When it comes to driving in any big city, especially London, it can be a daunting prospect. The busy streets, a never-ending stream of people and aggressive drivers can all get on top of you. But these can all be dealt with as this post will show; we give you a rundown of tips to help you drive around London.
First of all it is key to observant. When you get in or out of your car in London or any other big city then be sure to look around carefully before you get into the car. Cyclists and motorcyclists can come up quickly and an open car door can be a massive hazard for them.
For the same reason, always look over your shoulder when you are about to pull off any manoeuvre. Obviously you still must check your mirrors, but spending an extra second being extra careful can save you from a nasty crash.
In London there are many signs telling you where and how you should be driving; if you fail to follow these instructions you could find yourself on the receiving end of a rather hefty fine. Remember that many of the roads around signs are monitored by cameras (“Bus Lane Cameras” being one of the most common); so paying careful attention to road signs can save you a lot of money in the long run.
If you know you will be driving around London regularly, then making sure you have the right car can be a major help. Choosing a car that achieves a good MPG from urban driving can save you a substantial amount of money; as can choosing a car that is exempt from tax and congestion charges such as a Toyota Prius. Visit your local dealershipto see what used cars they have on offer.
Wherever you are driving to in London, or whatever large city you find yourself in; make sure that you know where you are going to park. For one thing driving around in circles trying to find a parking spot is a lot of hassle that no one enjoys; secondly trying to understand parking regulations when you’re at the location can be frustrating. So as Bernie Ecclestone says: “Think before you drive,” and do your research on parking before you leave.
Make sure you don’t drive during peak times if possible. During these times you can be stuck in traffic for a long time whilst your engine is ticking over, so time and money are being wasted at the same time.
On the subject of saving money; it is worth making sure that your journey does not take you through any congestion charges. Unless you really have to go to these central areas, you can find ways around them.
In a busy city such as London, there is normally a lot of pressure on you as a driver; there are so many things going on around you that it is near impossible to relax. But one key thing to remember is to remain calm. Other drivers may make unexpected decisions or pedestrians may make reckless moves; but keep your cool and don’t panic. Make sure you are doing the best job you can then you can be confident that you are in control.
An important part of driving carefully is defensive driving; follow the basic principles of defensive driving to cut down on risks whilst you drive. Some of the principles of defensive driving include; always leaving space to escape dangerous situations and slowing down, especially during bad weather or at night.
Stick to a single lane if it is possible; switching lanes may give you the idea that you are saving time, but generally you are increasing risk for marginal benefit. On that note always pay attention to the road ahead; knowing when you r lane changes into single purpose lane can prevent you from ending up in the wrong lane and going somewhere that you didn’t want to be.
We hope these tips have been helpful for you, and we hope that your future drives in London will be calmer and you will feel more comfortable behind the wheel. One final tip we have for you is to not keep any valuables in your car when parked; if you absolutely have to then leave them in the boot.