England is a country of contrasts and depending on the program of your stay, renting a car can be as much a brake as an indispensable step.
Rent a car in London, useful or not?
London, first of all, is not a very convenient city for cars. From Monday to Friday, from 7 am to 6 pm, the English capital has introduced a tax, the “Congestion Charge”, which applies to all vehicles wishing to enter the most central areas (the “Congestion Charge Zone”). St James’s, Waterloo, Covent Garden, London Bridge, Soho, Westminster, Finsbury are some of the neighborhoods involved.
The entrance to this area is marked by signs bearing a white C in a red circle, often lined with a marking on the ground as shown in this photo.
All vehicles wanting to circulate in the congestion charge zone must pay a fee of £ 11.50 per day, payable on the London Transportation website. The measure aims to limit traffic and pollution in central London.
It can be reduced by £ 1 per day by registering your vehicle with the Congestion Charge Auto Pay (CC Auto Pay) program, an automatic congestion charging system.
Outside these periods, that is to say on weekends, holidays or during the period between Christmas and New Year’s Day, traffic is free. However, parking spaces are limited: some streets operate with a “Pay & Display” system, such as French parking meters: you have to buy a ticket that is placed prominently on the windshield. It is often possible to pay by phone with “Pay by phone” systems where by creating an account on your mobile, you can pay for your parking directly.
The Parkopedia site is an excellent reference for viewing car parks by neighborhood as well as parking rates in London. A day in a car park can cost between £ 20 and £ 50.
You will understand then, that renting a car in London is not necessarily a good idea if you only stay in the capital. The city is very well served by public transport, with a wide offer and adapted to all budgets, be it at the subway level, buses, suburban trains (the DLR, the over ground, etc.) … or even from the taxi.