Auto Europe

  • IRELAND
  • Contact our Rental Specialists

    CHEAP CAR HIRE IN LONDON

    Car Rentals Worldwide
    Alamo Rental Car
    Avis Car Rental
    Budget Rental Car
    Dollar Car Rental
    Europcar
    Hertz
    National Car Rental
    Sixt Rent a Car
    Car Rentals Worldwide
    Why Book With Us
    • Compare Companies for the Best Rates
    • No Credit Card Fees
    • Mon-Sat Call Centre Support
    • 24,000 Pick-up Locations Worldwide
    • Great Prices and Best Service since 1954

    Car hire in London at the best prices

    Discover the many faces of London with Auto Europe! Pick up your car hire in London from one of the numerous rental locations including all airports and a large number of city offices and start exploring the UK capital! As a world-famous car hire broker, we cooperate with all leading national and international car hire companies. With a wide network of car hire suppliers to choose from, you will be truly spoilt for choice.

    Once you are tired of London, you are tired of life – these are the words of a famous British novelist. We couldn’t agree more! In London, there is so much to see and experience, that you will need to be extra careful when planning your time.

    A large metropolis with vibrant nightlife, London is also incredibly historic and has an excellent arts and culture scene. This immense city is also ideal for a family visit thanks to its great entertainment offer for both adults and children of all age groups. Ranging from museums with fantastic hands-on exhibitions to London Zoo and ever-trendy musicals such as Lion King or Annie, fun in London is guaranteed for children too!

    Hopefully, our guide to London will provide you with some useful information for your upcoming trip. Please keep reading to learn more about driving, sightseeing and day trips around London.

    How is the traffic in London?

    London is a large city and, naturally, there are some “pain points” when it comes to traffic and congestion. They are quite common in several much frequented city parts. The road leading from Chiswick to Hanger Lane is believed to be the most congested road, and the A2 Eastbound from New Cross Gate to Prince Charles Road as well as the one from Westminster Bridge towards famous London Bridge are the next to follow. To spend as little time as possible in traffic gridlock, try to drive your car hire in London outside of rush hour.

    Where can I park my car hire in London?

    While finding available parking spaces in London can be difficult, especially in Central London, there are still numerous facilities to park your car rental in London safely. The website Parkopedia is a good start if you want to search for available car parks in a given area. The “Park & Display” scheme present in most city parts means that you will need a ticket to be put on a visible place in your car, most often on the dashboard. Pay attention to signs and parking meters at bays and spare yourself a parking fine. On-street parking, most of the time, is reserved for residents who pay an annual fee to be able to park in front of their homes. A double yellow line means that parking is completely forbidden. If you park illegally, you can expect a heavy fine and your car will be towed away. On Sundays, and even on Saturdays in designated areas, you can find free on-street parking for non-residents. Free parking is possible to find during workdays in Outer London.

    Please think about the London Congestion Charge, a fee drivers need to pay for driving in the city on weekdays.

    London Airport

    With a total of five airports, London is well-connected with all world destinations. The only airport connected to the city with underground is Heathrow which is, at the same time, one of the busiest world airports. While Heathrow is west of London, its second busiest airport Gatwick is based in the south and can be easily reached by Gatwick Express Train and numerous private shuttle buses. In the north is Luton and Stansted is located to the northeast of London. London City Airport is located in East London but it does not have international importance as it normally handles private business flights and several short-distance routes.

    Heathrow Airport - (LHR)

    Heathrow Airport is London’s main international airport located about 19 miles to the west of the city.

    Official website: Heathrow Airport
    Phone number: +44 0844 335 1801

    Gatwick - (LGW)

    London Gatwick Airport is situated 29 miles from Central London. It offers numerous flights operated mostly by low-cost carriers.

    Official website: Gatwick Airport
    Phone number: +44 0844 892 0322

    Stansted Airport - (STN)

    Stansted Airport is located around 34 miles northeast of Central London.

    Official website: Stansted Airport
    Phone number: +44 0844 335 1803

    Luton Airport - (LTN)

    North of London, Luton International Airport can be easily reached as it is just little over 31 miles from Central London.

    Official website: Luton Airport
    Phone number: +44 0158 240 5100

    London City Airport - (LCY)

    London City Airport is sited near Canary Wharf, known as the financial core of London.

    Official website: London City Airport
    Phone number: +44 0158 240 5100

    What to do in London

    If you think London tends to be drab due to its notorious ever-present rain and fog, you need to think twice. This is one of the liveliest cities in the world with a lot of sunny days and even heat waves during summer. London’s cosmopolitan heartbeat is best felt on its streets swarming with people from all over the world, who bring along their culture, traditions and vibe. They are an exquisite mix of cultures and the reason behind the city’s many faces. London, with all its people, cultural mix and a special vibe, is a true “world city”.

    London is an excellent place for sightseeing on foot. Although sizeable, the city’s main tourist attractions such as Westminster Abbey, Big Ben, Hyde Park, Buckingham Palace, Trafalgar Square and Piccadilly Circus are all within easy reach on foot. Nearby you can also find two shopping districts – Oxford and Regent Street.

    However, we’d like to present you with other, perhaps less known attractions in London. Here’s our pick – perhaps you will want to include some of the places and activities in your London to-do list:

    • Spitalfields and Brick Lane: Not so far from pretty elegant buildings, historic churches and landscaped parks, you can have one more slice of a different London. A simple random walk around Spitalfields and Brick Lane is a trip back in time. Cobbled streets, red-brick buildings, vintage shops and colourful if not even dazzling street-art make Spitalfields and Brick Lane quite unique and special. The name is derived from the St. Mary Spital Hospital founded in the 12th century. Slowly over time, this neighbourhood provided shelter for persecuted Huguenots from France, who brought the silk weaving art along, as well as Irish and Jewish textile workers. The area soon became a hotbed of different communities and cultures. However, everyday life was not rosy at all as Spitalfields was struck by cholera, strong air pollution and social problems such as prostitution and crime which was on the rise. The notorious British serial killer Jack the Ripper was ravaging around Spitalfields in the 19th century! The demographics changed by the end of the 20th century with a new influx of people originally from Bangladesh, which has shaped Brick Lane’s new nickname – Banglatown. Head to Spitalfields and Brick Lane for some of the best Indian curries and Jewish bagels in Britain! Combine your sightseeing with a visit to Dennis Sever’s House just a stone’s throw from Brick Lane.

    • Dennis Severs’ House: This unique place offers intimate insight into the life of a Huguenot family spanning over three centuries. Dennis Sever’s House is a time machine which will sneak you right into a still life painting that spreads over ten rooms, the entire place having a captivating effect on all senses. This is a unique poetic experience where visitors get to step through a painting canvas into a work of art – the family home whose inhabitants can still be heard and “seen” although they are not inside anymore. The reason as to why they left the house so rapidly is hidden on the top floor.

    • Elevenses - Afternoon Tea – High Tea:Could you imagine a visit to London without indulging in this typically British tradition? If you are a classical type, go for a standard afternoon tea for some synonymous with Great Britain. In addition, there are many cool places in London where this old custom has had a theme-based facelift. For a more quirky experience, try one of the themed afternoon teas in London such as Sherlock Holmes Afternoon Tea at Taj 51 Buckingham Gate hotel. Our favourite, however, is Mad Hatters Afternoon Tea, themed around the legendary masterpiece Alice in the Wonderland. Pick a sort – Queen of Hearts, Mad Hatter, Alice or Cheshire Cat, and immerse yourself into this delightful experience.

    • Kyoto Garden & Hampstead Heath: Although a bustling metropolis, London has numerous green oases ideal for a getaway. Spend an afternoon in Kyoto garden in west London, which is part of Holland Park. Kyoto Garden is a traditional Japanese garden with waterfalls, shrubs and a pond with koi carp. This exquisite colourful place is wonderful for relaxation and can be easily reached by Tube. Simply get off Holland Park and follow the signs. This is part of Kensington so parking for your vehicle may be difficult to find. Another spot perfect to relax is the iconic Hampstead Heath, a huge open space that resembles idyllic British countryside with rich wildlife, located only four miles from Trafalgar Square. Hampstead Heath is a favourite spot amongst locals for its spectacular view of London skyline. Near Hampstead Heath you will also find John Keats House, a museum devoted to the famous Romantic poet, Freud Museum, numerous pubs, antique shops and gorgeous alleys.

    • Sky Garden: As one of the most elegant spots with a fantastic view of the city, the tower Sky Garden is a go-to place if you would like to treat yourself to a fancy cocktail or expensive dinner while enjoying the breathtaking panorama of London. Good news is that you can visit for free! Simply book a spot online in advance.

    • St. Martin in the Fields: Standing out on Trafalgar Square, the church of Saint Martin in the Fields has not only a fantastic location at the heart of London, but also a whole host of cultural offers. The best part is that most of the concerts at the church are free! Groove into the night in jazz or Latin rhythm or attend a classical music concert at this lovely historic place!

    • Musical: Treat yourself to a classic West End show ranging from Disney’s classics such as Lion King to the longest running musicals such as Les Misérables counting over 12,000 performances. It is recommended to book a ticket online in advance to secure a best price deal.

    Best day trips with my car rental in London

    If you still have time, money and energy after sightseeing, there are surely some gorgeous places nearby to be visited with a rent a car in London:

    The Cotswolds

    The Cotswolds are our number one for a day trip from London. This is a picturesque hilly surrounding with quaint villages and towns, where houses were built from the famous Cotswolds limestone. The quintessential English countryside, the Cotswolds appear frozen in time. The prettiest Cotswolds villages are said to be Castle Combe and Lacock and they will give you an authentic impression of medieval life in Britain at its best. Take a walk down the river, have lunch at George Inn, a traditional pub from the 13th century, and buy a souvenir from an arts & crafts shop. These villages have served as a fabulous setting for a large number of period films and TV shows.

    Stonehenge

    The Neolithic construction Stonehenge is one of the seven ancient wonders of the world and can be reached after only a short drive from London! Stonehenge has sparked off many controversies and stories as to how and by whom it was constructed. While there is still room for interpretation, we know now that this engineering masterpiece is probably over five millennia old, but other aspects are still shrouded in mystery. No one knows for sure how the big stones known as sarsens weighing 25 tons on average were brought to the site and erected into a horseshoe form. The theory of the stones being aligned to point towards the midsummer sunset has been proven correct. Stonehenge is 87 miles from London and can be reached in about two hours by car.

    Bath

    Bath is a delightful scenic Georgian town with plenty of UNESCO World Heritage attractions. Underneath the beautiful historic architecture you will find a modern cosmopolitan city with a rich nightlife scene. One absolute must-see is the Roman Baths, an ancient complex used by Romans as a place to socialize and enjoy the hot thermal water.

    White Cliffs of Dover

    The iconic whitewashed cliffs towering the southeast coast around Dover make for an excellent day trip to Kent. Enjoy the changing scenery – from calm and smooth sea to the sights and sounds of wild waves tempestuously crashing against the cliffs. Have a nice coastal walk at this historic place where British soldiers fought for the Channel from a whole elaborate maze of underground tunnels and have some downtime at a local tea room. On the way back to London, don’t miss the Castle of Leeds, part of Kent heritage for more than 900 years. Founded as a Norman stronghold in medieval times, the castle has changed hands and is now one of England’s loveliest castles. It is a must-see if you are nearby!

    Geographic Information & History

    London is the capital of the UK and the largest and the most populated British city. It lies on the River Thames, now mainly used for pastime activities unlike in the past, when it used to be a major waterway invaluable for trading and travelling. With its temperate oceanic climate, London is known to see a lot of rainfall throughout the year. Summers can vary from being cool to quite hot, while winters are normally mild with an average temperature above zero. Snow and freezing temperatures are also possible during winter.

    In prehistoric times, London is believed to have been a settlement consisting of several rural areas. For today’s London, we can thank the ancient Romans, who invaded the British Isles in the first century and subsequently founded Londinium. After a violent conflict with Queen Boudica the Romans fled and the city almost vanished in flames. However, the Romans returned even stronger and rebuilt the city. As their empire crumbled, they left the island, and the Anglo-Saxon era began with the coming of several Germanic tribes from mainland Europe. In the Middle Ages came Norman invaders and their king William the Conqueror gained control over the city. His stronghold – the Tower of London – is nowadays one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. Medieval London was not a pleasant place to live. Without a sewage system, the city was dirty and unhygienic, and a hotbed of various inflectional diseases. The population of London was growing at a rapid pace and, even though half of it was almost wiped out during the bubonic plague and the great fire of London in 1666, it quickly recovered and continued to rise. From 1800 to 1900 the number of London citizens rose exorbitantly from 950,000 to six million! Today’s London is a large cosmopolitan city with thriving communities, wonderful historic buildings and a fantastic arts scene. It is visited by approximately 19 million people every year.

    How to get around London

    In addition to car hire, there are numerous ways to get around London by public transport. If you travel in rush hour, be ready for longer waiting times, road congestion and frequent delays. London takes pride in the oldest underground metro in the world popularly called Tube. Tube is usually the most efficient way to travel around London with frequent departures and numerous stops dotted around the city. Heathrow is the only airport connected to the city by Tube and it lies in Zone 6. Zones 1 and 2 belong to Central London. Another transport option to be combined with the Tube is Overground which caters for the parts of London not sufficiently covered by the Underground system. The docklands area to the east and southeast from London is also served by the fully automated Docklands Light Railway or DLR. All three transport options follow the same zone and fare system. In addition to the aforementioned railway systems, there are also standard trains which connect London to other parts of the UK.

    A cheaper way of travelling is by famous red buses, which also have services running at night. One disadvantage is that they are normally slower than rail due to heavy traffic.

    In south London you can also use trams. There are four tram lines running between Wimbledon, Croydon and Beckenham. And last but not least, if you would like to enjoy a nice panoramic view over the Thames, you can use the only cable car in London from Greenwich to the Royal Victoria Dock.

    There are several ways to pay for transport in London, the Oyster Card being the best and most-widely accepted. You can pre-order your Oyster Card and top it up in numerous shops around London. A relatively recent payment option is contactless – a credit or debit card. These two ways of paying for your tickets are the most affordable as paying with cash means more expensive tickets. If you opt for a taxi while in London, look for the legally licensed ones with insurance. You will recognise them by their black colour and the taxi sign in the front.

    Useful links

    Tourism Information

    Back to the top