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Located just 10 miles from the centre of London is the thriving small town of Croydon. Although perhaps best-known for being the birthplace of world-famous musician David Bowie, the destination is also renowned for its palace, parks, gardens and a plethora of fine restaurants serving cuisine from around the world. Those with car rental have the ability to split their time between all the action in London and this small but worthy destination.
Who to Book With
While there aren't any car hire companies located in the centre of the town, Hertz, Europcar and Thrifty are all easy to find on the outskirts of Croydon. Making online bookings before heading to Croydon usually results in drivers paying less for hire vehicles than usual.
Best Time to go
Given Croydon's close proximity to the UK capital of London, rental vehicles and hotels are usually booked in advance most of the year round in order to avoid disappointment upon arrival in the town. Climate-wise, the best time to visit is regarded as being between June and September, when the UK weather is at its finest.
Need to Know Essentials
In order to collect a rental car from one of the Croydon rental companies, be sure to bring the following:
- A British, EU or international driving license
- An additional form of photo ID
- The credit card used by booker to make the reservation
- Printed confirmation
Due to Croydon's close proximity to London and its popularity as one of the top shopping destinations in the UK, traffic around the town can become congested throughout the day. Due to the scarcity of council-owned parking spaces, many drivers opt to leave their vehicles on the premises of one of the three shopping centres located in the area.
Those than haven't arranged car rental will have to rely on other options to get them around Croydon and London as a whole. These transport options include trams, buses, trains and taxis, some of which operate around the clock. For venturing out of the metro are, however, and particularly into the countryside, personal transportation is most definitely required.
Trains and Trams
The Croydon Tramlink is the self-proclaimed number-one tramway in the United Kingdom. It is almost 20 miles long, covering various destinations across south London. Rail services into central London or elsewhere in the UK are mainly supplied by Network Rail and Southern Railway.
Those that need to rely on taxis at one point or another during their time in Croydon are spoiled for choice, as there are plenty of companies operating in the town. The main names are Circuit Cars, Station Cars, Roadrunners Minicabs and Kendall Cars, who compete alongside council-owned vehicles that usually always run on the meter.
Arriva is the main supplier of bus transport around Croydon and southern London. The company offers routes around the destination and to most corners of London, with some specialist services heading to other towns of note in southern England.
Once all in Croydon has been seen and enjoyed, tourists with car hire have plenty of other options for nearby daytrips. While the most obvious destination of note is undoubtedly central London, popular spots such as Dover and Margate, located on the southern coast, are also perfectly reachable from Croydon.
Dover - This destination has achieved worldwide fame for its iconic white cliffs, but is also known for being a popular point of crossing for trips over to Calais in France. This small coastal town feels like a world away from the hustle and bustle of southern and central London.
Brighton - A classic English seaside town that was the setting of Pride and Prejudice, one of the most famous British novels of the last century, Brighton has grown into a destination known for its nightlife and relaxed attitude. This fun and funky town is easily reached from Croydon by heading south on the M25.
Margate - Venturing southeast of Croydon leads tourists to another seaside option in Margate. With their own vehicles in this part of Kent, tourists have the chance to also tick the likes of Westbrook and Palm Bay off their lists on the same trip.