|Owning A Car In London|
Practical advice for keeping your costs down and who to choose for a car loan
From accidents and congestion, to speed bumps and traffic wardens, Britain’s capital city can be one of the most hostile places for the much-loved car.
So what are the best ways to stop financial disaster in its tracks and prevent the cost of running your car in London from heading for the stars?
Have a look at these simple ways to keep capital motoring costs to the minimum.
1. Read street signs
It might sound basic and patronisingly obvious, but one of the most common ways to get ticketed is to assume the safety of a parking space and fail to check out the restrictions properly. If you do disobey a street sign or road marking, you shouldn’t be surprised if you’re caught and fined quick sharp.
CCTV cameras as well as traffic wardens are surveying London’s streets at all hours. You could get ticketed or your car could be clamped or even towed away, leaving you with hundreds of pounds to pay for what could seem like a small error.
2. Park safely overnight
London neighbourhoods are righty famed for their hugely diverse populations, with one street housing the super-wealthy in four-storey Georgian terraces on one side, while on the other, people live on the breadline in neglected council properties. This means it can be confusing when it comes to selecting safe parking places. You have to be careful where you park to avoid car crime, especially if you have an obviously expensive car, a van or other vehicle that is a target. Choose well-lit streets away from industrial zones, ideally.
3. Drive smoothly
Wear and tear takes its toll on vehicles far quicker in London than in other parts of the country. This is because there are more speed bumps, more traffic to potentially collide with and more stopping and starting at junctions. Avoid wear and tear by driving gently and carefully.
4. Avoid congestion
Not only is your precious leisure time being whittled away while you sit stationary in traffic, but with your engine running, you are also wasting fuel and money. Sitting in traffic and driving on congested roads are two of the most fuel-inefficient ways to use your car.
When you are travelling in the most traffic-prone part(s) of the city, i.e. the area within the Congestion Zone, you will also need to pay a daily rate - the congestion charge - to enter by car.
5. Drive a small car
In a congested capital city like London, the average traffic speed is just 18 mph, which means you don’t need an expensive fuel-guzzling car to get around, because you’ll be stationary far more than anything else for much of your time in traffic anyway.
January 10, 2014
July 3, 2013