Driving around London

If you’re not used to it, driving around London can be a little intimidating. There’s lots happening all around you at all times of the day and night and the streets aren’t always the easiest to navigate. But, with our tips fresh in your mind, you’ll be able to easily nip around the capital.

Watch out for bus lanes

We have lots of busses running at all times around London. When you’re driving, keep a watch on your lane discipline and make sure you don’t accidentally end up in a bus lane. The bus drivers won’t thank you for it, and you might even get a fine if you’re caught.

Driving in congestion zones

To help improve the air quality in the London, there are several congestion zones in operation. During times of operation, there is a fee for travelling through them in cars, calculated on the how polluting your car is likely to be.

Find out more about congestions zones here.

busy London street

Keep out of yellow boxes

When sitting at a junction, it’s tempting to pull into the hatched yellow box on the road, but it’s important you only do so if you know the way is clear. Don’t pull into the yellow box unless your route out of it is free or you could be putting you and other road users in danger.

Red routes

London’s red routes are clearly signposted with a blue circular sign with a red cross running through it. The edges of the road will also likely have double red lines running along them. This means you cannot stop your vehicle as you pass through during their hours of operation.

Parking

If you’re not familiar with the area, parking in London can prove to be a real headache. Make sure you know ahead of time where you can safely leave your vehicle. Make sure you read the signage carefully in your chosen parking spot to make sure you know of any timed restrictions you can work around.

traffic driving around London

Avoid rush hours

London is busy at the best of times, but during rush hours there are even more people travelling. They’re in cars, on busses, in taxis, riding bikes, and walking…all just trying to get to their destination.

If you’re not familiar with the city, having all this extra volume of people around can be very daunting. Plan your travel times so you’re not driving around London between 8am and 9am, and 4:30pm and 5:30pm wherever possible.

Keep in car distractions to a minimum

Whenever you get behind the wheel, it’s important to give your full attention to the road. In a city as busy as London, it’s even more vital you have your complete focus on what’s happening around you, as you never know when a taxi will swerve in to pick up a passenger, or a cyclist will pop out from behind a parked car.

Check out our tips to prevent distracted driving.

cyclist on the road in London

Be decisive

It might seem that all drivers (and pedestrians!) in London are in a rush. Things do tend to move quickly in the capital, so you can help keep things turning by making decisive manoeuvres on the road. Don’t be surprised if you have to be quite authoritative when changing lanes – it’s all part of the London experience.

Keep an eye out for cyclists

Cyclists on the roads in London tend to know where they’re going and don’t want to stop. If you spot a cyclist, try to anticipate their route and give them space to move.

Get in touch

If you’re visiting London and want to be able to get around without relying on public transportation, get in touch. We have a wide range of cars, vans and minibuses available to hire and are experts at getting around the city.

View our hire cars