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Is there a place to buy Oyster cards at Gatwick airport?

I can not find the information anywhere and since I will be travelling zone 1-4 during my stay I think it is the best option.

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    Maybe useful: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/72981/… And maybe wait till you are in London before you buy the card: travel.stackexchange.com/questions/71101/gatwick-to-london/… – Willeke Jul 31 '16 at 18:15
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    Feel compelled to mention that if you have a contactless credit/debit card you can get around just as fine, the fare will still be capped as usual, depending on whether you travel peak or off-peak, the only benefit to an Oyster card right now is if you're entitled to some kind of discount (such as a student one) or you want to put on a season ticket. – Nobilis Aug 1 '16 at 7:17
  • @paj28 - not true. Since Jan 2015 you have been able to travel to/from Gatwick by Oyster: tfl.gov.uk/info-for/media/news-articles/… – abligh Aug 1 '16 at 8:04
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    @Nobilis It's not true that those are the only benefits. If your contactless card is connected to a non-UK bank account, you'll probably have to pay transaction and/or exchange fees each time you use it in the UK. Because of that, it can be better to make a few relatively large transactions (e.g., buying an Oyster card and topping it up) than many small transactions whose total is the same amount (e.g., paying contactless every time you use the tube). – David Richerby Aug 1 '16 at 9:24
  • @abligh - thanks for the correction - and good to know they fixed it – paj28 Aug 1 '16 at 9:29
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This site says that you can buy Visitor OysterCards at the GatwickExpress ticket office, and also pre-order them and have them delivered. The Gatwick Express site says that the ticket office at Gatwick is open 24 x 7.

You may not need an Oyster Card at all if your debit card does contactless payments.

Gatwick trains now accept contactless payments

This includes Gatwick Express.

You can also use contactless cards as an alternative to Oyster Cards on TFL, so your total fares are capped. That site has information about whether your contactless card will work.

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According to this Tripadvisor post:

London Airports: Heathrow Underground station and Gatwick Express station sell Oyster

Also stated on Gatwick Express's site:

You can purchase a Visitor Oyster Card online or you can simply visit the ticket window when you arrive at Gatwick Airport Train Station.

Also from visitlondon:

You can also buy an Oyster Card at the Skybreak Service Centre in both terminals and at the Gatwick Airport train station.

All that's lacking is an actual confirmation that someone actually has bought an Oyster there...

  • @pnuts It would be good to find a confirmation anecdote somewhere – Berwyn Jul 31 '16 at 19:03
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    I bought an oyster card at the Gatwick express desk right outside of international arrivals a little over a week ago. I don't know if the table is manned late at night, but they do sell them there. – Roddy of the Frozen Peas Jul 31 '16 at 19:18
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    @RoddyoftheFrozenPeas Sounds good. Must be available whenever Gatwick Express is open then surely – Berwyn Jul 31 '16 at 19:24
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    @pnuts: LGW isn't in London :-) – Nate Eldredge Jul 31 '16 at 20:33
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The Visitor Centres at Gatwick Airport close at 16:00 daily, so if you arrive in the evening, you won't be able to buy an Oyster card at one of Gatwick's Visitor Centres. Additionally, there are no Oyster Ticket Stops, shops authorised to sell and top up Oyster cards, at Gatwick.

You may be able to buy a Visitor Oyster card in your home country and thereby already have it when you arrive in the UK.

That said, you don't necessarily need to have an Oyster card on arrival in Gatwick. You can pay for rail tickets with some other method, and buy an Oyster card when you reach central London. In fact, you might not need an Oyster card at all; see my other answer for all the places you can legitimately buy an Oyster card and alternative ways to pay for Underground travel.

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