London congestion charge
The daily fee you have to pay to drive in central London on weekdays
The city of London currently charges you £11.50 per day to drive in the city center, but only Monday to Friday between 7am and 6pm.
It's to encourage more people to commute using public transit, which is fine, but it also affects visitors.
Yes, if you drive anywhere in the city center of London (see the maps in the photo gallery), a traffic camera will snap a picture of your rental car's license plate, and if you fail to pay the fee, your rental company will do it for you—and then pass it along to you with a ludicrous "administrative fee" added (on the order of $30–$50).
Do yourself a favor and either:
- Pick up and drop off any rental cars at an office outside the congestion zone (and be sure you don't stray into it while driving in or out of London).
- Pay the fee online at www.cclondon.com. It's important to do this before or on the day you drive inside the zone. If you wait until after midnight of the day you drive the zone, the fees goes up to £14. If you fail to pay that £14 by midnight on the following day, a penalty of £130 will be added.