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Group 1 Day Travelcards London 2016 – The Cheapest Transport Pass For Groups Of 10 Or More?

Author: Bob Handford

Summary of 1 Day Group Travelcard

The only group ticket for London\’s public transport in London is the 1 day Group Travelcard Ticket.

If you are a group of 10 or more, this ticket is worth benchmarking against other alternatives but normally only becomes attractive financially if your group is staying outside the centre of London (zones 1 and 3).

Up until the end of 2014 the group product was called the Group Day Ticket. The Group Day Ticket was replaced by the 1 Day Group Travelcard in 2015.
The 1 Day Group Travelcard is for most visitor groups much less attractive than the old ticket and has come as a shock financially to groups who come to London annually and were used to the much lower prices of the old ticket.

Key Aspects Of The Group Travelcard

–  You must have a minimum of 10 people and they all need to travel together. The 10 people can be a mix of adults and children

– The Group Travelcard is off-peak only, you cannot use its before 9:30 a.m. Mondays to Fridays. You can use them all day weekends and national holidays

– The smallest zone coverage of the Group Travelcard is zone 1-6, there is one other variant valid for zones 1-9

– The Group Travelcard is valid on all public transport that the standard Travelcard is valid for including buses, underground, DLR, Overground and trains.

– The Group Travelcard like the 1 Day Travelcard is valid for the calendar day, not 24 hours from first use.

– The child age band is under 16

– You cannot buy the product in advance before your arrival in London. You can only purchase from Underground Station ticket machines or Overground or TfL Rail station ticket offices and some National Rail stations that Tube and London Overground services run through – and only on the day of travel

– If you are not traveling beyond zones 1 to 3, a standard individual Oyster Card is cheaper than than the Group Travelcard

Purchasing 1 Day Group Travelcards

You can only buy Group Travelcards from Underground Station ticket machines on the day of travel.
You can also purchase from London Overground or TfL Rail station ticket offices and some National Rail stations that Tube and London Overground services run through.
You can use credit and debit cards to purchase.

1 Day Group Travelcard Prices 2016 & Alternative Products

Costs of the 1 Day Group Travelcard (per person) are detailed below. Like all tickets in London, fares are reviewed annually with the new fares introduced normally on January 2nd each year.

Don’t forget children under 11 travel free anyway on the Underground and Buses when accompanied.
Note a child needs to be under 16 to qualify for the child fare.

1 Day Group Travelcard Zones 1-6 1 Day Group Travelvard Zones 1-9
Adult £8.00 Child £4.00 Adult £8.60 Child £4.30

This compares with standard Off Peak 1 Day Travelcards for individuals

1 Day Off-Peak Travelcard Zones 1-6 1 Day Off Peak Travelcard Zones 1-9
Adult £12.10 Child £6.00 Adult £12.90 Child £6.40

1 Day standard Travelcards for individuals also have a peak product that allows you to travel before 9:30 a.m. Monday to Friday and also have tickets to cover zones 1-4 and zones 1-5.

1 Day Peak Travelcard Zones 1-4 1 Day Peak Travelcard Zones 1-5
Adult £12.10 Child £6.00 Adult £17.20 Child £8.60
1 Day Peak Travelcard Zones 1-6 1 Day Peak Travelcard Zones 1-9
Adult £17.20 Child £8.60 Adult £21.70 Child £10.80

Standard Travelcards are also available for 7 day durations.
7 day Travelcards are available for use at all times of day and again are available for smaller coverages of zones, including just zones 1-2 where most visitors spend their time. The 7 day child Travelcard requires an Oyster 11-15 ID card or if buying from a national railway station in London a railways id card which is free but requires a passport size photo.

7 Day Travelcard Zones 1-2 7 Day Travelcard Zones 1-4
Adult £32.40 Child £16.20 Adult £46.50 Child £23.30
7 Day Travelcard Zones 1-6 7 Day Travelcard Zones 1-9
Adult £59.10 Child £29.60 Adult £84.20 Child £42.10

And lastly Oyster Cards for 1 day durations have a lower daily cap than 1 day Travelcards, so for adults at least an Oyster will always be cheaper for individual 1 day Travelcards and will be cheaper than adult 1 day Group Travelcards if you only need to travel within zones 1-3.

For children under 16 its more complicated but for short term visitors the most popular option is an adult Oyster loaded with a Young Persons Discount. This gives half price adult fares and caps for a period of 2 weeks only.
The Young Persons Discount is explained on our child fares page.

1 Day Oyster Cap Zones 1-2 1 Day Oyster Cap Zones 1-4
Adult £6.50 Adult £9.30
1 Day Oyster Cap Zones 1-6 1 Day Oyster Cap Zones 1-9
Adult £11.80 Adult £11.90/£16.90

Oyster Card – In depth explanation of Oyster Cards


Travelcards – In depth explanation of individual Travelcards



The  1 day Group Travelcard is not a clear cut ticket of choice for groups, especially for those staying in the centre of London (zones 1-3) and not venturing outside these zones.

–  If you are staying in zones 1 to 3 and not traveling outside these zones then the Group Travelcard is more expensive than individual ticket alternatives.

Still Confused - Discuss With Bob!

If there is an aspect of the group ticket you need clarifying I’m happy to give advice when I can.
Just enter your query in the discussion panel below and I’ll normally get back to you within 24 hours.
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  • Bart Broucke

    Hi there,

    For the 24th time we are coming to London ( 29th & 30th october ) with students of our Belgian school. We always take the 1 day group travel card but now we seem to have a huge problem…not on saturday but on sunday..
    Our hotel is in Leigham ( Leigham Court Hotel ) and on sunday the biggest part of us is taking a guided tour at 9:30 in Chelsea FC. The fastest and almost only way to get there is by bus. ( 8:25 Streetham Hill bus 50 to Clapham Common Station, then bus 37 to Clapham Junction Station and then bus 295 to Fulham Town hall ). But we read somewhere that the 1 day group travel card is NOT valid for busses… Is that correct ? And if so, which ticket should we buy ? ( also using it the rest of the day in the underground )

    Best regards,

    • Bob

      You can use Group Travelcards on the red buses
      You can only purchase from Underground Station ticket machines or
      Overground or TfL Rail station ticket offices and some National Rail
      stations that Tube and London Overground services run through, but not from buses and Oyster ticket shops

      However, if you are staying in Streatham zone 3 it will be slightly cheaper if you all use individual Oyster Cards rather than 1 day Group Travelcards.
      A zone 1-3 daily cap is £7.60 on Oyster against £8.00 for a Group Travelcard

      If you just use the red buses its even cheaper. With an adult Oyster if you just use the buses the maximum you can pay in fares in one day is £4.50 against £8 for an adult Group Travelcard.
      Half that with an Oyster for kids between 11 and 15 with a Young Persons discount.
      The only problem with Oyster for large groups is the admin of issuing and cancelling lots of individual Oyster cards

      • Bart Broucke

        Hi Bob,

        Thank you very much for the info ! But how can we know if these buses ( 8:25 Streetham Hill bus 50 to Clapham Common Station, then bus 37 to Clapham Junction Station and then bus 295 to Fulham Town hall ) are red buses ?

        Best regards,

        • Bob

          Sorry, all public buses operating bus routes within London that stop at bus stops are red London buses

  • Sara

    Hi, I am totally confused now. We are a class from Germany,visiting London and arriving at the 31st of october until the 4th of november. We travel only in zone 1 and 2. We are 45 students and 3 teachers. 7 students are over 16. What would you suggest to buy? Thank you. oh, we are traveling in London for 4 days, as we go on a separate trip for one day.

    • Bob

      The child age band is under 16
      How many students are over 15 and where/how are you arriving in London ?

      • Sara

        We arrive by bus and are brought to Embankment every day by a rented bus and picked up there. Kids stay in guest families. Oh, then there are 8 over 16. Thanks for the fast reply.

        • Bob

          The key figure is how many are over 15, not 16

          The lowest cost transport solution answer is to buy 50 Oyster Cards from somewhere, perhaps Embankment Station but they only have ticket machines.
          For those 15 under and under ask a member of staff at Embankment Underground Station to load Young Persons Discounts onto their Oyster Cards which gives half price adult fares

          I think the issue is that there is a maximum of 4 Young Persons Discounts to every fare paying adult.
          But I think you just scrape in on this basis?
          Bring some age id to show if your 15 year olds could be mistaken for 16

          With the Oysters its a maximum of £6.50 per day in zones 1 & 2, half that for the kids with the Young Persons Discounts

          If you do less than 3 tube journeys a day or just ride the red buses you will not hit the £6.50 cap

  • School Vinet

    We are spending 4 days in London with a group of 18 students all Under 17 and wîll arrive at Luton airport and stay near King’s Cross station. What is the cheapest way to get around London with our group.

    • Bob

      Where will you be going in London – just the very centre of London?

  • Jane Mihalache

    Hi Bob, We are a group of 15 with 8 under 16 years of age and will be visiting London in November. We arrive at Heathrow airport on a Sunday and are staying at Russell Square. We will also be leaving on the Friday from Heathrow. We are planning to visit the museums and galleries in the center during the week with the furthest travel being Stratford. What ticket do you recommend we purchase and can we buy it online before we travel and if so where from? We are flying in from Romania. Thank you in anticipation of your help.

    • Bob

      If you are based at Russell Square then there is no point in buying a group day ticket.

      Simply buy 23 Oyster Cards at Heathrow Underground Station ticket machines (if you are taking the Underground direct to Russell Square) or at Russell Square Underground if you are not.

      If you will be traveling more than 3 journeys for 5 or more calendar days then for the adults ONLY buy a 7 day Travelcard zone 1-2 at the same time that gets electronically loaded onto the Oyster Card

      If you have any kids under 11 they travel on the Underground and buses free without a ticket.

      For kids between 11 and 15 ask a member of staff to load a Young Persons Discount on their Oyster Cards which give half price fares

      The adult Travelcard zone 1-2 costs £32.40.
      You will have to load Oyster cash onto the Oyster as well to cover travel outside zones 1-2. Stratford is in zone 2 so is covered, Heathrow is in zone 6 though so you’ll have to add cash for these journeys if you want to use the Underground for the airport transfers

      For the kids I’d suggest putting £20 on their Oysters

      At the end of the trip cancel the Oysters at Heathrow or Russell Square ticket machines to get your £5 depoits refunded plus any cash left on the Oysters

      You can top up the Oysters at any time on a ticket machine if needed

      • Jane Mihalache

        Thank you Bob, this was very useful. Enjoy your day!

      • Jane Mihalache

        Hi Bob,
        Can we book these online and have them sent to us?
        Thank you

        • Bob

          You can book Visitor Oyster Cards on-line but you cannot load 7 day Travelcards onto these and instead of a £5 refundable deposit per card you get a £3 non-refundable admin charge plus delivery charges

          • Jane Mihalache

            Thank you

  • Sabrina

    Hi Bob,

    My friends and I (4 of us in total) are going to Thorpe Park on Sunday. We do not live in London so we are coming by coach to victoria coach station and going to Thorpe Park from there (except me, because I’m already in London). I spoke with a ticket guy briefly at victoria station and he told me that we can get a group card. Reading your post I realised maybe he was mistaken or has something changed?

    How do you propose for us to get there?… preferably the cheapest option please.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Bob

      Thorpe Park is outside the London Transport area, so you cannot use Oyster Cards etc to get to Thorpe Park
      You get a train to Staines then switch to a bus.
      You can buy combo fares covering the train and bus from railway station ticket offices
      The Staines trains run from London Waterloo and are run by South West Trains
      Frm Victoria you can get a train to Clapham Junction and interchange with the Staines train out of Waterloo

      • Sabrina


  • Kim Koch Rasmussen

    Hi Bob.

    2 teachers and 16 students aged 13-15 years. What is the best to do?

    – The teachers use contactfree debitcards – right?
    – Students can’t get the lower fare with debitcards, but need Oysters – right?
    – Students need a Oyster and a “young fare” loaded ? BUT as fare as I can read 1 adult can only ask for this “your fare” for upto 4 children – right?
    Can we simply go twice – or will they note down the adults ID?

    Thanks in advance


    • Bob

      Where are you staying in Lomdon and how many days will you be travelling around London

  • Leonardo Di Pinto

    With my family I am travelling from Windsor to London. We are spending the whole afternoon in London before going to Stansted airport at night. I have an Oyster card as i used to work in London. What is the best for my family? We are 2 adults and 2 children aged 13 and 9

    • Bob

      Obviously the bus and train journeys between Windsor and London and London and Stansted are separate purchases to travellng around London

      For travel within London the cheapest, most convenient option is 3 adult Oyster Cards bought at an Underground Station ticket machine in London

      For the 13 year old ask a member of staff to load a Young Persons Discount onto their Oyster for half price fares
      The pricing is crudely £2.40 per Underground journey, £1.50 bus journey up to a maximum of £6.50 (half these for the 13 year old)
      At the end you’ll need to cancel the OYsters at a ticket machine to get your £5 deposits back plus any cash left on the card

      The 9 Year travels in London free without a ticket, but not on the journeys from/to Stansted and Windsor

      You can get trains and buses from Windsor to Victoria, Paddington each of which have (quite expensive left luggage facilities) and Stansted airport coaches

      Or you can stay in Windsor, take the bus or a cab to Heathrow and take the National Express coach direct to SDtansted Express

  • AHmed Zenhome

    Hello Bob i am traveling to London Heathrow airport tomorrow with my father and sister.We are all adults. and we are staying at park plaza county hall hotel. I want to know what is the most effective way to buy tickets to go to the hotel and then to visit central London .
    Thanks in advance

    • Bob

      Buy an Oyster Card each at Heathrow Underground Station ticket machines , this will cover all your public transport I should think in London
      If you are staying 5 or more days and travelling 5 or more days in London in any 7 then load a 7 day Travelcard zone 1-2 onto the Oyster otherwise otherwise just use Oyster PAYG

      Most people would take the Underground from Heathrow to Westminster changing Underground trains and walk across Westminster Bridge to your hotel.
      Personally if you are using Terminal 4 or 5 I would take the 490 bus to Feltham then the train to Waterloo a little closer to your hotel as the train will probably be less crowded

  • Jackie Eddy

    hello Bob i am travelling to london tomorrow with a party of 11 all will be adults as there are 9 16 yr olds we are arriving at victoria coach station at 11 and leaving london at 8pm we want to do usual sightseeing stuff and am trying to work out the most cost effective way of covering any travel costs within central london ?

    • Bob

      The most cost effective option is to buy 11 Oyster Cards at Victoria Underground Station ticket machines
      if any individual has their own debit/credit card that supports contactless payment then use that as an Oyster Card to negotiate the ticket barriers

      Either way the most you can pay on fares in the centre of London is £6.50 in a day

      With the Oyster you have the added hassle of paying a £5 deposit then cancelling the Oyster at the end in the ticket machine and getting the deposit back plus any cash left on the Oyster

  • Krishna

    Hi Bob, Will be coming in via LHR to London with my 17yr old son. Will be buying 2 Oyster cards for 3 day tour in London ( 1 day taking off to Cambridge and Oxford). Will I be able to validate the discount on my sons card at LHR? Thanks.

    • Bob

      17 year olds are adults in the UK for public transport. (and most other things)
      You can buy Oyster Cards at Heathrow Underground Station from the machines

      Oxford and Cambridge are well outside London and not covered by Oyster
      One is west of London, the other north of London connected with London by separate trains from separate railway stations in London
      There is a coach tour that visits both that runs twice a week until end of September but otherwise both visits will need to be on separate days

  • David Goodwin

    Hi Bob.my son is starting work in London in September. He will be living near Finchley Central tube station and travelling to Kings cross tube station daily. Which is the best ticket to get him. We were thinking of one for 6 months initially. Is it the travel card or an oyster he needs to get please.

    • Bob

      Finchley Central is in zone 4, Kings Cross in zone 1-4

      A monthly Travelcard for zones 1-4 is £178.60
      A 7 day Travelcard zones 1-4 is £46.50

      This gives you unlimited travel in those zones for those periods
      The Travelcard will come loaded on a Oyster

      There is no quarterly or 6 month ticket the next one up is an annual ticket

  • Fernando Sousa da Pena

    Dear Bob, I am planning to visit London with a Portuguese school group of 16 people. We will arrive to Gatwick and we will need to travel to West Brompton. In the next days we will be visiting the main spots in London. I do not know how to make the cheapest option. Is a group travelcard an good choice? Thank you very much for your support.

    • Bob

      How old are the kids, how long are you staying in London and will you be travellng every day or going on trips outside London some days
      Also if you have more than 4 kids (under 16) to every adult

      • Fernando Sousa da Pena

        There are two teachers, four students are 16 and the others are 17.
        We will be in London during 4 days; one of these days we will leave London but we need to travel inside the city by night.
        Thank you!

        • Bob

          Adults on public transport are everybody 16 years and older, so it looks like you have a group of 16 adults

          You can travel to West Brompton Station by train from Gatwick changing train at Clapham Junction or you can take the train to London Victoria and take the Underground

          easyBus do run a small bus shuttle between Gatwick and west Brompton by the Ibis hotel there – However I would not recommend this for the arrival transfer as if your flight is late you’ll probably lose your tickets.

          For 16 people rather than buy Oyster Cards individually in London I’d buy Visitor Oyster Cards in advance and have them sent to you so you have them on arrival.
          You can do this at the TFL Visitor shop (link below)

          This will cost you 3 GBP per person plus the cost of delivery but will save you a lot of hassle.


          You can use the Oysters on the trains from Gatwick as well as for getting around London.
          You will probably need to top up each Oyster with cash during your visit from a ticket machine,

          At the end of the trip cancel the Oysters at any ticket machine at West Brompton or Earls Court Underground Station to get refunded any cash left on the Oysters

          Details of Oyster how to use at:

          For the return trip I’d book the easyBus bus shuttle as far in advance as you can. Its only a small bus and I’d recommend splitting your group in 2 and give yourself plenty of time in case of traffic delays..

          The easyBus web site is at the url below where you can order tickets:

          • Fernando Sousa da Pena

            Thank you so much. Your information is quite helpful.

  • Rebecca MacCallum

    Hi Bob, I hope you can help with a query I have 🙂 We have a large group of adults – around 50 – who’ll be flying into London in October. We were planning to provide them all with pre loaded oysters, to cover the cost of the Gatwick Express to London and then a tube journey from Victoria to Green Park once they get here (I know that it’s a walk-able distance but they will all want to get the tube, so we are planning for that!) – can you advise on the best way to bulk purchase this number of oyster cards, or if you know of an alternative option that would work out cheaper e.g. separate paper tickets for the Gatwick Express and then the tube? If you have any advice it would be very appreciated!! 🙂 Thank you so much

    • Bob

      For that size of group it would certainly make sense on paper to buy Oyster Cards on-line and have them delivered to you just for the convenience

      However, (as ever), its never that straight forward

      You can buy Oyster Cards on-line and have them delivered to you from the TFL Visitor Shop at:

      The problem with these is that they are Visitors Oysters, which has 2 issues at the present apart from being marginally more expensive than standard Oysters purchased in London
      The fare Gatwick to London is £16.20 Monday to Friday from 0630 to 0930 and £10.20 at other times.on Oyster

      If you are staying more than 5 days then you cannot load 7 day Travelcards onto Visitors Oysters that will save you money (unlike standard Oysters bought in London)

      Oysters on the trains at Gatwick are quite a recent thing and as far as I know there are no machines yet where you can get any unspent Oyster cash refunded at the end of the trip.

      Personally I would go to the Gatwick Express or Southern web site and contact their customer service dept to see if they can give you a good offer for your group return to London.
      If you are travelling off-peak there are also standard Groupsave tickets for up to 9 people

      Then I’d use the Oysters once you are in London.
      At the end you can cancel Oysters on the ticket machines at either Green park or Victoria and get back any cash left on the Oyster

      • Rebecca MacCallum

        Thanks for the quick reply Bob – will definitely look into the group save option for the Gatwick Express. Do you know of an easy way to bulk purchase so many oyster cards, or we will have to go to a ticket machine / office and individually buy them all? Thanks so much once again if you can help!

  • mikaela bere

    Hi Bob, we have a school coming to London on Wednesday – there are about 20 kids ranging from 7-14: I was just wondering what you think the best day travelcard for them would be (they want to get bus 74 from south kensington to baker street and back again) Maybe making a trip via hyde park? Also any cost estimation would be great ! Thanks 🙂

    • Bob

      Unfortunately there is single “best” option for your needs

      For children under 11, they travel free without a ticket, on the buses though there is a limit of 4 children traveling free for every fare paying adult accompanying them.
      Its a good idea to carry age id as well in case challenged on age

      Otherwise its a compromise between cost and convenience

      The simplest is to simply buy a Group Travelcard available to groups of 10 or more, you can buy these from any underground ticket machines.
      These give unlimited rides on the buses and underground in a calendar day.
      You cannot use them before 9:30 Monday to Friday
      The group has to travel together so you might want to split the group in two?
      These cost £8 per adults £4 per child (under 16)

      The cheapest and most flexible option comes at a cost of convenience

      This involves buying an adult Oyster Card for each person from a ticket machine at an underground station and then getting a member of staff to load what is called a Young Persons Discount onto each card.

      This gives half price adult fares for up to 2 weeks

      This costs £0.75 per bus journey up to £2.25 for kids under 16 per calendar day if you just use buses or ££3.25 if you use the underground as well

      The problem with this is that again its a maximum of 4 children per fare paying adult and you have to pay a £5 deposit for each card at time of purchase.

      At the end of the trip you then have to cancel your Oyster on a ticket machine when you get your £5 deposit back plus any cash left on the Oyster

      Further details at:

      Lastly although you cannot pay cash single tickets on the buses you can on the Underground.
      A one-way child ticket South Kensington to Baker Street being £2.40 by Underground

  • Brianne Charron

    Hello Bob!
    I’m planning a 5-7 day trip to London next March. I will be arriving at Paddington by train and probably not be venturing out of Zone 1-2 except for a return trip to Watford Junction. I understand my best bet would be a 7 day Travelcard but I’m unclear on how it works. I assume I just buy it at the counter at Paddington and it will be valid for 7 days from that point on? Also is a Travelcard loaded on an Oyster Card that can also be loaded with cash (for the Watford trip) or is the TravelCard a seperate entity?

    I see from the London Midland webpage that my return trip to Watford would be 10.90 pounds. Would I get a discount if it was payed with cash loaded on the Oyster Card/TravelCard? Also, do you happen to know if I can buy this train ticket on the spot for this price or does it have to be reserved in advance?

    Thanks so much,


    • Bob

      Fares and ticket conditions are reviewed on January 2nd each year so I can only comment with any authority on the situation in 2016
      Also you have come in on a Group Travelcard board, but as you are referring to yourself in the singular I’m writing this up as such.

      If you were a group, staying in Central London zone 1-2 the Group Travelcard would not be relevant, you’d still follow the same as below but there would be big differences if you had kids under 16 in the group.

      On arriving at Paddington you go to the Underground Station – there are no longer manned ticket desks, its all done by ticket machines now

      You buy a 7 Day Travelcard zone 1-2 from a ticket machine (£32.40) and if you want to go to Watford Junction in addition put some cash on the Oyster for this. So both products are loaded on the same Oyster
      There is also a £5 refundable deposit

      With regards Watford Junction, you can use Oyster or buy a train ticket on the Midland trains its your choice.

      Watford Junction has its own travel zone, you could call it unofficially zone 10

      As your Travelcard zone 1-2 is on your Oyster the Oyster would kick in and cover the section of the journey seamlessly between zones 3 to 10.

      These extension fares I always find it hard to work out but I think the Oyster extension fare (one-way) would be £1.80 or £4.10 if you travel in the peak travel hours Monday to Friday (Monday to Friday from 0630 to 0930 and from 1600 to 1900.)

      If you bought a train ticket and did not use the Oyster/Travelcard the cheapest off-peak day return ticket that I could see is £10.90 between Euston and watford Junction

      At the end you cancel the Oyster at the ticket machine and get your £5 deposit back plus any cash left on the Oyster up to £10

      You can buy 7 day Travelcards from the railway ticket office at Paddington.as well

      However it doesn’t come on an Oyster – just in standard railway ticket format.
      Doing it this way there are no deposits you just throw the Travelcard at the end.
      However you’d have to pay separately for the Euston – Watford Junction trip and the railways require a railways id card to buy 7 day Travelcards which if you don’t have one already are free but you need to provide a passport size photo.

      There are no seat reservations on the Euston – Watford Junction trains

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