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Why rent a car in London?

England’s capital is a must-visit destination. Take a spin on the London Eye observation wheel to get a bird’s eye view of the city. From the 800-foot-tall Shard you can admire London’s iconic skyline while sipping a cocktail at its level 31 bar. The 900-year-old Tower of London has a grim but fascinating history and houses the Crown Jewels. No visit to London is complete without seeing Buckingham Palace and the Changing of the Guard, the Houses of Parliament and the iconic Big Ben. Many London museums have free admission. The British Museum, with its Egyptian mummies exhibition, is a historical treasure trove.

London also has fantastic parks. Hyde Park has the famous Speaker’s Corner. Views from Parliament Hill in Hampstead Heath are amazing, and Regent’s Park has a delightful rose garden. Kensington Park is home to Kensington Palace and the Albert Memorial, and there are lovely deer roaming in Richmond Park.

With a hire car in London, you are within easy reach of many other great destinations. You can get to Cambridge in two hours and Birmingham and Bath in under three.

How to get to and around London?

The main London international airport is Heathrow Airport, 18 miles away, but many flights also land at Gatwick Airport (29 miles). Budget airlines usually arrive at Stansted (40 miles), Luton (35 miles), and City Airport (9 miles), which has easy train connections to London’s financial district. A rental car in London can be picked up from any of these airports.

From Heathrow the Heathrow Express offers a 15-minute service to Paddington station and free on-board Wi-Fi. London Underground’s Piccadilly Line is more cost-effective but takes 50-60 minutes to Central London.

Bear in mind London’s Underground can be very crowded and not all stations have escalators if you have heavy luggage. For the same one-hour journey, you could be sitting in the comfort of a hire car from Heathrow. From Gatwick, the drive would be an hour and a half.

Hiring a car in London city centre

To rent a car in London use one of the rental companies at the airport or in the city centre. Traffic can be heavy in Central London, and there’s a congestion charge from Monday to Friday between 7am and 6pm, so check if you’ll be travelling through the zone.

Finding a parking space isn’t always easy but many shopping centres and large stores offer free parking. Members of the National Car Park (NCP) get discounts at NCP car parks when pre-booking. Don’t forget parking on double yellow lines is forbidden.

London’s home to some of the grandest hotels in the world, which are tourist attractions on their own, such as the Savoy, the Dorchester and the Ritz. Even if you’re not a guest, you can visit them for their cool bars and award-winning restaurants.

What brands are available?

All major London airports offer car hire services, or you can find one within the city. Below is the list of companies available at Heathrow Airport.

  • Alamo
  • Avis
  • Budget
  • Easirent
  • Enterprise
  • Europcar
  • Firefly EU
  • Flizzr
  • Green Motion
  • Hertz
  • Interrent EU
  • Keddy By Europcar
  • National
  • Sixt
  • Must-sees within an easy drive of London

    For a seaside break, drive to Brighton via Croydon in two and a half hours and enjoy its pebbled beaches, the famous pier and shopping in its charming lanes. Two of the most prestigious UK universities are within a couple of hours’ drive in beautiful cities, Cambridge and Oxford. Situated an hour and 15 minutes north, St Albans is filled with Roman ruins and has a historic cathedral. A lovely day trip destination is Rye, a picturesque village with mock Tudor buildings near the coast , two and a half hours southeast. Take a stroll along the Thames followed by afternoon tea in Henley-on-Thames, famous for its annual rowing regatta; it’s 90 minutes west of London.

    Tips and tricks for driving in the UK

    In the UK you must drive on the left-hand side and overtake on the outside right lane on motorways. On roundabouts, cars on the right have priority. Hire cars usually come with manual transmission; if you prefer a vehicle with automatic transmission, request one upon booking.

    Wearing seatbelts is mandatory and use of mobile phones while driving prohibited. Keep your driver’s licence always at hand, along with your ID (passport) and insurance papers. Licences issued in the EU or EEA are recognised but international licences are also accepted.

    Ready to plan your London city break?

    Ready to start planning your trip to London and other parts of the UK? Use this city guide and the Expedia search tool to find the best car hire, flight and hotel deals and research your preferred attractions and activities.

    Remember that Expedia car hire comes with no hidden fees. The price you see is the price you pay!




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