Last checked: 18 August 2020
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 compulsory on public transport in England (under-11’s are exempt)
You may have read that the government wishes to end free travel in London for under-18’s. The 11-15 Zip Oyster card is currently under review and the information below is up-to-date.
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 £3.60 peak and £1.50 off-peak for zones 1-2.
This is the cheapest deal for 11-15 year olds, but it’s not easy to buy for visitors. It’s not available from underground stations, and if you don’t live in London you’ll need to apply at least 4 weeks in advance. There’s also a non-refundable £15 administrative charge.
Without an 11-15 Zip Oyster, there are other options:
- Young Visitor Discount on an Oyster card (see below)
- Child-rate one day Travelcard (from an underground or train station)
- Child-rate weekly/monthly Travelcard (from a train station). This is worth buying if you want the 2 for 1 offers at London attractions – anyone aged 5-15 can buy these.
- Paying the child full-fare.
Bus-only travel for 11-15 year olds
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 a £5 adult-rate one day bus pass. See London bus tickets & passes for details.
If you don’t have time to apply or 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.
- Unlimited travel by underground in zone 1-2 is £3.60 per day
- 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)All Visitor Centres are temporarily closed
- 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.
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 this, 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.
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) 2020
|Zones||PAYG (Peak)||PAYG (Off-Peak)|
11-15 Zip Oyster daily cap prices 2020
|11-15 Zip Oyster daily cap prices 2020|
|Zones||Daily Cap (peak)||Daily Cap(off-peak)|
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 2020|
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 Weekly & Monthly Travelcards 2020|
Child single full fares 2020
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.