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London: Some Guidelines for Rental Cars

Rental Cars London: The type of car you are allowed to rent in London will depend not only on your age, but also on the number of years you have been driving. You will also need to consider which airport you are flying into and whether you plan to drive outside the UK into Ireland or continental Europe.

Rental Cars: A London Guide

Rental Cars London versus rental cars US: there are some important differences including taxes and fees, age restrictions, and regulations for taking cars on ferries or to other countries.

Let's start with the local lingo: in the UK, a consumer "hires" a car, rather than "rents" one. You also can expect to fuel with "petrol" instead of gas. If you have children who require a restraining seat, make sure you know their weight in kilograms. Luggage racks are also not available.

Next, London rental cars have more restrictive age requirements: If you are under 23 years old, you are not allowed to "hire" a car in London. You can "hire" a car that seats up to five people if you are between the ages of 23 and 25, but your drivers license needs to reflect at least two years of driving experience. At age 25, you are eligible to rent a car that seats up to eight passengers provided that you have been driving for at least a year. Last, but not least, once you reach your thirties, you have rental car eligibility for the rest of the fleet, but you will need to be able to demonstrate a clean driving record and five years behind the wheel.

Fees, in most cases, will also be higher in London. Unlike US locations, London branches charge extra for pick-ups at the airport (and when reserving, make sure you know which airport you are flying into!). If you drive your rental car through the city between 7 am and 6:30 pm, Monday through Friday except public holidays, you will need to pay a surcharge of GPB 5. Don't try to avoid this fee. Cameras monitor the check points, and there are substantial penalties for not paying before 10 pm.

Finally, if you choose to rent a "mobile" telephone, you need to be aware that it is illegal to use one while driving. Pull over first before you answer the phone or make a call.

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