Taxis in London are quite pricey (officially, a 1 mile journey can cost between £5.60 – £9 depending on the time of day, according to the Transport for London website). However, as we all know, they are sometimes necessary! Taxis can be hailed when their amber light is on; if you’re looking for one, simply head to the nearest main road near you and you’ll soon see one driving by.
Driving in Kensington & Chelsea
As of 24th December 2010, Kensington & Chelsea is no longer in the Congestion Charge zone in London. You do not have to pay the charge to drive within or through the borough of Kensington & Chelsea.
However, don’t forget that if you’re planning to drive to central London, you do have to pay for the charge! You must pay £10 for each day that you drive within the Congestion Charge zone; payments can be made before and on the day of travel (up to midnight that day) – if not, you have to pay £12 on the following day and if you still forget, then you will be charged a fine!
You can pay online, by phone, or at various shops. See the Congestion Charge website for full info.
The Congestion Charge operates Monday to Friday, from 7am to 6pm. If you drive in the zone outside of these hours, you do not have the pay the charge. It’s also useful to know that the Congestion Charge does not operate on public holidays, or between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Parking in Kensington & Chelsea
Parking can sometimes be a problem in the area. There are a fair amount of meters dotted around everywhere, but some streets do get quite full and busy – you might spend some time driving around before you can find somewhere to park. It is also possible to park in residents’ parking bays outside of their hours of operation. Local signs will tell you when the bays are operating – if it is outside of these hours, you can park there!
There are also a number of parking garages in the area.
The local council website does have a useful guide on visitor parking in the area.
Next June I would like to drive from Buckhurst hill hotel to Kensington close hotel drop our bags and return the hire car to Heathrow airport could you let me know of any problems in doing that. Kind regards
Hi Paul, I don’t see any problems, no! I’d recommend using the North Circular (A406) to the A40 in West London and then inwards on the A40 towards Shepherd’s Bush and then on to Kensington as this route should be quicker (avoiding all the traffic in Central London) as well as avoiding the Congestion Charge zone.
The Kensington Close Hotel is then minutes from the A4 which becomes the M4 that goes direct to Heathrow – it’s probably only about a 25 minute drive (if the traffic is okay!) from the hotel to the airport.
Then you can get the Underground back – take the Piccadilly Line to Earl’s Court and then it’s around a 10 minute walk to your hotel from there.
Can a Taxi from Republic of Ireland drive through the Congestion Zone free?
Check out this page on exemptions from the Congestion Charge website – https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/congestion-charge/discounts-and-exemptions – taxis need to be registered with the London Taxi and Private Hire organisation in order to be exempt from paying. It also says some other vehicles from the EEA can be exempt (but need to be registered) but doesn’t include taxis in that list. So I would say, it wouldn’t be possible…but you might like to contact them for more details.