London Vehicle Finder help page

Last updated: 30/12/2017



The Vehicle Finder application currently covers London, Reading & Edinburgh (Lothian). This single interface can access data from any of the areas covered. Data that is only dependent on an operator code can be accessed in all modes ie LRT 1-50 to list all of Lothians' Volvo 7900s or GAL WHV100-110 to list some GoAhead London Volvo/Gemini 3s work independent of the current mode. Accessing Route data and most shortcuts are mode dependent.

To change mode the command is "mode" followed by either "LDN", "LRT" or "RGB" for London, Lothian & Reading respectively. When the mode command is executed the banner header and help page will change.

In addition to London Buses the London (LDN) mode also covers Croydon Trams & River boat services.


Obtaining Data from the VF application

Data can be requested in a number of ways by :-

A history facility is available for all except by stop (see below)

The entered value will attempt to match in the order:- registration, operator/fleetnumber, route, stop and lastly as a registration held by TFL, which may be different to the registration the vehicle carries eg a TFL TMP registration.


In most cases any individual character can be replaced by an underscore '_' to create a wildcard search. The '*' character can be used to replace multiple characters..


In some cases ranges can be specified. A range is signified by the "-" character. A wildcard cannot be used in a request where a range is specified.

In all cases of multiple output, a maximum of 180 entries will be displayed. Each of the requests is explained in detail below

By Registration:

Enter the registration of the vehicle you wish to lookup. Wildcards are allowed as are ranges. Example of valid ranges are YX58DXA-D, returns details of 4 vehicles or GAL E1-100, returns details of 100 vehicles. YX*DXA-D is not valid as it is potentially many ranges.

By Operator/Fleetnumber:

Operator codes cannot be wildcarded and must be included in any fleetnumber request. When requesting data on First London or Tower Transit vehicles class codes are optional. To lookup more than one vehicle in a request the fleet nummber may include wildcards or a range may be specified

Valid Operator codes are :-

ALArriva LondonGAL GoAhead London  RTP RATP LondonTLN Abellio London
CTL Croydon TramsML MetrolineSB Sullivan BusesTT Tower Transit
CTPCT PlusRBS River Boat ServicesSLN Stagecoach London

Operator codes with historic data are :-

ASCArriva Southern Counties  ASEArriva The ShiresEPEpsom BusesFLN First London

Operator codes for other modes are :-

ECB East Coast BusesLCYLothian CountryLRTLothian BusesRGBReading Buses

By Route:

Any input character string less than 5 character long is checked to be a route number. If it is not found to match a valid route then further matching will take place. Wildcards are not allowed as part of the route number. By default information will be displayed by direction of travel and then by vehicle fleet number order. The short code ZZ can be used to toggle the way information is displayed between fleet number order and stop sequence order

By Stop:

Stops can be indentified by the 5 character stop codes often displayed in the output from other enquires and visible on the physical stop on a small metal plate. If 5 digit stop codes are entered then spaces and wildcards are not allowed. One or more stop code can be entered by putting a comma between the codes. However no check is made that stop codes are geographically close to each other.

Alternatively a stop or stops can be entered by name. Wildcards can be used as part of the name. Because special characters, eg '&', cannot be entered to be able to lookup somewhere like "Elephant & Castle" the "&" must be entered as a wildcard character.

Vehicles will be displayed in the order they are expected to arrive although this cannot be guaranteed. TFL still provide stop data for stops that are temporarily closed.


The facility exists to request the history of a vehicle, ie what routes it has worked, or the history of a route - what vehicles have been used on the route and when they were last recorded. To obtain history data enter the keyword history followed by a registration, operator/fleetnumber or Route number. This request does not allow wildcards.

With history it is possible to add date parameters to show either the vehicles on a route on a particular day (a single date) or what a vehicle worked between a range of dates. For vehicle history the first date entered sets the earliest date history is found for and if entered the second date sets the highest date history is given for. If the second date is not entered then the range is from the entered date to the present. Alternatively the parameter can be a 3 letter code for a day of the week to filter the data for that day.


The facility exists to request the current predictions for an active vehicle. The request can be by operator/fleet number or by registration. Wildcards are not valid.


This command has no parameters. It looks at the currently active vehicles and looks to see whether any vehicles are operating on a route that they haven't worked on within the past 2 months.


Lists are used to provide a number of system defines sets of data. Lists are :-

new Vehicles new into service or expected into service. Once a batch of vehicles is complete into service it will be removed from the list
ads This list provides information on all the overall advert buses currently operating in london
ooffs This list provides information on "one offs" eg demonstrators
brand A list of all vehicles with route branding applied
volt A list of electric vehicles
unused This is a special list and is an administration tool to note vehicles that have not been used since a given date. It has a mandatory parameter of a date in "yyyy-mm-dd" format and optionally an operator code

With lists it is allowed to append an operator code to filter the list for just that operator eg "List new GAL" will show just the new vehicles for GoAhead and "List ads RTP" will show the ads currently carried by RTP vehicles. The operator code can also be applied to the short code eg "ZA RTP" is equivalent to "List new RTP"

Short codes:

A number of commonly used commands are available as short codes. Currently all short codes start with the letter "Z" The following short codes are defined :-

ZA List new
ZB List ads
ZC Marble arch stops
ZCE Marble arch East side stops
ZCW Marble arch West side stops
ZD Paliament Square stops
ZE Hyde Park Corner stops
ZF Trafalgar Square stops
ZG Elephant and Castle stops
ZH Oxford Circus stops
ZI List LT ads
ZJ List non LT ads
ZK List Recent ads
ZV Toggle list output between operator/fleet number and just fleet numbers
ZW Toggle list output between all vehicles and those in service vehicles
ZX Toggle stop output between all vehicles and those within lists, such as the new or ads list
ZY Toggle list output between all vehicles and excluding withdrawn and not yet active vehicles
ZZ Toggle route output between fleet number order and stop sequence order