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London and Its Surroundings Are Yours to Discover by Car Hire

London, the capital of the United Kingdom, is also England’s largest city. Bursting with rich history yet thoroughly modern, it's the perfect spot for a city break. Hiring a car in London is an excellent way to make the most of your visit by hitting the many local attractions and cultural events and sights found throughout the area.

With your own vehicle at your disposal, you will have the freedom to go where you like when you like. You can visit local museums for a dose of art and culture, explore the shops for which the city is so renowned or venture out of the city to discover the nearby English countryside.

When you book your hire car in advance, it will be ready and waiting for you upon arrival at the airport, so you can start enjoying your trip without missing a beat.

Choosing the Right Car Hire in London

London is served by 5 major airports: Heathrow, Gatwick, Luton, Stansted and London City. They all have car hire companies on site. London is a very popular destination for holiday and business travel, so it’s a good idea to make your reservation early to ensure the availability of your chosen vehicle type at the best price. You should also keep in mind that most cars for hire have manual transmissions, so if you prefer an automatic, be sure to book it early.

Major car hire companies are located at all of London’s major airports, with other pick-up locations throughout the city. They include:

  • Sixt
  • Green Motion
  • Easirent
  • Budget
  • Avis
  • Alamo

There is a daily congestion charge applied to vehicles travelling within the ‘charging zone’ in Central London on weekdays. Certain electric vehicles are exempt. Check with your car hire company about exemptions and how the congestion charge is paid.

Finding a parking spot on the street can be a challenge in central London, as there are often restrictions during the daytime from Monday to Saturday. Car parks are available, with some offering advance booking.

Consider what activities you are planning during your trip when choosing the type of car you’re going to hire. For a couple who is going to use the car in and around the city, a mini or economy model may be the best value option. However, if greater distances will be covered or if you’re travelling with the whole family or a larger group, a standard car or a van may be more suitable. Use Expedia’s convenient filter tool to zero in on the best deal for just the right vehicle.

Explore All That London Has to Offer

There is so much to do during your visit to London. Witness the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace, stroll through Hyde Park, and take in the important works at The National Gallery, The Tate Modern and The British Museum. Shoppers will be delighted by Oxford Street, Covent Gardens and Harrods. For an incomparable view of the city, climb aboard the London Eye, Europe’s largest cantilevered wheel, measuring 135 metres.

There’s fun for the entire family at The London Zoo, London Sea Life and The London Dungeon. Fans of J.K. Rowling’s work can get their wizarding fill at Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter and Tour for Muggles - Harry Potter London Walk.

There are also countless things to see and do just a short drive out of the city. The prehistoric monuments of Stonehenge; Bath, with its Roman Baths; the royal residence at Windsor and the architecture and history of Oxford and Stratford are all just a few hours’ drive away from London.

Answers to Your London Car Rental Questions

Is it possible to cancel my reservation, if necessary?

As soon as you know you need to cancel, give the car hire company a call. You can also check your contract to see specific cancellation policies and fees.

Can I use my country’s driving licence for a car hire in London?

Driving licences issued outside of the UK are valid for 12 months following your arrival. An international driver’s licence may be required if your current licence is not in English.

Are there additional fees for young drivers?

An additional charge may be required for drivers under the age of 25.