The key to the Island

theKey smartcard is one way of buying your bus tickets safely and securely online. For first time key purhcases there is a £6.50 administration fee (payable from 17 April 2022). Once you have topped up, it will only take 3 hours for your online bus ticket to load and then your Key card is ready for use on the bus. However, if you want your ticket to be available instantly, why not switch to our Southern Vectis app where your phone becomes your ticket and they are available to use immediately?

If you've registered your Key, we will be able to replace your card and any tickets on it if it gets lost, stolen or damaged. Please note that replacement Key cards cannot be obtained from the travel shop. If you need to replace your card, contact our Customer Services team on 01202 338 420 who can assist you further. A £6.50 replacement charge applies.

How the key works

Follow the steps below to get your key, load tickets and travel! 

  1. order your key online here
  2. allow 2 working days for your key to arrive in the post 
  3. login online and purchase your tickets
  4. wait 3 hours for your online ticket to load onto the key
  5. hold the key for 5 seconds on the ticket machine to activate, anytime thereafter just wait for the green light!
  6. enjoy travelling & saving with the key!

Tickets available on the key

Start saving today. Take a look at ticket prices on the key.

view multi-day ticket prices on the key or view freedom ticket prices on the key

Child tickets on the key 

Child tickets are now available on the key. The key is the most convenient way of buying bus tickets, as you don't have to worry about having the right amount of cash on the bus, and online top-up will only take three hours to activate! Providing your key is registered we can also replace your key and ticket should you lose it. Please note that multi-day bundle tickets are special offer tickets and may be withdrawn from sale without notice.

Read more about child tickets on the key.

Already got a key?

Register your details to your key, so that you can top-up online. Registering your key also ensures that should you lose your key we can transfer any remaining tickets onto a replacement key.

Register for a key

keep me - don't bin me!

Please look after your key and don’t throw it away. You can use the same key card time and time again.