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How and where to park a car in London safely

Updated on January 28, 2009

Car parking is expensive at times but not expensive then seeing your lovely car towed away

This hub is for those people who choose to travel in London by their own vehicle or who wish to drive on a hired one, if this is the case with you, you must know about finding car parks.

With introduction of Congestion Charge rule a few years back, you should think hard before driving in London, but hiring or renting a car is easily possible.

In London, "park and ride services" are also available instead of driving in London. London roads are very congested and slow at times!

The most important thing which visitors in London driving their own vehicles should know is a big white symbol "P" on a blue background which means "parking lot".

Mostly, you can easily spot these car parking lots near to the Railway stations, and I would like to also mention that it would be expensive for you to leave your car over there.

There are several other car parking lots around London airports with the name NCP which means National Car Parks. Mostly, these are big multistorey car parking lots and similarly they can also be quite expensive to park in.

In the Central London, you can see parking bays on most of the streets where you can park your cars or other private vehicles, and you have to pay via parking meters over there.

These car parking lots allow you to only park your vehicles for a maximum of 2 to 3 hours and the time reflects on the parking meters. They are usually free after a specific timeframe which is usually 6.30 p.m.

If a visitor is a disabled driver, he or she is entitled to special privileges.

The person should need the blue badge and with it comes things like reduced parking fees and exemption from the congestion charge.

While visiting London, you can watch out that London has roads for example, Red Routes which has restrictions for parking. You cannot park on either side of these roads. You should be clever enough to not park your vehicles on these roads as this can lead to heavy fines or even your vehicle can be picked up by traffic control cranes.

By whatever mean you want to travel in London, always remember if you are driving your own vehicle do not ever park on roads without proper parking lots and always carry enough change in your wallet in order to pay for the parking meters and car parks.

In United Kingdom, traffic drives on the left hand side of the road.

As you know, many large cities in United Kingdom have extensive public transport, and in city centrals, car parking is very difficult and expensive, mostly in London.

If you are traveling to remote areas or countryside, hiring or renting a car becomes essential.

Speed limits are 30 miles per hour in urban areas and 60 miles per hour on roads away from built-up-areas and 70 miles per hour on motorways. In United Kingdom, traffic always drives on the left-hand side of the road as mentioned above.

Information can be easily found in The Highway Code, which is available with most newsagents and bookshops.

If you are not careful and you left your car on the road, you will find your car wheel clamped or a yellow fine notice on your car, or your lovely car towed away which happens in worse cases.

Be smart, park safely

Please leave your views and ideas on this hub

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    • naresh_19812000 profile image

      naresh_19812000 9 years ago from New Delhi, India

      parking is a problem everywhr...i m from india, and here too parking is a nuisance...more it depends on the mentality of the people how they tackle with parking problems...what do u have to sa about it.?

    • solarshingles profile image

      solarshingles 9 years ago from london

      A good hub about terrible parking nuisance in London. I've been here for more than 4 years and I am still surprised about catastrophic attitude of parking attendants and parking companies, which are behaving as plain muggers.

      I strongly believe, that London is loosing a lot of reputation, even more tourists and income, due to brand new 'traffic con industry'.

      I hope, the new mayor Boris Johnson is going to 'shake those parking muggers' a lot.