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Car Hire London

All you need to know about hiring a car in London

The Big Smoke. The Square Mile. The City of Dreams. London has many names – and more than enough to keep you busy when you visit by hire car.

Luckily, we make it easy to hire a car in London, be it for a day or a stay. And with a fleet of vehicles to choose from, including some of the most reliable names and makes in the industry, you’ll have peace of mind too.

There are lots of reasons people choose to hire a car in London, whether it’s for visiting a specific area of the city, using London as a base for the South of the country, or catching the city’s many sights before going abroad – after all, London has six main airports, and is only an hour or so away from locations like Dover (for ferries) and Folkestone (for LeShuttle car shuttle).

If you’re going to London itself, some of the areas you might want to spend time in include:

  • Putney: A leafy area of the city renowned for boat racing (specifically, the annual battle between Oxford and Cambridge), its Arts Theatre and its Exchange mall. Putney is also a top spot for drinking and dining – along the river, you’ll find a line of both chains and independents with all price tags, and a quiet spot to think (or picnic) on Putney Heath.
  • Fulham: With King’s Road and Fulham Road both situated in this area, you’ll want to dip into its many boutiques, delis and cafes. Fulham Palace – complete with landscaped gardens – is also a must-see. 
  • Hammersmith: Home to the Apollo, Riverside Studios, Westfield shopping centre, Lyric Theatre and more, this part of London is brimming with things to do. It even has a tube line named after it.
  • Chelsea: Made famous by made in Chelsea, this high-end, well-heeled neighbourhood has lots to unearth – from scouting out antique finds at one of its many auction houses to visting the Michelin-starred Gordon Ramsay, to popping into the Saatchi Gallery. There’s also Chelsea FC here for the sports fans – and what about checking out the annual Chelsea flower show?
  • Battersea: Zone out from the hustle and bustle in Battersea Park, complete with a Japanese-style pagoda, or get into the thick of it with Go Ape adventure playground. Another Gordon Ramsay restaurant, Street Pizza, resides here – and don’t forget Battersea Power Station, an iconic city landmark now turned into housing.
  • Wimbledon: Anyone for tennis? Apart from lush green lawns, Wimbledon has its famous Common, home to an Iron Age hill fort. There’s a theatre here, windmill museum and extensive library, plus get some retail therapy in Wimbledon Village.
  • Twickenham: Best known for rugby, Twickenham plays host to some gorgeous houses and gardens including Strawberry Hill House, York House and Turner’s House. And you’re also close to glorious Richmond Park in this neighbourhood, too.

Major road links in and out of London When coming in or out of London in a hire car, be mindful of traffic. The capital has some of the worst road congestion of anywhere in the world, but it more than makes up for it with its incredible transport links, which are ideal for those wanting to hire a car to get into the city. One of the most renowned connections to the capital is the London Orbital Motorway (M25). This loops around almost the whole of Greater London. Of course, other major motorways – like the M3, M4, M1, M11, M20 and M23 – are other ways into the city, as well as several A roads.

Sightseeing in the city

There’s lots to see, do and experience here, and plenty to tick off your bucket list. Take in historical sights like Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey. Or head to the V&A, National Gallery or British Museum for a taste of culture. Don’t forget a boat trip, and be sure to stop by Regent’s Street and Oxford Street for some fantastic shopping opportunities.

Wherever you go in London, check parking restrictions for your hire car – especially when visiting the big attractions – and try apps or websites, like yourparkingspace.co.uk Parking is notoriously tricky in the capital, which is why so many commute in on public transport, or use it when they arrive. There’s lots of ways you can get around, including the tube, overground trains, buses and the famous Clipper river buses.

Airport travel As mentioned, the capital has six major airports: London City, London Gatwick, London Heathrow, London Luton, London Stansted and London Southend, so you can happily travel to any global destination any day of the year. There are lots of places to drop off and pick up passengers, as well as parking for short and long stays. Be warned that most airports have restrictions about how long you can wait, and nearly all of them charge for drop-offs these days, too. Book in advance, and you’re more likely to save on your wallet.

Tune in locally While there are plenty of apps and websites to help you track the traffic, London has several radio stations that regularly beam out congestion and roadworks updates. As well as standard BBC Radio stations, try Capital (London) 95.80 and Smooth Radio (London) 102.20, which both give hourly traffic updates.
Don’t forget The Dart If you’re driving your hire car around the M25, you might have to pay a toll for the Dartford Crossing. Fees do vary on vehicle type, and whether you have an account or not, and you’ll need to do it all online. However, you can pay in advance – even by up to a year – so do give this a go if you can. You can also make payments at a Payzone store.

Get in touch

For help with hiring a car in or around London, talk to our helpful team today.