You're on the UK site
change country
You are not logged in. Click here to login
Student Login <
Landlord Login <
Letting Agent Login <
Find Housemates Student Guides Advertise Blogs   follow us  
AFS Pinterest AFS facebook AFS Twitter AFS LinkedIn
Your Travel

Getting around - travel costs

Depending on where you will be staying or travelling to, you can use a journey planner website to estimate your travel costs. Also, it may be in your interest to purchase an International Student's Card or Young Person's Travel Card, as it will save you up to a third of the fare.

For more information visit: for trains; discounted rail tickets for coaches; for discounted coaches and rail for flights

London Discount Travel Card – Oyster Card

If travelling around London, it is advisable to purchase an Oyster Card – a discount card that can be used on buses and on the underground and some overland rail within a large perimeter of the city.

For more information visit: and

We can help you with an Oyster Card, through our UK Study Pack. Please email us at [email protected] or go to our website .


Most places in the UK can be reached by coach. This form of travel is affordable, especially with the use of the international student card or young person's railcard. for discounted coaches and rail


The traditional taxicab is the Hackney carriage – more commonly known as the ‘black cab' in London. These cabs are available for hire in most of the large cities.


Most fares are estimated at £2.50 per mile with the minimum of £5.00 per fare. However, there are other journey considerations such as time of the day, distance and whether the journey is during a public holiday or not. Evening and holiday fares are more expensive.

If you take a private cab, it is very important that you make sure that it is licensed from the local government authority. All licensed taxis will show a disc, and will normally be parked at a designated taxi rank. You can also call a taxi company (or this may be arranged by texting ‘cab' to 6083' or ‘home' to 60835 when in London).

Taxis are normally licensed to carry 4 to 5 passengers but people-carrier taxis may carry more people.

Minicabs are private hire vehicles that must be registered by the local government and be covered by insurance to cover passengers. Minicab fares have to be arranged – they cannot pick you up from the road, as you and they will not be covered by insurance then. Also, if the cab does not have an internal meter, it is important to negotiate the fee before you accept the ride. (When in London you can Text ‘cab' to 60835 or ‘home' to 60835 to get private taxi company numbers for your convenience).

Unlicensed Cabs

It is not advisable to use them as they are illegal and may compromise your safety.

How to hail (call) a taxi

If there is a queue of taxis parked at the rank, it is etiquette that you approach the one at the front of the queue for a ride. If you are standing on the side of the road, and you see a black cab with its yellow light on, you can wave and taxi drivers are very good at spotting you. Do not step out into the traffic.

For more information visit:

Barclays Cycle Hire – ‘Boris Bikes'

Launched during 2010 and fondly known as ‘Boris Bikes' named after the Mayor of London, the Barclays Cycle Hire scheme allows the public to hire 1 or more bicycles at varying charges from hundreds of ‘docking stations' all over London. The service is available 24 hours per day; 365 days per year and for regular use you can become a member. It is important to clearly understand how to locate, pay for, use, care and return the bikes and it is advised to visit for full details and information before use.

Driving in London

You have to pay what is known as the Congestion Charge of £10 if you are driving a motor vehicle in central London between 7h00 to 18h00 Monday to Friday. This allows you to enter and leave the Congestion Charge area as many times as you like for that one day. There are large ‘C' signs indicating the boundary of the Congestion Charge area and you can register to use the service by telephone or online in advance or pay at many retailers in and around London . If you do not pay this charge by midnight of the day you are in the ‘C' zones, will be fined £120, which will increase until it is paid.

For full details and information visit:

Getting a Driving Licence

If you are a visitor, new resident or full-time student and you have a driving license from your country of origin, you can drive in the UK on certain conditions.

If you are a student and have an international driving license, you may drive here for up to 12 months. If you hold a licence from a designated country ( Australia, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Canada, Falkland Islands, Gibraltar, Hong Kong, Japan, Monaco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Switzerland and Zimbabwe), you may drive on this for up to 5 years. If your licence is from a non-designated country, you will need to get a provisional driver's license and undertake your driving test within a 12-month period. You will need to have been in the UK for over 6 months to be able to apply for your provisional licence.

You have to get your vehicle or motorbike MOT's annually for cars over 3 years old since registration. This is UK law and is a check to ensure that your vehicle is in a roadworthy condition. Failure to do this will result in a fine

For more information, visit:

Converting your designated country licence to a UK licence

You will need to get a D1 form from any Post Office or download it from the website below, complete it and sent it to the:

Driving and Vehicle Licensing Authority, DVLA, Swansea, SA99 1BT

For more information visit




usa flag ireland flag australia flag canada flag france flag spain flag germany flag italy flag southafrica flag india flag russia flag japan flag china flag