London Car Rental

Traveling around London is something that has as many different methods as the human mind can conceive. If you have the wherewithal, it would be possible to travel by hot air balloon, but not many people do this due to the impracticality of the medium. The most popular ways are by train and by bus, but there are many travelers who simply have to be at the wheel themselves. As long as you are forewarned of certain factors, this is something that is more than possible. Bringing your own car with you may not be a hundred per cent advisable, though, depending on your circumstances, so hiring a car to drive around London can be a fine way to travel.

Your point of hire should be the port where you land, be that seaport or airport. There are numerous companies that will hire you a car for a period, and will do so at competitive prices that tend to start at around L12 ($16) a day. How you go about renting is up to you, but the car hire companies will give you as broad a choice as possible. What kind of car do you want? A sports sedan, a family wagon or a 4×4? All are an option. In the light of London’s new Mayor, Boris Johnson, torpedoing plans to increase the congestion charge for more fuel-hungry vehicles, whichever car you choose will have the same congestion charge. So your job in the circumstances is to choose the car you like, for the period you need, and the price range you are after.

The opening paragraph mentioned some of the drawbacks of driving in London. These include the congestion charge – which was not a hugely popular development when it saw the light of day in 2003, and sees the motorist charged L8 ($11) for every day in which it enters the charged zone between 7am and 6pm, and fined varying amounts up to L180 ($265) for non-payment.

Another issue is that parking in London can be incredibly difficult even for those who live and work there every day of their life. In this respect one word of advice that is worth paying attention is “size”. If you rent a car for just one or two of you, it is worth taking into account that the smaller the car, the smaller the spaces it can get into. Hiring a 4×4 or any station wagon will make parking an absolute nightmare, though, as spaces in shopping areas (where you can find one) will be either tiny or nearly non-existent. There are multi-storey car parks dotted around London, but these can be hard to find, and when you do find them are often expensive. Another detail worth paying attention to is the mpg that you can get from a car, as fuel prices in the UK are higher than anywhere else in Europe. So, although the congestion charge may be the same for 4×4 vehicles, it’s worth avoiding them anyway, given their size and poor fuel economy.