There are three ways of paying for transport on London's buses, tube, trams and overground network these are Oyster Card, Contactless and Travelcard.
Contactless and Oyster pay as you go have a daily cap that limits amount you pay for your travel and ensures they are always cheaper or equal to an off peak travel card on a daily basis.
Traveling in zones 1-2 on the Tube using Contactless/Oyster the daily cap cost is £7.00 as opposed to a zone 1-2 travel card that will cost you £13.10. (Oyster/Contactless single fare £2.90 peak 6.30am-9.30am and 4pm-7pm and other times off peak £2.40 compared to a single fare travel card £4.90 anytime)
Traveling in zones 1-6 on the Tube using Contactless/Oyster the daily cap cost is £12.80 as oppose to a zone 1-6 travel card that will cost you £18.60 purchased before 9.30am and £13.10 after 9am. (single fare £5.10 peak 6.30am-9.30am and 4pm-7pm and other times off peak £3.10 compared to a single fare travel card £6.00 anytime)
For a guide on the costs go to this Adult fares link.
Paying on a weekly basis......Contactless/Weekly travel card are cheaper than Oyster Card
Paying contactless has an advantage over Oyster card as there is a weekly cap applied to Contactless that is not applied to Oyster Card.
Examples for a week usage Zone 1-2
Oyster Card reaching the daily cap of £7.00 each day will cost you £49.00
Contactless reaching the daily cap of £7.00 each day will cost you £35.10 as there is a weekly cap from Monday to Sunday.
Weekly Travel Card Zone 1-2 will cost you £35.10 the same as the Contactless weekly cap.
*** A weekly travel card maybe a better option than contactless as the contactless cap is from Monday to Sunday and travel card is from when you buy it. e.g So if you needed to travel from Thursday and were traveling everyday for the next week in zones 1 and 2. Contactless would cost you £49 (£28 from Thurs-Sun) and (£21 from Mon-Wed) the travel card would cost you £35.10 as the cap is from when you purchased the card.
A monthly or annual travelcard works out cheaper than the weekly cap on a contactless card providing you would reach the weekly cap level for all 4 weeks during the month if buying a monthly pass and an annual pass is cheaper provided you reach the weekly cap around 40 times in a year.
Heathrow - The easiest way from/to the airport commuting to/From central London is the London Underground. The Heathrow Express train is faster in getting you into central London (Paddington) but is significantly more expensive. The Piccadilly line (underground to Heathrow) is now open 24 hours Friday & Saturday. If you need to get to/from the airport early or arrive late when the tube is shut down over night (Sun-Thurs) you can catch the N9 nightbus that will cost you £1.50 and takes 75 minutes and is a far cheaper option than a cab. It takes you via Hammersmith, High Street Kensington, Knightsbridge, Trafalgar Square.
Gatwick - Gatwick is served well by trains that can take you into Clapham Junction, Victoria and London Bridge with the service operating 24 hours. The Gatwick Express is actually not much quicker than some of the other train services but is more expensive. The cheapest option is either the Easy Bus from West Brompton or National Express from Victoria Bus Station with the cost being as low as £5 one way!
Stanstead - Trains run regularly from Liverpool Street and cost around £17 one way. It is cheaper to buy an open return if catching the train. The cheapest option is catching a bus Easy Bus, National Express and Airport Bus Express with prices starting from £5 if you book in advance from a variety of locations.
Luton - Bus is the cheapest option with Easy Bus and National Express with £5 one way fairs from a variety of London locations. There is no need for paying the cost of a taxi unless in a large group as both train from St Pancras and bus offer a 24 hour service to and from the aiport.
London City is served by the Docklands Light Rail which feeds into the London underground so the cost of traveling to the airport is the same as traveling around London.
The UK runs the roads like there own legalised money racket so it can sometimes be best avoided running and owning a car in London. If you don’t need a car but want to have access than it may be worth considering becoming a member of Zip Car or Bluecity. Buying a scooter can be both a way of saving money and time getting through traffic and is also a more viable option to find suitable and affordable parking. If you do decide to buy a car you will need to consider the following: Road tax, Car Maintenance, Insurance, Fuel, Speed/Parking Fines and other Parking costs (your council will charge an annual fee to park at your residence). It can be worth getting parking apps on your phone which will both remind you when your parking time is up as well as enable to pay for parking via your phone without journeying back to your car. Apps worth looking at are Appy Parking, Ringo Parking and Pay by Phone.
Saving on Car Insurance
If you have the unfortunate expenditure of a car, you will need insurance. Make sure you get the best deal as this can be expensive. If you have access to two personal addresses you can use, get quotes for both addresses as where you live can reduce your Insurance bill considerably. We suggest Confused and Hoppy which compares quotes from over 130 different car insurance companies.
Uber is the cheapest taxi service available in London and you will need to download the App. If you don't have access to the App than look for local mini cab companies which will give you a fixed fare for your journey. Black Cabs are the most expensive of the three options but the only taxi's that can be hailed.
This sounds like an obvious tip, however cycling is not only a healthier and cheaper option to get around London it can actually be the fastest! A top gear challenge using boat, tube, car and cycling. Cycling actually came first! You can buy a cheap bike at Brick lane market on a Sunday. Don't have a bike? You can hire Satander bikes across London for just £2 per day for short trips of less than 30 minutes.