Hello, my family of 5 are going to London for a week. I was debating if I want to rent a car for a week or rely on public transportation. I've heard the train system can get expensive, but I also don't know how the parking in London works. Is it hard to find parking? I would appreciate any advice. Thank you.
Hugely dependant on which part of London you are staying in & visiting.
If central London then stick with Public Transport as parking is expensive, time consuming to find and stressful. The London Underground is outstanding. Cheap by comparison and easy to use.
If staying in a suburb of London then a car is helpful and easier to manage. Be aware there is a congestion charge for driving in central london though so if traveling into central london you are better off using public transport.
Not too great. You are better off traveling on a bicycle or by tube or bus.
I agree with all the other posters. Forget car hire, congestion charge (for driving anywhere around the central area of London) & parking fees, & volume of traffic make it a waste of time & money. The tube system is easy to negotiate & not too expensive. The most cost effective way is to get an "Oyster card" which you top as necessary & it "deducts" money by scanning it each time you make a journey. If you travel our of "peak hours" it is cheaper still. The staff in the major tube stations are usually quite good at giving you sensible advice as to how to minimise your costs.
Hi! I would advise against hiring a car. Parking is difficult (due to limited spaces vs no. of cars) and expensive. Also the constant traffic in and around central London can significantly slow down any journeys that you take. Yes, the Tube can be expensive here during peak hours but it's without doubt the most efficient way to travel around the city. You can buy Oyster cards at pretty much any Tube station. Check out: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments/
Absolutely do not hire a car! Public transport is awesome. Get an Oyster card to save money and you can use it on the underground, buses and some boats down the Thames.
Driving in London is a complete waste of time. You'll struggle to even find available parking spaces and when you do, they run between £5 to £10 per hour. Then there's a congestion charge you have to pay (£11/day) if you want to drive around Central London, with exclusion of zero emission vehicles. Also, driving anywhere remotely in Central London takes approximately 3 times longer than taking public transportation.
Public transportation is good, pretty much all across London.
Source: I live in London.
I had a car for one day and night in London and parking was a nightmare. The Underground is so easy and I didn't think it was expensive. Buy an Oyster Card at a station for the easiest access: http://www.tfl.gov.uk/fares-and-payments/oyster?intcmp=1683
I don't live in London but I go there a lot for studies and general sightseeing. I would 100% advise the train/tube system (subway). It is a LOT cheaper. No more than £10 per person. And that is for all 6 zones (all of London). Renting a car would be too expensive and just unnecessary. There are tube stations practically everywhere and less parking spaces. Very few people drive in London due to the mass traffic everyday. It will be much easier and simpler to hop on and off a train. Have fun! You will love London.
Don't bother. Just use Uber or Addison Lee if your only staying a week.
It is very expensive to drive a car in London.. there is a daily congestion fee for driving in the greater London area... then there's the high cost to parking.. garages are few.. small spaces.. expensive.. lots of resident restricted parking in Kensington ChelseaWestminster Maida Vale..just about all over greater London.. not allowed to park in the residential reserved areas.. which are numerous...
The tube and buses are terrific.. day passes available.. love the double decker buses.. leave the stress to the public transport...
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Do not rent a car in London. It is very hard to get around, park and is quite expensive. The tube system is very easy to get around especially in central London. You can purchase day passes or week passes from TFL and will be a lot cheaper than renting a car.
we were in London last year for 4 days and when I say the traffic was unreal! that is an under statement! We tried the tube and even that was way too crowded for us..but the double-decker buses were perfect! We went to see London and being on the tube you can't. The Oyster card is the way to go! It's refillable and you can purchase it ahead of time so you can spread out those little things that add up to a lot! You just waive the card at the scanner as you enter the bus and the scanner tells you how many pounds you still have. The bus is less expensive than the tube, also. When it's getting low you just head to a tube station and there are kiosks...we started with £25 and added another £10 and came home with some left, they don't expire. The photo gives you an idea! Have fun...
No, no, no, no to driving in London! You'd be on the other side of the road from what you are used to in addition to all of the other great points people have made. Public transportation in London and England is excellent and very comprehensive, a car would be a huge liability. I've been to England in the neighborhood of 20-25 times and only once have we rented a car and that was nowhere near London.
When you are looking for transport options, you'll want to check out both the Oyster and weekly travelcards which you can either load onto an Oyster or get in paper form which allows you to use 2 for 1 deals but only if you get it on paper stock at a RAIL STATION. I've done both depending on who I'm traveling with and for how long. Kids have different rules, by the time you are done looking, you will think the folks at TFL are sadists.
Hi Linda, parking in London is a real nightmare. To be honest, I'd rather take the tube or bus because parking spaces are so hard to find, and totally overpriced. If you really need to drive somewhere, I suggest you book a parking space in advance with websites such as Yourparkingspace.co.uk or Parkonmydrive, it'll be cheaper and more convenient.
Finding a parking space in Londoncan be very difficult, but I can offer a tip in case you decide to rent a car: you can use shared parking services to find a parking space in London, whether you want to park your car for one day, or even one month. It's a little bit like Airbnb for car parks! I can recommend YourParkingSpace, they connect drivers with private individuals and businesses all over London.
I agree- do not drive. Parking is expensive and traffic can be ridiculous. Depending on the age of your children, they may be able to travel for free. Many places are also walkable- depending on where you are staying.
Hi Linda - only hire a car if you want to get out of London, ir drive to the countryside. Driving inside London is a nightmare (particularly if you don't know the streets), and the public transport is really good. It can be expensive, so buy a week/day ticket and you can go on any trains/busses/tubes etc.
Rely on Public transport, driving and parking in central london is a nightmare and very expensive! Try to avoid travelling in rush hour whenever possible. As others have mentioned you need to get an "oyster" card for travel on buses and underground.