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Daily Caps and Travelcards (2018)

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/Connect services between Hayes & Harlington and the Airport [which do not accept Oyster, contactless or travelcards] 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 and travelcards are only valid if marked Plus HS1].

The first table lists all the daily caps. Where an off-peak figure is coloured red this is the value for part-time workers or regular off-peak travellers. The daily figure can be found in the column to the left. Anyone exceeding the red figure on 2 or more days in one week, 4 or more days in two weeks or 8 or more days in four weeks will be eligible for an automatic refund down to the red figure. These are processed in the week after the Monday to Sunday week that the eligible charges were made and should be collectable on Oyster or credited to the contactless card by the Friday.

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.

Daily Oyster Caps (+Contactless for Adults)
Student 18+
11-1516+/Jobcentre PlusMost

*Figures in red are the effective caps for regular off-peak users after the automatic refunds have been allocated. The actual on-the-day caps are as shown in the column to the left of the red figure.

The second table lists all the paper travelcards. Note that there is no off-peak zone 1-4, use the zone 1-6 instead.

Daily Paper Travelcards
All AdultsChildren 5-15All 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.

Travelcard seasons
Adult11-15/16+/Jobcentre*Apprentice/Student 18+
2-3, 3-4, 4-5, 5-6£25.50£98.00£1,020£12.80£49.20£512£17.80£68.40£712
2-4, 3-5, 4-6£28.20£108.30£1,128£14.10£54.20£564£19.70£75.70£788
2-5, 3-6£33.90£130.20£1,356£17.00£65.30£680£23.70£91.10£948
2-9 +wj£60.10£230.80£2,404£30.10£115.60£1,204£42.00£161.30£1,680
4-9 +wj£53.80£206.60£2,152£26.90£103.30£1,076£37.60£144.40£1,504

* Annual seasons are not available on Jobcentre Oyster cards.

+wj Travelcard seasons for zones 2-9 and 4-9 also include Watford Junction.

13 Responses

  1. Hi Mike
    My annual Z1-3 Travelcard is due for renewal shortly, but I know I am moving to Dartford and will need Z1-8 in a few months’ time. Clearly, adding a Z4-8 Travelcard at a later date would not be the cheapest option. I thought I had read somewhere on here that you can add zones to an annual Travelcard and be charged the difference between the annual rates for the two cards proportional to the time left on the card, but I can’t find it now. Looking at the TfL website it appears that you can only add zones to a Travelcard on Oyster online, but if I follow the link and log in to my account, I can’t see that option (or is that because my Travelcard is near expiry?), only the option to have the existing card refunded, in which case I would be charged as if I had bought an odd-period Travelcard , which would mean cancelling the card and having to get a new one for the Z1-8 Travelcard. Is it still possible to add zones at the annual rate and if so how?

  2. Hi Nick,

    I don’t know what the situation is now, but amending a season ticket has always been possible so I don’t see why it shouldn’t be now. You may be right that it doesn’t offer you the option if you have less than a month to go. I’d call the helpdesk and see what they say.

    Also, before you commit to an annual you might want to consider what your journey is from Dartford. There might be a cheaper way of doing it. If you let me know your London destination (and whether you use a bus) I can have a look.

  3. Nicholas Markwell

    Hello Mike,

    Your table above indicates that the off-peak refund for part-time workers and regular off-peak travellers for Zones 1-4 has been abolished (for railcard holders the normal off-peak cap was £6.25, lowered to £6.00). Could you please confirm that this is indeed the case, as TfL’s page on their website still has the 2017 figures.

  4. Hi Nicholas,

    I’ve seen which only mentions zones 5-6. It also only mentions adult fares as it is in the contactless section. The Oyster version does seem to have last years details. The difference between daily cap and nominal off-peak cap has been shrinking and I was expecting zone 4 to drop off either this year or next.

  5. Nicholas Markwell

    Thanks, Mike. I’d seen the latter, but not the former. Reading between the lines, as the full adult reduction on Zones 1-6 is £1.80, I’ll hazard a guess that for railcard holders the cap for Zones 1-6 will be reduced by £1.20 to £7.05, and for Zones 1-5 by 60p to £7.05.

  6. Hi Mike,
    I noticed in the New Year that my fare for a zone 3 to 3 (LU and NR via Waterloo/Vauxhall) has increased by nearly £2 to £5.20. It appears they’ve hiked fares into/out of central rail/underground interchange stations significantly – regardless of direction of travel. I only saw this on my tapping out today and checking my journey history confirmed I was not paying this fare last year. I assume this is because, although I’m travelling against the main crush into central London during my journey, I’m still causing extra congestion they’re trying to curtail. Thankfully the cap is £8 but now my regular commute reaches the weekly cap outright I’m considering a LU only journey and a switch to contactless over non-capping oyster! Thanks

  7. Hi Ben,

    Please can you detail your stations. The zone 1-3 NR1-T fare which is now £5.20 was £5.10 last year. If it’s really gone up by nearly £2 then it looks like you were actually getting a cheaper ride than you should have been thanks to the long-standing works at London Bridge. The ticket acceptance and revised Oyster prices ended on Jan 2nd.

  8. Hi Mike,
    My journey is from East Finchley to Wimbledon – Northern line or Northern+Victoria via Vauxhaul or Waterloo then SWR to Wimbledon. I think you’re right that I was getting a cheaper fare, although I wasn’t aware of the NR1-T fare zone beforehand. My journey history now shows quite clearly now the change in calculation of the fare from 2017 to 2018. I was looking all over for an explanation but couldn’t see anyone talking about it. Why would the London Bridge works affect the fare on that route?

  9. Hi Ben,

    Right, nothing to do with London Bridge I now think. It looks like they’ve removed a long standing anomaly which meant that TfL-LU fares were charged for mixed journeys starting or ending at Wimbledon. I’ll try and make some enquiries. I remember someone talking about Wimbledon to Oxford Circus a few years ago.

    All I can say is that for that journey you should have been paying NR1-T, though I appreciate it’s not much consolation to you now. You do have the option of using the District line which will give you the old fare again.

  10. I would like to purchase a Zone 2-4 annual ticket, however the price here (£788) seems very different from the price on the TFL website (£1128). Am I overlooking something?

  11. Hi Brian,

    The £788 price is the Apprentice annual. Only the first 3 columns relate to Adult fares.

  12. Hello.

    The Oyster capping page appears to have been updated

    Adult: £10.70
    Railcard: £7.05
    Half-adult: £5.35

  13. Cheers Hassan,

    Shame they haven’t updated the heading though. There’s no refund anymore for zone 4.

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