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3 Things To Know About Driving In and Around London

London is known for its iconic transportation types such as the tube and red buses, but one thing that is also renowned is that driving in and around London isn’t particularly easy. With limited parking options, congestion charges and speed restrictions, it’s easy to see how driving in the capital city can be a considered option when looking to get around. With one of the highest pedestrian and cyclist densities in Europe, drivers must take care and prepare themselves for taking a trip through the city. With that in mind, let’s take a look at three things to know about driving in and around London.

Familiarise Yourself With Parking

If you have a plan for your day or time in London, have a look at the city centre care parks near your chosen destination. London is filled one-way, no access and bus lanes. This can turn a seemingly easy, 10-minute trip into a complicated hour-long ordeal. Before setting off, check your route and that there are no road closures or unexpected road works which could add time to your journey.

If you are heading into popular tourist areas, then be sure to check where the nearest car parks are, for instance, you might want to pay a visit to Harrods, so local Knightsbridge parking would be a better option compared to street parking, where you risk parking in a permit or paid areas.

Check If The Congestion Charge Applies To You

If you are planning a visit to London, or wish to travel around via car, then being aware of the congestion charge can help you to avoid the daily fee where it may be necessary. The congestion charge is a fee applied for driving in central London at certain times of the day and is separate from the ULEZ and LEZ charges – this could mean that, in some circumstances, you pay twice. The London congestion charge is priced at £15 per day if paid in advance. This increases to £17.50 if you pay by midnight on the third day following your trip.

The London congestion charge applies between the hours of 7 am and 6 pm, Monday to Friday, then 12 pm to 6 pm Saturday and Sunday. However, if you live within the congestion charge zone, then you get a 90% discount on the cost and, if you pay a £10 annual fee, then the following drivers are exempt from congestion charges altogether:

  • Drivers that hold a blue badge
  • Petrol cars that have emission standards of Euro 5 or 6
  • Electric car drivers, or other zero emission vehicles
  • Vehicles with more than 9 seats
  • Motorised tricycles
  • Motorcycle riders are exempt, and do not have to pay an annual fee

Prepare For Traffic

Even with the congestion charges and lack of ease for drivers, London is affected heavily by traffic congestion. If driving in and around London, it’s always good to have a back-up route in mind if you find that your desired route is diverted, or heavily congested. You should always allow for extra time when getting around London, especially during rush hour times and public holidays.


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