Samuel Johnson once said “when a man is tired of London, he is tired of life itself”, and he couldn’t be closer to the truth. London, the capital of the United Kingdom and one of the world’s most important global cities, basks in a majestic radiance that is unquestionably unique. The city contains a host of historical and modern marvels that attract millions of tourists each year, including British royal architectural masterpieces, inspirational museums, glorious parks, unstoppable nightclubs and a selection of the world’s grandest restaurants. Though driving through the city centre is not recommended, motorists can explore the fascinating highlights of Greater London by car.
Who to Book With
Being a global city, London is home to a long list of international car rental companies, such as Budget, Enterprise, Thrift, Avis and Sixt. All are found within and around the centre of the city. Local companies can also be found, providing competitive prices for patrons. Booking online will help visitors save money, plus save time too.
Best Time to Go
London is certainly a year-round destination. That being said, most tourists flock to the city in the summer months, as this is when days are longer, providing more time to explore the many landmarks on offer. Winter remains relatively mild, but tourism tends to drop during these cooler months, leading to less expensive rates on accommodation and rentals.
Need to Know Essentials
To rent a car in London, visitors must produce the following documents:
- A valid passport
- A current driving license
- A valid credit card
- Proof of booking or rental deposit
For additional details explore our FAQ's page.
Tourists who choose to use car hire in London should avoid the city centre. Rental vehicles are not exempt from paying the high fees associated with the Central London Congestion Charge. In addition, traffic jams are constantly experienced in the middle of town, and parking is horrendously expensive, not to mention hard to find. Driving through the outskirts and residential areas of London is much easier, but traffic can be congested during peak hours. This is largely due to the commute to bedroom communities surrounding the capital.
Explore our Guide to the United Kingdom for more information about driving in London and around the country.
Nearby Train Stations:
Driving through the heart of London is not recommended. Luckily, tourists have an enormous range of public transportation options to choose from. Even though London is a city of more than 14 million people, the public trains, buses, trams, ferries and taxis are reliable, convenient, inexpensive and relatively expedient. Driving is best left to daytrips outside the city centre.
There are two types of taxis that serve London. The world-famous black cabs of London can be hailed from the street side. They are reliable, safe, and the cab drivers reputably know every nook and cranny of the city, so navigation is never a problem. Minicabs are professional vehicle hires, and are usually less expensive than black cabs. However, they cannot be waved down off the street, so only phone booking services are available. Transport for London provides information on both black cabs and minicab taxis.
London buses are renowned the world-over for their red, double-decker style. There are more than 700 routes across London, between the hours of 06:00 and 24:30, each weekday. This means visitors are within walking distance from a bus stop, regardless of where they are staying. Night buses run after 24:30 every night, operating more than 100 routes across the British capital. Routes and prices can be found at Transport for London.
The London Underground is the largest and most extensive underground transit system in the world. Known affectionately as The Tube, this network is an easy and affordable way to travel across London’s downtown and outer districts. London for Transport Tube Stations can be explored to find lines and stations in the city. Don’t forget, London also boasts an overground railway network (London North) and a light rail network (East London) outside the city centre.
The Tramlink service opened in 2000, and predominantly serves the southern region of London, particularly where The Tube fails to link to inner-London, such as Croydon. Routes within the Tramlink service include Route 1 and Route 2 from Beckenham and Route 3 from Wimbledon.
The River Thames meanders though the centre of London, and several private companies provide ferry taxi service upon this popular waterway. London River Services also offers ferry transportation and takes care of numerous piers along the river.
London is blessed with an amazing list of sites that are renowned the world over. However, the city is also thriving with globally-known destinations less than two hours drive from London’s CBD. Daytrips from the UK capital are highly recommended, even though London is swarming with precious landmarks. There is so much to explore in all directions.
Stonehenge - This is among the world’s more mysterious landmarks. It is a World Heritage Site located just 90 minutes from London. Tourists will need to head to Salisbury first, then make their way by tour bus or van to the site. Stonehenge is an unforgettable daytrip from London.
Oxford - Home to the planet’s most famous university. Drive through this university-city, explore its priceless architecture and enjoy guided tours of the Harry Potter movie sets. The Oxford University Museum of Natural History is a must-visit landmark, and so too is the Radcliffe Camera.
Windsor - This is an ancient town west of London, renowned for Windsor Castle, Royal Guildhall, and the world’s most famous school; Eton College. Tourists can easily spend a day or even more discovering everything that Windsor has to offer. From London, Windsor is less than 45 minutes away by car.