Having a rental car in London allows you to get around the city on your own schedule. But not every type of vehicle is the best fit for driving and parking in this metropolis. Whether you are planning to visit the museums, historical sights, or simply check out different neighborhoods, you may be wondering what the best car for London might be. We have some ideas, based on what kind of trip you’re planning.
Best Car for Parking
As in many European cities, street parking is at a premium and is not so accommodating of larger vehicles. For this reason, you may want to steer clear of renting a bulky SUV in favor of a smaller compact car if you are worried about your parking skills. Regardless of what kind of vehicle you rent, it’s best to park in a garage so you don’t have to waste a lot of time driving around and looking for a spot. You can also avoid the parking restrictions that are in place for streets in the central business district on weekdays during certain hours.
Best Car for a Family
While it may be tempting to rent an SUV to hold all your family’s things, you should avoid that temptation when you rent a car in London. As mentioned above, narrow streets and smaller parking spots make it more difficult to navigate with a larger vehicle. Stick with a sedan or station wagon for your family trip, or if you only have a few people, rent a compact car for maximum mobility.
Best Car for Restrictions Within the City
If you plan to drive in the central part of the City of London, be prepared to pay the Congestion Charge. The same zone also requires that your vehicle meet the Ultra Low Emission Zone standards, and if your vehicle doesn’t you will have to pay an extra 12.50 pounds. Between 7 am and 6 pm, Monday through Friday, you need to pay a 11.50 pound charge to drive in the center of the city.
There are discounts, but only if your vehicle meets several standards for emissions, is a certain type of hybrid, or is an electric vehicle. However, you must apply for these discounts in advance, which is not ideal for a rental vehicle. If you plan to go into the city center during your trip and want to avoid paying these charges, think about parking outside the congestion zone and taking public transit where you need to go.
Car Rental in London
Choose SIXT for your car rental needs in London. We have over 25 locations across the capital of the UK, including major airports such as Heathrow and Gatwick airport. Our network also includes major train stations such as St Pancras and Stratford International. Our broad range of vehicles will suit any trip and includes cars with automatic transmission.