London Underground: Why Londoners are getting charged only 1p to travel on the Tube and London buses

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When using the London Underground or buses some passengers are left confused to find they’ve only been charged 1p.

Unfortunately, this does not mean they have got their journey at a massively discounted price, but instead they will be charged the full amount later.

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When Transport for London and many bus companies take your payment, they don’t always take the full amount at once.

London Underground: Why Londoners are getting charged only 1p to travel on the Tube and London buses
© Mercury Passengers can tap in and out when travelling

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When using your card via contactless, Apple Pay or Google Pay, customers are sometimes charged 1p or 10p as part of an authorisation check.

Companies issue this authorisation check to ensure the card is valid and has funds available.

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Often the company won’t know the full cost of the journey until you have completed it or until the end of the day.

The authorisation charge is later deducted from the overall cost of travel when the journey has been completed.

The final payment amount can sometimes take hours or even days to be fully taken from the account.

According to Transport For London: “Pay as you go (paying only for the journeys you make) is the easiest way to pay for travel in London. You don’t have to work out the cost of your journey in advance.

“You can pay as you go using contactless (card or device), an Oyster card or a Visitor Oyster card.

“It also offers great value as pay as you go is cheaper than buying single tickets and you get daily and weekly capping.

“Make sure you always use the same card or device to touch in and out to pay the right fare (touch in only on buses and trams). “

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