London Drum

London Bus Fares: Ticket Prices, Passes & Daily Caps 2024

TFL bus fares in London 2024
Fare zone Oyster & Contactless cards Travelcard
Single fare Daily cap Weekly cap One day travelcard Weekly travel­card Monthly travel­card Annual travel­card
Anytime Off-peak
All zones (bus/tram only) £1.75 £5.25 £24.70 £6 £24.70 £94.90 £988
All zones (bus) + 1-2 (tram/train) n/a n/a n/a £42.70 £164 £1708
All zones (bus) + 1-4 (tram/train) n/a £15.90 n/a £61.40 £235.80 £2456
All zones (bus) + 1-6 (tram/train) n/a £22.60 £15.90 £78 £299 £3120
All zones (bus) + 1-9 (tram/train) n/a £28.50 £17 £111.30 £427.40 £4452
See our senior citizen bus fares and child bus fares page for the child prices
Note: Bus prices are correct as of
Oyster card and Visitor Oyster card

Paying with Oyster

Joint cheapest fares for single journeys
The daily cap is cheaper than a one day travelcard
You get a free journey if you board another bus within 1 hour
It’s ‘auto top-up’ feature means you don’t have to keep adding credit
Visitor Oyster cards come with a book of discount vouchers
Your unused credit never expires
If you lose your card the remaining credit can be transferred onto a replacement card
You can’t pay two fares with one Oyster card, so each person will need their own
You have to pay an extra £7 deposit when you buy a new card
Contactless bank cards

Paying with contactless

It’s just your normal bank card, so you should already have one
Joint cheapest fares for single journeys
The daily cap is cheaper than a 1-day travel­card
You get a free journey if you board another bus within 1 hour
Unlike Oyster there’s no need to keep topping it up
It works with Mobile Pay on your phone
You can’t pay two contactless fares with one card, so each person needs their own
There are no contactless fares for children
Unlike the dates on a weekly travelcard, the weekly cap has to run from Mon-Sun
Foreign cards might have a transaction fee added every time you buy a ticket

Paying with a travelcard

They’re easy to under­stand, you just pay once and you can make unlimited journeys during the dates
Depending on what journeys you make, a weekly travel­card might be cheaper than the contactless and Oyster weekly cap
Unlike Oyster, you don’t have to pay a £7 deposit
You can’t share a travelcard, so each person will need their own
One day travelcards are always more expensive than the Oyster and contactless daily cap
Bus/​tram travelcards are valid in all tram zones, but train/​bus/​tram travel­cards are only valid in the tram zones you buy them for
If you lose it then you can’t get your money back

Can you use cash on a bus?

No. It is not possible to pay with cash on a London bus. The only way to pay for a single bus ticket nowadays is with a contactless card, Oyster card (or Visitor Oyster card), or a travelcard – all of which have to be obtained before you board the bus (bus drivers don’t sell any tickets).

How much is a return fare on the bus?

There’s no such thing as a return fare on a London bus. If you travel both ways then you just pay two single fares.

How do you get a free Hopper fare?

You can get a free Hopper fare by using an Oyster card or contactless card, and boarding a second bus within sixty minutes of the first one.

Bear in mind that the sixty minutes begins as soon as you board the first bus – not when you get off. That’s because you only have to tap your card down when you enter the bus – the computer hasn’t got the faintest idea when you get off. So if you board your first bus at 10 AM and disembark at 10.30 AM, you’ll need to board the second one by 10.59 AM to get it for free.

Note: Bus Hopper fares only apply to adults, not children, and you have to remember to use exactly the same card each time (using a bank card the first time, and the same bank card attached to a mobile phone won’t work – you’d have to use the actual bank card both times).

In the early days of the Hopper fare there used to be a rule that you couldn’t squeeze in a train journey between your two bus journeys, but that rule was scrapped in 2018.

What is the daily and weekly cap?

Daily price capOyster bus fares and contactless bus fares have a daily price cap which limits the maximum amount of money that you’ll be charged each day.

It doesn’t matter how many London buses you board during each 24-hour period, the total amount of money that the computer will take from your card will never exceed the daily cap. And the daily cap will always cheaper than the cost of a one day travelcard.

Bear in mind that you have to stick with the buses all day. If you use a mixture of buses and trains (or just the trains on their own) then you’ll have to pay the train daily cap instead, which is more expensive (see our London Underground fares page).

Weekly price cap – The weekly cap limits the maximum amount of money that you’ll be charged each week to the same cost as a weekly travelcard.

Unfortunately it only applies from Monday to Sunday, and not to any other stretch of seven days (like Wednesday to Tuesday, for example), so if your week starts on another day then you’ll probably be better off buying a 7 day travelcard instead.

Do children get cheap fares on the bus?

Yes. Children under the age of 11 can travel for free on London’s buses without a ticket. Children aged between 11-17 can get a discount if they have the right travelcard or photocard. See our child fares page for more details.

Do seniors travel for free on the bus?

Senior citizens from abroad aren’t eligible for free or discounted travel on a London bus, but senior citizens from the UK have two ways to get cheaper fares:

60+ London Oyster photocard

60+ London Oyster photocard – If you live in a London borough and you’re aged 60 and over then you can apply for a 60+ Oyster Card. This allows you to travel for free on TFL buses outside of the morning peak period (4.30 AM to 9 AM, Monday to Friday), plus the trams, tubes, London Overground, TFL Rail and some National Rail trains (usually after 9.30 AM on weekdays and any time during the weekend).

You can apply for a 60+ Oyster photocard online at​fares/​free-and-discounted-travel.

Note: Once you’re old enough to qualify for a Freedom Pass then you’ll have to get one of them instead.

London Freedom Pass

Freedom Pass – If your principal home is in London and you’re old enough to receive a woman’s state pension (regardless of whether you’re a man or a woman), or you have an eligible disability, then you can get hold of a Freedom Pass.

A Freedom Pass entitles you to travel for free on TFL buses outside of the morning peak period (4.30 AM to 9 AM, Monday to Friday). You can also travel on the trams, London Underground, London Overground, TFL Rail, and some National Rail trains within London (usually after 9.30 AM on weekdays or at any time during the weekend, but check with the train company).

Freedom Passes are supplied by your local council and you will need to fill in an application form and provide a passport-sized photo to get one. Check their website for details:

Can you use a senior pass on a London bus?

National bus passes

If your senior bus pass was issued by a non-London council then you can benefit from the English National Concessionary Bus Travel Scheme – but only if it has a red rose symbol on it (visible in the accompanying photo).

These allow you to travel for free on any bus carrying the TFL bus symbol:

If the bus doesn’t carry the TFL symbol then you should check with the driver first. (They might still allow you to use it, but you might have to travel at certain times of day, like after 9:30 AM.)

Unfortunately you can’t use your OAP bus pass on the train – only the buses.

What’s the cheapest way to travel on a London bus?

The cheapest bus fares are always with Oyster and contactless – but bear in mind that you also have to pay a £7 deposit the first time you buy an Oyster card, so unless you already own one then contactless is probably the better option.

The daily cap on Oyster and contactless is always cheaper than buying a 1 day travelcard, and the weekly cap is always the same price as a weekly travelcard. But the weekly cap on Oyster and contactless only applies from Monday to Sunday, and not to any other combination of days (like Wednesday to Tuesday, for example), so if you’re not travelling between Mon-Sun and make two or more journeys on each of the seven days, or three or more journeys on six days, then a weekly travelcard will likely work out cheaper.

How many stops can you travel on one fare?

London buses use a flat fare. It doesn’t matter whether you travel one stop or fifty stops, you always pay exactly the same fare. But your journey ends as soon as you get off the bus. If you board another one straight after then you’ll have to pay another fare (unless you get a free Hopper fare).

Note: It’s not possible to stay on the same bus all day, because as soon as it reaches the end of the line any remaining passengers will be told to get off so the driver can take a break. If you board the same bus when he starts up again then you’ll have to pay another fare.

Do you have to pay twice if you change buses?

Yes. Each bus journey is charged separately. It’s not possible to buy one bus ticket that covers multiple buses. But if you board the second bus within sixty minutes of the first one then you can benefit from a free Hopper fare.

What is ‘One More Journey’ with Oyster?

One of the benefits of using an Oyster card on a London bus is that you can get ‘one more journey’ if you don’t have enough credit to pay the fare. But you do need some credit on the card (it can’t be totally empty). The computer will simply take whatever’s left and leave you with a negative balance. You won’t be able to use the card again until you’ve topped it up and cleared the negative balance.

How do you use Oyster and contactless on the bus?

Oyster reader on a bus
Touch your Oyster card or contactless card against the yellow reader on the bus

All you have to do is wave your contactless card or Oyster card in front of the big round yellow reader by the front door.

Some of the modern buses also have a reader by the middle door and back door, and you’ll see lots of people boarding the bus through them as well, but if you’re a newbie to London then we always recommend boarding it by the front door because that will always have a reader (if you try and board through a door that doesn’t have a reader then people might think you’re trying to dodge your bus fare).

If the card registered correctly then you should hear a beep and see a little green light by the reader. If it didn’t work then try holding it flush against the reader.

There’s no need to touch the card down again when you leave the bus – you only have to do that for trains.

How do you use a travelcard on the bus?

If you have a paper travelcard then all you have to do is board the bus through the front door and show it to the driver behind the glass. He will then nod you through.

If your travelcard has been loaded onto an Oyster card then just touch it against the big round yellow reader.

There’s no need to touch your Oyster travelcard down again when you leave the bus – you only have to do that for trains.

Which is best: Contactless, Oyster or travelcard?

Oyster card, contactless card and travelcard

Lots of visitors to London assume that a one day travelcard is the cheapest option, but the contactless and Oyster daily cap is quite a bit cheaper. However… you should bear in mind that you also have to pay a £7 deposit to get a new Oyster card if you don’t already have one, so contactless might be the best option. (We don’t recommend contactless for overseas visitors because your bank might add on a transaction fee every time you use it abroad, which will likely apply to each individual bus ticket.)

That Oyster deposit will also wipe out any savings you make if you’re only here for one day, so if you’re on a day trip then we recommend getting a 1-day travelcard instead.

If you’re visiting for between two and five days then contactless and Oyster are better value.

If you’re here for six or seven days and you’re planning on making three or more journeys on six days, or two or more journeys on seven days, then a weekly travelcard will work out cheaper if you’re not starting on Monday. (That’s because the weekly cap for contactless and Oyster is identical to the cost of a weekly travelcard, but it only applies from Monday to Sunday, whereas a travelcard can start on any day you like.)

The verdict: Contactless is always the best option for UK visitors. A one day travelcard is the best option for foreign tourists staying for just one day, and Oyster is the best option for tourists staying for more than one day. A weekly travelcard might be the cheapest option for a stay of 6-7 days, as long as it doesn’t start on Monday.

Your comments and questions

Marcela Rock Hello. I just started to use my contactless card around one month ago. I just checked on my bank records for the first time, and there must be a mistake as I have never been charged £1.50 for a bus fare. Could you please tell me why? I just have records of £4.50 and more! Doesn't a bus fare (Woolwich Arsenal-Beckenham) cost £1.50? Thank you

Staff Hi Marcela. The system doesn't take each fare out of your account straight away. It waits until the end of the day, because it needs to see whether you reached the daily cap. So presumably it has totalled up all your fares for the day and charged you that (which wouldn't come out of your account until the next day). That's probably what's happened. But if you've registered your contactless card on the TFL website then you should be able to see a record of all your journeys -​fares/​contactless-and-oyster-account

Luis I use the bus for the whole of London however I need to use the train for zones 1 and 2 would I need to buy both a monthly bus pass and monthly travelcard for those zones or can I just use the monthly travelcard and use it for the bus as well outside of zones 1 and 2

Staff Hi Luis. If you buy a zone 1-2 travelcard for the buses/trams/trains then you can only use that on trams/trains in zones 1-2, but you can use it on buses all the way out to zone 6 (which is a bit confusing, but that's how it works!)

Ren How much does a day bus ticket for London cost? Where do I buy it on arrival at Limehouse station considering that I do not have the Oyster, travelcard or UK bank cards. Regards

Staff Hi Ren. It's not possible to buy single tickets with cash anymore. If you haven't got a contactless bank card then you need to get an Oyster card or travelcard beforehand.

Ren Can I use an Oyster card at the self service machine in Limehouse station to buy a day bus ticket?

Staff If you've got an Oyster card then just use that on the bus. There's no need to buy another ticket. It's not worth buying a day bus ticket (i assume you mean a 1-day travelcard). If you look at the fare table above then the maximum you will pay with an Oyster card is the 'daily cap', which is cheaper than a 1-day travelcard

San What's the best option for a visiting adult and 17 year old to travel on buses from Sunday to Tuesday in the city?

Staff If you mean the cheapest then its Oyster and contactless, which both have the same prices. But you have to pay a £5 deposit to set up a brand-new Oyster card if you haven't already got one, so contactless is probably better

Carol How many stops is covered by a single fare

Staff Hi Carol. It's a flat fare, so it's the same price whether you travel 1 stop or 50 stops. Buses don't have zones either, so it doesn't matter what train zones you're in.

Anne Mellal The weekly price cap for travelling by bus only is the same as my weekly bus pass on Oyster. What will happen if I complete an Underground journey? Will the weekly price cap increase due to this journey? On Oyster I have the choice to pay any Underground journey in addition to my weekly bus pass. How does this work on contactless?

Staff Hi Anne. If you want to pay the bus weekly cap then you have to stick with the buses all week. If you use a mixture of buses and underground then you have to pay the train weekly cap instead, which is more expensive. If I understand you correctly you are saying that you have a bus travelcard on your Oyster card, plus some extra pay-as-you-go credit as well - all on the same card. You can do this with Oyster, but unfortunately it's not possible to load a travelcard onto a bank card. If you're just making a one-off journey on the tube then you might be better off paying with a totally different card, or buying a single ticket, because then it won't interfere with your weekly bus cap

Anne Thanks for clarifying this for me. Which one do you think is a better option for me: travelling with an Oyster weekly bus pass plus some additional pay-as-you-go credit for approximately 0-4 Underground journeys/week or using a different contactless/Oyster card for the occasional Underground journey? I know it's more flexible with contactless, in case I decide to walk more and don't reach the cap. Will the new bus hopper fair (2 bus journeys completed within 60 min) be taken into account on both, contactless and Oyster? Does the hopper fair even count towards the contactless weekly bus cap? If yes, then the latter would be the most lucrative option as it might even be less than a weekly bus pass. Do you agree?

Staff The Hopper fare does apply to both Oyster and contactless. If it was me I think would forget the weekly bus travelcard and just stick a load of pay-as-you-go credit onto my Oyster card, and use that exclusively for the buses. If I hit the weekly bus cap then great, but if I don't then I haven't wasted extra money on a travelcard. If I want to make an underground journey during the week then I'd use my contactless card instead.

Anne That sounds good, but regarding the weekly cap only applying from Monday through to Sunday... does that mean I HAVE to make a journey on Monday, otherwise I won't qualify for the weekly cap?

Staff You don't have to make a journey on Monday (or any other day, for that matter), but it will only total up the journeys between Monday and Sunday. If the running total hasn't reached the weekly cap by the end of Sunday night then it will start from zero again on Monday.

Anne I think I understand now. It's so complicated! But thanks for your help

JJ Visiting London for one day, myself and two friends will be travelling around London and try to see as much as we can within a day. From judging it, it's looking more like we will at some point need to jump on one or two buses. As I'm their so called tour guide, I would be the only one with a contactless card. Can I pay for all three of us to board a bus or does each passenger need to pay with their own card? The other thing is, if I wanted to buy a daily cap could I buy one each on my card, I assume from what I've read that the daily cap is the same as what we call a day ticket here in Birmingham. Thanks JJ

Staff Hi JJ. If each person wants to pay a contactless fare then each person will need to have their own bank card. You can't pay multiple fares with just one bank card (it's not possible to tap down more than once and have it deduct multiple fares). You can't buy a daily cap. The way it works is this: every time you tap down the computer charges you a fare. The computer keeps track of how many fares you've paid that day, and as soon as it recognises you've reached the daily cap it stops charging you (but you still have to carry on tapping down). What you're describing is a 1-day travelcard. From what you've written it sounds like that's what you'll need -- but you'll have to buy three of them (which you can do with just one bank card). I've explained about travelcards here:​transport/​travelcards.php

Chriselda Monrose How much is a weekly bus pass

Staff Hi Chriselda. All the prices are shown in the table at the top. At the moment it’s £21:90

Penny I'm a mature student and have a National Rail 16-25 railcard. I live in London. Can I get a discount on bus fares?

Staff Hi Penny. Not for bus fares on their own, no. It does entitle you to get some money off an 'Anytime Day Travelcard' (zones 1-9), which could be used on the buses, but only if you buy it as part of a train ticket coming from outside London, so that's probably no use.

Takako Sato I have senior Oyster card Can I get discount when I use it on the bus and tube? If so what is the time zone I can use it?

Staff Hi Takako. Assuming that you're talking about the 60+ Oyster card then you can travel for free on the buses and tube after 9 AM Mon-Fri, and anytime on Sat-Sun. It's all explained here:​transport/​senior-bus-fares.php

Urja If I travel in a bus at 10.00 am then take the second bus at 10.30 am then take the third bus at 11.05 am. Will it deduct another 1.55 ? On third bus?

Staff Hi Urja. you get unlimited bus and tram journeys within one hour of touching in, so you”d have to board the third one by 10:59 to get it for tree

semy Hi i want to buy weekly buss pass.Can I buy it without having oyster card or contactless card?thanks

Staff Hi Semy. You can do, yes. Theres a list of all the places you can buy a weekly bus/tram pass here -​fares/​how-to-pay-and-where-to-buy-tickets-and-oyster/buying-tickets-and-oyster

Zdenka Can a senior tourist using Oyster card pay lower fair?

Staff Hi Zdenka. Not with a normal Oyster card, no. You need to get yourself a 60• Oyster card instead. But it’s only available to people who live in London -​transport/​senior-train-fares.php

julie I have a Portsmouth senior bus pass and am coming to london for two days can i use it on your buses

Staff Hi Julie. If it has the red rose symbol on it then yes, it will be okay. You can see what the red rose symbol looks like on the 'Freedom Pass' on this page -​transport/​senior-bus-fares.php

Sonia Hello, may I ask can I use the oyster travel card to pay when using the bus from Victoria to Gatwick airport please? (If I buy a weekly oyster travel card apply for zone 1+2 only, how can I use this card for the bus to Gatwick, how should I pay more?)

Staff Hi Sonia. you can use an Oyster card to pay for the Gatwick Express train (which also goes from victoria), but not buses or airport coaches. gatwick is too far away for that. If you get the train then you’ll have to load on some extra ‘pay as you go’ credit to cover the gatwick express ticket -​tickets/​buy-tickets/oyster-and-contactless/oyster

Jinold Hello, I will be visiting the UK next week. I would like to know about "using a contactless" card to travel around London. Is this card a normal credit card from my bank which has a "contactless" symbol on it? Is the using of it to pay for a bus fare just like the way I pay for grocery here in Canada? Or, do I need to install or register some specific "TfL" feature beforehand to make it functional when I arrive London and start using it to pay for a bus trip from Heathrow airport? My 2nd question is: can I use an "Oyster card" to pay for a bus fare travelling from Langley in Slough to Green Park in London? Thank you and have a nice day!

Staff Hi Jinold. Its just your normal everyday bank card that you use to do your shopping. Everything is explained here -​transport/​contactless-cards.php - you dont have to set anything up, but be aware that not all foreign cards work, and overseas banks sometimes add on an extra transaction fee everytime you use it abroad, which will bump up the price. Slough is too far away from central London to work with Oyster

Mark Re. the Hopper Fare, am I correct in thinking that if using Contactless on a bus: 1) every time you get on a bus you need to wave your contactless card at the reader; 2) the system works out which subsequent journeys have started within an hour of the first swipe and doesn’t charge for any additional journeys?

Staff Hi Mark, thats right, yes. As long as you use the same card every time then the computer will work it out automatically

Paul G Which bus runs from Clapham Common to Camden markets please How much are the fares

Staff You can get the 88 to camden high street. The fares are all shown in the table at the top of this page

Iestyn Davies What bus would I need to take from Holloway Road campus to Aldgate campus. And are there any student discount . Thanks

Staff Hi Iestyn. There's nothing direct but you could get the 21 to Moorgate station and walk the rest of the way. There's an 18+ student photocard but it costs money and you have to be living in a London borough. It gives you a discount on travelcards, rather than individual fares -​fares/​free-and-discounted-travel/18-plus-student-oyster-photocard

Thanos Hello! I would like to ask something about the free Hopper fare. Do I have to tap the Oyster Card when entering the second bus or just the tap of the first bus is enough? And furthermore you mentioned that free Hopper fare does not apply to children. That means that my 12-year daughter has to tap the Oyster card twice (one for each bus)? Thanks

Staff Hi Thanos. You always have to tap when entering a bus, but the computer will know not to charge you. Your daughter will have to tap every time as well.

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