London is obviously one of the most stunning cities in the world and every one of us would love to venture this spectacular destination at least once in our lifetime. There are an overwhelming number of impressive things to do and see in the capital city of England. Furthermore, most of the tourists may either consider any of the public transportation modes or self-driving when it comes to getting around in the city. However, it will not be easy for tourists to drive in London, especially for the first-timers. Apart from the heavy traffic, you will have to deal with parking lot scarcity issues and left-side driving as well. If you are wondering about whether or not to drive in the city on your London guided tours, you may refer to the useful points listed below.
If you are planning to get behind the wheel in London, you will have to carry the following important documents.
Driving License – Of course, you must have a valid driving license to drive anywhere in the world. Note that non-United Kingdom driving license can be used in London only for a year from when you reached the city.
Passport – You will have to present your passport or some other photo identity proofs at the car rental companies in London in order to rent a car. Some companies may demand your address proof in the UK or the address of the hotel where you stay, your travel documents, airline tickets, etc. Hence, it is better to keep all such documents with you.
International Driving Permit – You will require a valid international driving permit to drive on the roads of London. Even though this is not required for people who hold US driving license, some car rental companies do insist on presenting this document.
Traffic Rules to Follow in London
The traffic rules of different cities and countries may differ from one another. As far as London is concerned, every tourist is recommended to familiarize themselves with the road signs in the city that you can see in every nook and cranny. Some important points to remember while driving in London include:
- Always drive on the left side on the road. Note that you may make your transition easier by choosing an automatic transmission vehicle.
- It is mandatory to fasten your seatbelts while driving.
- It is a punishable offense to use mobile phones while driving. This rule is not applicable in case of medical emergencies or any other life-threatening situations.
- In case you want to drive in the city during the peak hours, which is between 07:00 am to 06:00 pm from Monday to Friday, you will have to prepay congestion charges based on the number of days you drive. Note that the congestion streets in the city will be marked with a white signboard that displays the letter ‘C’ in a red-colored circle.