London is one of those destinations that’s on everyone’s bucket list and it should be. The best way to explore the city is in your own car since that allows you to make your own itinerary. If you want to experience the freedom that comes with exploring the city in your own vehicle, you’ll need to make the proper preparations.
Take the time to plan your trip and you’ll get more out of it while avoiding the stress that usually accompanies trouble on the road. This is partly about familiarizing yourself with the traffic rules and procedures and partly about figuring out what you plan to visit and when.
The Proper Documents
The first thing to prepare for is the documents that you’ll need to have on your person when driving in London. The first of those is the international driving license UK authorities are requiring you to produce.
This license is only valid when you’re carrying your national driving license as well and when you have proof of identification such as a passport. All of these documents need to be produced at once and they need to be valid. If one of them is expired your international permit won’t be considered to be valid.
T- Charge refers to the charge that’s paid by the car owners based on the number of emissions their vehicle is producing. The measure is introduced to improve the air quality in London and may come as a surprise for those coming from abroad.
Vehicles that don’t meet the standards known as Euro 4 need to pay an additional charge since they produce an additional amount of pollution. The amount you have to pay changes, so make sure to do your research beforehand. Electric and hybrid cars are exempt from these taxes altogether.
London has a lot of bus lanes running through the city. Not all of them are operational at all times, and when they are not you’re allowed to use them. The operational hours are indicated along the route and it’s best to learn about them and be aware of them before you decide to use the lane. If you use a bus lane when you’re not supposed to you may have to pay a penalty.
Keep in mind that you may see some vehicles using these lines, but that doesn’t mean you’re allowed to. Different rules apply to Taxis and mopeds.
Finding a parking spot in London can be tricky and especially so for someone new to the city. Markings on the road are meant to designate the areas in which you’re allowed to park. In red routes, you can’t park on double yellow lines. Single yellow lines signify you can park during specific times and days. You’re allowed to park in areas marked with dashed white lines as long as you abide by the payment regulations.
It’s not allowed to park on zig-zag lines and you’re not allowed to park on the pavement. Some areas also have additional payments based on the amount of pollution your vehicle produces.