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I hear you don't want to drive a car around London; that you should take public transportation. If I've got a car I've been driving for another portion of the trip, what should I do with it while visiting the city? Should I find a hotel close to the subway that has parking?

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Welcome to travel.SE. If it's a rental why not return it? –  Karlson Mar 11 at 16:43
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@Karlson Because I'll need it again after visiting London and I don't want to return and re-rent it. –  RandomEngy Mar 11 at 16:53
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What direction will you be coming into London from? That'll make a difference. –  Mark Mayo Mar 11 at 16:54
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Does it have to be in London? Or would an option be to leave it on the way to your next stop, take the train into London, then train back out to collect it when you're done? –  Gagravarr Mar 11 at 17:48
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I'd just return it. You can re-rent when needed. Usually it's the same price, unless you got a sweet deal for a long-term rental. –  SnakeDoc Mar 11 at 19:17
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4 Answers 4

up vote 13 down vote accepted

A couple of options:

  • Park at an outer Underground station. I used to park at Newbury Park station to the east of London. It's just off the A12 and is on the Central Line. It's a bit of a long trip on the tube, but only cost about £5 to park for a full day. Depending on where you're coming from, where you're going to in London and where you're going afterwards, there may be a more appropriate stations.
  • Street parking. My parent live in London, and there's quite a bit of parking near them (Rotherhithe, in this case). It depends on the borough, the time of day etc., but it might be viable. You can potentially get within walking distance of the center, and certainly near a tube station. If you're leaving London on a weekend, this also has the bonus of being close enough to drive through the center of London (since the congestion charge doesn't apply on weekend), which is quite an experience.

Good luck, whatever you decide!

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It was difficult to find out which underground stations offered parking, but I did end up doing something like this. I parked at a private space for £7.50 per day near a further-out underground station. Trying to find street parking in an unfamiliar city didn't sound appealing to me. –  RandomEngy Jul 7 at 23:09
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To start with probably you want to avoid the Congestion Charge Zone (you have to pay to drive in the centre on London).

The easiest way would probably be to book a hotel with a parking space included (but possibly the most expensive). Otherwise you can find various parking options using http://www.parkopedia.co.uk/. Depending on your preferences, you can find a proper paid car park, or leave the car in a street, somewhere where parking restrictions do not apply during your stay. Parking restrictions are detailed on parking signs next to the road. If there are no signs and no lines next to the pavement then there are no restrictions and you can leave your car there.

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Parkopedia was really annoying, it wouldn't refresh results when I moved the map around to find parking spaces near underground stations. –  RandomEngy Jul 7 at 23:03
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When I lived in South West London, which may work for you, Putney Heath was very popular with the commuters. There's no street parking permits required down many roads around it, and then once you've parked, it's a 15 min walk down to the Putney Overground Station, or 20 to the East Putney District line Tube station.

Regardless, make sure you're aware of:

  • the congestion zone. You definitely want to be outside of that.
  • street parking permits. They're usually labelled pretty well, but some areas look like sweet parking, until you realise everyone has a permit. And they check, frequently.
  • some pubs have overnight parking, which is worth looking out for.
  • as someone else mentioned, consider just returning it to say, one of the rental companies in Putney Bridge (I used to rent cars around there), and picking up a new rental when you leave - as it's easy access out to the A3 from there, and very close to public transport.
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Consider dropping the hire car off and picking up a fresh one when you're done! Most car hire will let you do this for a modest fee (normally around £25-£75) depending on where you're attempting to drop off to...

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Tried to do this, but the station happened to be closed on Sunday on the day I needed to leave. –  RandomEngy Jul 7 at 23:08
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