London Congestion Zone Charge

London introduced a 5 GBP daily congestion charge to reduce traffic and get London moving.

The Congestion Zone operates between 7am and 6.30pm Monday to Friday, excluding Public Holidays. Traffic signs will make it very clear exactly where the charging zone is. The Zone is basically a ring around the most central area of London starting at Hyde Park in the west to London Bridge in the east, and from Kings Cross in the north to Kennington in the South.

If you are picking up or returning a hire car within the Congestion Zone during its operating times you will have to pay the fee, sorry car hire is not exempt, though at least the fee can be paid directly to the car hire company. All airports are outside of the zone. See the London Congestion Charging site for more information.

Parking in London

We don't want to scare you about driving in London but be warned! If you park illegally you are likely to get caught and just as likely to have your vehicle clamped. You have been warned!

With the advent of decriminalised parking the practice of clamping is becoming much more widespread and, as evidenced by the TV show 'Clampers', can be very arbitrary. However, the operation is very expensive and local authorities can, and do, clamp and remove any vehicle that is parked illegally rather than leave an expensive tow truck or clamping van idle.

A Picture is worth a thousand words!

We highly recommend that you purchase and carry a disposable camera in your hire car at all times (even your car at home for that matter). This allows you to document and unsavoury situations that may occur like:

  • Car damage caused while parked or away
  • Vehicle condition at the time of return
  • Unjust tire clamping
  • Accident sites
  • The occasional panorama
  • A great sun set

Seriously, while the brand-name car rental companies on VroomVroomVroom have received minimal complaints, and most are dealt with in both a timely and reasonable fashion, some car rental companies claim repairs for damage already done prior to rental or damage occurring after the vehicle has been returned. A few pictures can stop this activity before it gains any momentum. Just saying that you have before and after pictures usually does the trick.

Having a disposal camera (and often a current daily paper) allows you to document the situation as you come upon it. The daily paper is to prove the time that the activity occurred. A picture truly is worth a thousand words - so don't take any chances and become an amateur Paparazzi for fun and safety.

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