exempt)

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 85p (peak) or 75p (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 £3.70 peak and £1.55 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

There are a few other options:

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 £1.55 (NB only one card can be charged per passenger) or buy a £5.20 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 £5 fee for the Oyster card. 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 £3.70 per day
  • Unlimited travel by bus is £2.30 per day, for the whole of London

It’s available from:

  • Underground station ticket machines: you need to buy an Oyster card if you don’t already have one and then ask a member of staff to apply the discount via the ticket machine.
  • Transport for London Visitor Centres (not Gatwick) Most Visitor Centres are temporarily closed. Victoria and Piccadilly Circus are open on certain days.
  • Victoria train station ticket office

For visits of 5-7 days (and/or if you plan to visit lots of tourist attractions), it’s cheaper to buy a child weekly Travelcard from a train station.

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 you arrive 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 or use an ordinary Pay as you go Oyster card.

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) 2021

Zones PAYG (Peak) PAYG (Off-Peak)
Zones 1–6 £0.85 £0.75
Zones 1–9 £1.70 £1.15

 

11-15 Zip Oyster daily cap prices 2021

11-15 Zip Oyster daily cap prices 2021
Zones Daily Cap (peak) Daily Cap(off-peak)
Zones 1–2 £3.70 £1.55
Zones 1–3 £4.35 £1.55
Zones 1–4 £5.30 £1.55
Zones 1–5 £6.35 £1.55
Zones 1–6 £6.75 £1.55

Child one day Travelcard 2021

These are the prices for the Child One Day Travelcard. If you’re in London for 3 or more days, a Child Weekly Travelcard is cheaper.

Child One Day Travelcards 2021
Zones Off Peak Anytime
Zones 1–4 n/a £6.90
Zones 1–6 £6.90 £9.80

 

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 weekly & monthly Travelcards 2021

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 Weekly & Monthly Travelcards 2021
Zones Weekly Monthly
Zones 1–2 £18.50 £71.10
Zones 1–3 £21.80 £83.80
Zones 1–4 £26.60 £102.20
Zones 1–5 £31.70 £121.80
Zones 1–6 £33.90 £130.20

Child single full fares 2021

These are the full fares for the underground for children aged 11-15 for travel without an 11-15 Zip Oyster card, Visitor Oyster Discount or a Travelcard.

Zones Cash fare
Zones 1–3 £2.40
Zones 1–6 £3.00

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