London is an extremely busy city and driving in the centre is challenging.
Restrictions typically apply between 8.30am and 6.30pm Monday to Friday and from 8.30am to 1.30pm on Saturdays.
Many of London's roads operate 'Pay & Display' schemes, which are expensive for longer stays.
Don't forget about the Congestion Charge and remember that finding a parking space can be tricky!
Most streets in central London have parking meters, with the parking bay marked out. Some only permit you to use them for a designated amount of time (eg 2 hours) the details will be marked on the meter. In addition, they indicate the times that you need to pay to use them and when you can park free, usually after 18.30.
Please note that many central London areas operate 'Pay by Phone' parking only. In other words, instead of having to put money in a meter or a Pay and Display machine, you can only use your mobile phone to pay for parking.
Using car parks is often preferable to on-street parking as many roads are reserved for resident permit holders only.
Luckily, there are many car parks in central London. Their locations are indicated on street signs which have a white "P" on a blue background; often there is an arrow indicating which direction you need to go to find the car park.
Vehicles which drive within a clearly defined zone of central London between the hours of 07:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday, have to pay a £11.50 daily Congestion Charge.
Payment of the charge allows you to enter, drive within, and exit the Charging Zone as many times as you wish on that day.
You do not have to pay the charge on weekends, English public holidays, designated non-charging days, or between 18:00 and 07:00.
As you enter the zone, you will see a large letter 'C' in a red circle.
The charge zone currently covers the following areas: Victoria, St. James’s, Waterloo, Borough, City of London, Clerkenwell, Holborn, Finsbury, Bloomsbury, Soho, Mayfair, and parts of Marylebone.
Use the C-Charge filter on the map to display the Congestion Charge zone on the map.
Further information can be found on the Transport for London website.
This is an every day reality in London!
Do not expect to see any extra warning signs to indicate you are in an area with towing away or clamping in force. Remember, park with care in London as tickets cost up to £80 and towing away an extra £125.
Q Parks car parks offers a Theatreland Parking Scheme with 50% off car parking charge, up to 24 hours! At the theatre, ask the kiosk staff to validate your paper ticket (they will use a validation machine). Participating car parks are Chinatown, Leicester Square, Marble Arch / Park Lane, Oxford Street, Pimlico, Soho and Trafalgar Square.
London is also home to 5 airports: