Driving in London

Car hire

Click here to find a car hire company

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.

And an Ultra low emission zone operating within central London. This can apply to

See map.

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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