London can be a daunting place for motorists. With our top tips, however, you’ll be tackling the streets like a pro in no time. Here’s what to bear in mind when driving around the capital.
London is a hugely congested city, so you’re guaranteed to encounter some slow traffic. Prepare for this by having an alternative route or two to your destination, and by allowing extra time to get there. From roadworks to sightseeing tours – it’s all part of the city life but can prove frustrating if you aren’t ready for it.
Drive with confidence
In the capital, courtesy on the road is often left behind. Everyone is in a rush, so you may find you need to push through the traffic to avoid finding yourself at a standstill for long periods. Know where you’re going and stay calm and confident.
Look out for bus lanes…
There are heaps of buses in service around the city and, therefore, lots of bus lanes to negotiate. Accidentally driving along one during its hours of use can land you with a £130 fine, so keep your eyes open for them.
… and yellow boxes
In London, the rules around yellow box junctions are pretty strict. Don’t be tempted to pull out unless your exit is clear, or you could find yourself paying a fine. Not only that, blocking the path of other vehicles can be dangerous to yourself and others.
Don’t fall foul of the congestion charge
If your route is likely to take you in or near central London, you’ll need to know whether you’ll incur a congestion charge fee. This is in effect from 7am to 6pm Monday to Friday, and the charge is £11.50. On the whole, we recommend avoiding the zone unless completely necessary.
In cities – and London in particular – there are potential hazards everywhere, so make sure you stay alert when driving around. You’re likely to encounter cyclists and pedestrians, so be aware of them wherever possible. You may also want to eliminate distractions – turn off music, ask the kids to talk quietly, and under no circumstances check your phone.
Parking is expensive in London, so ensure you have plenty of change or a card handy to pay for it. If you’re parking along a street, keep and eye out for signs that offer instructions, as many streets are off limits. You don’t want to find your vehicle has been clamped!
If you feel you might need you upgrade your vehicle before tackling London’s streets, visit us at McCarthy Cars in Croydon to view a selection of high quality used models.