Last week we were getting ready for the change in London’s Congestion Charge zone – sending out multi-language leaflets to our offices, replacing outdated information on the desks and displays, and requesting new posters. From Monday 19 February, the zone was extended westwards to include Kensington, Notting Hill, Chelsea and Pimlico, although the time for which it’s in force (now 7am to 6pm, Monday to Friday) was reduced by half an hour. Click on the thumbnail image to the left to see a map of the whole charging zone and Avis locations. The BBC website also has a clear explanation of the changes.
When you rent a car you’ll need to arrange to pay the congestion charge yourself if you’re driving into central London – though we’ll give you all the help we can to make it as easy as possible. You can pay online, by phone on 0845 900 1234 and at PayPoint locations such as local shops. The Transport for London site has payment information and a rather long but useful FAQ.
Our Avis UK site also gives more information on the Congestion Charge, and what happens if you don’t pay it.
There are some ways of avoiding the charge if you’re driving across London – such as using the ‘inner ring road’ (shown on our map, around the edge of the zone) and the north-south through route of Park Lane, Grosvenor Place and Vauxhall Bridge Road, which is exempt.
Only two Avis locations – Mayfair and Waterloo – are inside the enlarged zone. With these, we buy your first day of Congestion Charge for you and add it on to the bill. Euston and Tower Bridge are still outside the zone and Earl’s Court is just on the edge (though you should ask our staff for directions, as the one-way system there can take you into the zone before you know it!).
We’ve put the pdf of the Avis Congestion Charge leaflet – which includes a map – up on the blog so you can download and print it out before you travel. And if you’re still feeling confused, we’ll be glad to answer your questions.