You do not need a car if you are moving to London. You certainly should not be thinking of shipping your car to the city after your relocation to London. It’s an expensive exercise. After your relocation to London you will be using the extensive and efficient public transport that is available. It’s reliable for the most part and will get you where you need to go after a bit of practice.
For foreigners though, it can be useful to have a car or the use of a car when you start exploring areas outside of the city. You don’t want to be reliant on public transport when you’d like a day in the countryside to break your city living. Renting a car for a weekend of a vacation makes more sense than buying one, but you still have to be eligible to drive in the UK.
Your Licence to Drive after relocation to London.
Before you leave home you need to apply for an International Driving Permit. You can do this by taking your current driver’s licence to the Automobile Association in your country of origin. Your IDP will allow you to drive anywhere in Europe for up to a year. If you’re going to be in the UK for a couple of years though, you should consider applying for a British drivers licence as soon as possible.
The best thing that you can do is go for a few driving lessons before you sit your test. Many Americans moving to London find it a challenge to start driving, especially in the city. Not only do they drive on the left-hand side of the road, but the controls are on the other side of the car, which could have you reaching for your window winder when you’re supposed to be changing gears. This is another aspect of driving that many Americans find challenging. You will have to take your driver’s test in a manual (stick shift) car. An automatic licence only allows you to drive a car with an automatic gearbox, and considering that most cars are manual, you need to get to grips with changing gears without that awful crunching noise.
When planning your relocation to London be sure to inform your London relocation agents about where you will be working so that they can look for accommodation close to the major transport routes.