Driving in London

Car hire

Own car

If you have your own car

  • Your car must have passed its MOT (annual vehicle safety test). MOT test centres can be found across London.
  • You need to pay vehicle tax.
  • You must have car insurance.
  • You may want to get breakdown cover. This can range from roadside assistance to a more deluxe package providing accommodation, etc. Options include the AA, RAC and Green Flag. Comparison sites include Money Supermarket and Compare the Market.

There is a Congestion Charge zone within central London.

There is also a Low emission zone. This is for larger vehicles, click here for details.

Parking in London

  • Some roads may be free to park on.
  • Some roads may be resident (permit) only parking for part of or all day.
  • Or you may need to pay at a car parking machine on the roadside.
  • Park in a car park.
  • Some people rent out their driveways for car parking, especially for special events.
  • You may need a residents permit to park on the road outside your property. This is normally obtained from your local council.

Top Tips

  • Do not drive in a bus lane – you will be fined.
  • It is illegal to ride a motorcycle or drive using hand-held phones or similar devices. This includes being in a traffic queue or if you’ve stopped at traffic lights.
  • Every passenger must wear a seatbelt and children must use the correct car seat for their weight until they reach 135 centimetres tall or their 12th birthday, whichever is first. Click here for further details.
  • Cars are filled with either petrol or diesel (make sure you use the correct fuel).
  • Click here to locate the cheapest petrol stations in your area.
  • Click here to locate charge points in London for your electric vehicle.

Useful websites


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