Pay as you go caps

What is a cap?

A cap limits how much you pay for all your journeys in one day or week.

You can make as many journeys as you like and when all your fares add up to a certain amount, we won't charge you more (your fare is automatically capped). Always touch in and out.

There are different caps for the times of day you travel (peak and off-peak) and the transport you use:

  • Cap for bus, Tube, tram, DLR, London Overground, TfL Rail and National Rail journeys in London
  • Cap for bus and tram journeys

Contactless caps

If you use contactless (card or device), you may get a daily or weekly cap.

You can travel as much as you like in one day and week across all our transport services.

Journeys on TfL Rail to or from Reading or Iver aren't included in caps.

Oyster card caps

If you use an Oyster card, you may get a daily cap and can travel as much as you like in one day across all our transport services.

You also get a weekly cap for bus and tram journeys only, so you can travel as much as you like in one week.

Oyster cards aren't accepted on TfL Rail between Reading and Iver.

Cap prices

If you make several rail journeys, or a mixture of rail, bus and tram journeys in one day, daily capping is better value than buying a Day Travelcard in Zones 1-9.

There are peak and off-peak daily caps depending on when you start your journey.

How a cap works

We work out when you've reached a cap because we log every journey you make and keep track of:

You must touch in at start and touch out at the end of every journey, using the same contactless card, device or Oyster card. If you don't you may be charged a maximum fare.

If you use contactless, always use the same card or device. If you don't, we can't cap your fares. For example, if you pay with a mobile device on Monday and a contactless card on Tuesday, these fares won't count towards a weekly cap.

Daily cap

A daily cap is calculated over 24 hours for pay as you go journeys that start at 04:30 and end on 04:29 the next day.

Weekly cap

A weekly cap limits how much you pay for all your journeys from Monday to Sunday, using Adult rate pay as you go on contactless (card or device) or Oyster.

If you do just a single week of travel starting later in the week, for example on a Thursday, and ending the following Wednesday, there are not enough days up to Sunday to reach a weekly cap, so you may find it better value to buy a 7 Day Travelcard.

However, for ongoing travel, pay as you go with weekly capping generally does not exceed the price of a 7 Day Travelcard, and is likely to prove better value since with pay as you go you only pay for days on which you travelled.

Off-peak caps at different times

If you travel from a station listed below on a weekday, between the touch in time and 09:30, you're charged a peak pay as you go fare. However, your journey will count towards an off-peak cap.

Station Touch in from
Chalfont & Latimer 09:20
Amersham 09:10
Chesham 09:10
Bushey 09:20
Carpenders Park 09:20
Watford High Street 09:10
Slough (contactless only) 09:20
Maidenhead (contactless only) 09:18
Twyford (contactless only) 09:10

Automatic reductions and retrospective refunds

If your total fares have reached more than the cap for the span of zones your travel covered during one day of travel, we'll automatically subtract the difference.

We check weekly caps around the end of each week, taking into account the innermost and outermost zones over the week as a whole. So your total fares for the week could be automatically reduced, as with daily capping, and this could occur on, for example, the Friday or Saturday.

In the case of an Oyster card, if various combinations of caps and individual fares were possible, a further retrospective reduction may be calculated so you get best value for the past week. This type of reduction can be picked up as a refund when you next touch in (or perhaps at a later date, as small refunds are usually batched together before being issued).