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Car Hire Chelsea

All you need to know about hiring a car in Chelsea

All you need to know about hiring a car in Chelsea

A wealthy London postcode synonymous with fashion, culture and reality TV, there’s more to Chelsea than simply an expensive price tag. With its leafy neighbourhoods, boutique-packed streets and more bars, cafes and restaurants than you can count, it’s a popular place for both Londonites and tourists – and hiring a car in Chelsea is a great way to get around.

Though it’s often just referred to as ‘Chelsea’, this sprawling London borough has a much more impressive title: the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea. In other words, it’s a particularly wealthy corner of the capital – and thanks to both the Made in Chelsea TV show and areas like Kings Road, Chelsea Embankment and Sloane Square, it’s a must-see destination for lovers of culture and fashion.

When hiring a car in Chelsea, there are endless things to do, like:

  •  Stopping by the Chelsea Arts Club, Saatchi Gallery or Physic Garden.

The Saatchi Gallery is actually a charity, and provides a much-needed platform for culture and art, ensuring it’s accessible to all. Since being established in the 1980s, it’s become world-renowned – and featured artists from Tracey Erin to Picasso. The Physic Garden is a former apothecary garden where apprentices would study medicinal plants across its four lush acres. And as for the Chelsea Arts Club, it’s a members-only hub for creatives from poets to filmmakers, musicians and photographers.

  • Wandering through the Chelsea Flower Show.

It’s an annual essential for gardeners all over the UK, and supported by ‘Chelsea in Bloom – a local event where shops are decorated with floral displays.

  • Soaking up the city streets.

Chelsea is covered in famous blue plaques that pinpoint the homes of writers like Bram Stoker and Oscar Wilde, while its colourful houses are matched only by the many beautiful blossom trees (think cherry and wisteria) that line its avenues.

All that aside, Chelsea is a top destination for hiring a car – and, of course, when you do hire a car in Chelsea, you won’t be far from other highlights of the capital. We’ve pulled together some key information that will help you get the most out of the borough – and London itself – on your travels.

Driving zones

It’s no secret that 20mph driving zones are common in the capital – part of a campaign that hopes to calm traffic and keep residents safe. It’s essential to watch your speed when driving through the borough, as there may be cameras and mobile vans. Besides how fast you’re going, you should also make note of where you’re going – because Chelsea is both in the Congestion Charge Zone and the Ultra-Low Emission Zone. 

Road links and things to know

A Chelsea hotspot is Kings Road, which can get held up during key commuter times. And the Albert, Chelsea and Battersea bridges can also pile up from traffic, with unexpected closures increasingly common. Always check your route before hiring a car in Chelsea and have a back-up plan, in case there are closures for roadworks.

Heading to an event or attraction

Hiring a car for an event is a great idea – especially as most venues have parking spots. Whether it’s a gig, show, day out or shopping trip, there’s so much to see and do in the capital. Though we’d suggest it’s worth checking out routes, parking and charges before you go – even booking, if possible – there shouldn’t be a need for on-street parking (and that’s generally not advised anyway, since many places are strictly residents-only). Whether it’s a concert at Wembley or the O2, or theme parks like Legoland, Chessington and Alton Towers, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Airport drop off and pick up

Whatever your reason for travelling – or even if you’re collecting someone from the airport – you’re well-served in London. The city has not one, but six major airports – London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Luton, London Stansted and London Southend – and each come with parking zones and fares.

You can hire a car in Chelsea and park up for a long-stay, or collect a friend, relative or business associate during a short-stay. Each airport has its own rules and prices attached, so do check before you drive. Some airports have size restrictions too, particularly on height, but this shouldn’t be a problem for hiring a car.

Forget the change

If you’re planning to hire a car in Chelsea and take off out of the capital, be warned – some routes have charges. The Dartford Crossing famously costs you between 6am and 10pm, and you can no longer pay at the toll booth. Instead, you’ll have to make a payment online , though the good news is you can pay anywhere from 12 months beforehand to up to 6am the day prior to travelling. Opening an account – the famous Dart Card – also gives you a discount. If you’d rather pay while you’re out and about, stop by a Payzone store in your area.

Tune in locally

Travel news is essential when driving in a new place, so we’d recommend checking out BBC London 94.9 and Capital FM London 95.8. Both share regular weather and travel news, as well as wider news on the hour.