London car hire

By Nigel Tisdall, your London expert

I write for Marie Claire, The Daily .... Read more

Hiring a car in London

London is not a good city for car drivers. Parking is expensive and empty spaces are hard to find. The traffic is often slower than walking when you’re in central London. And you’ll have to pay the Congestion Charge (www.tfl.gov.uk/roadusers/congestioncharging) if you drive in from outside a central zone. However, if you’re planning to use London as a base to explore towns like Brighton, Cambridge, Canterbury and Oxford, all of which are an easy drive away, you can rent cars on arrival at each of the city’s five airports - see my London flights page.

It pays to plan ahead. The hire companies recommended by your airline will rarely offer the best deals and booking directly through the airport desk is often more expensive. Instead, book in advance (especially during school holidays; see When to go to London for details) through brokers or price comparison websites. See the Simonseeks booking tool above, powered by Kayak, and follow the advice in our money-saving guide on Car Hire.

For more expert advice on London, follow these links:

Save money on car hire

Save money on car hire by following our money-saving guides written by our deputy editor, Fred Mawer, who has more than 20 years' experience as a consumer journalist.