Cycling is a great way to travel around London for tourists and there are many bike rental schemes in the capital. Choose between short-term bike rental schemes like the Santander city bikes, or choose to rent a bike for the day. London has many dedicated cycle routes with cycling in one of the royal parks a very popular activity.
London Rental “Boris” Bikes
Santander Bikes, known locally as “Boris Bikes”, are the official London bike rental scheme. You’ll find 750 docking stations all over the capital and especially in the tourist hotspots in Central London. You can easily locate your nearest station by using the official app.
Ease of use:
It’s very easy to a hire a bike, and you pay at the docking station. The bikes have adjustable height seats, and are also suitable for tall people over 6ft (183m).
The price structure is designed for people who want to use the bikes for short use. It costs £2 to rent a bike for 24 hours, and the first 30 minutes of any bike ride within that 24 hour period are free. After 30 minutes you then have to pay £2 for every additional 30 minutes.
- If you rent a bike and use it for 29 minutes, you will pay £2.
- If you rent a bike and use it for 40 minutes, you will pay £4.
- If you rent a bike, use it for 29 minutes and return it to the docking station. Then later in the day, you take out another bike and use it for 29 minutes, you will pay a total of £2.
When you pay for your bike, you will receive a ticket with a unique code. Make sure to enter this code every time you take out a bike.
Other short-term bike riding schemes
There are other pay-as-you-go bike riding schemes in London. Companies include Ofo, Mobike, and Urbo. At the moment, we don’t think these bike rentals schemes are good for tourists since they cover more residential areas of the capital.
If you are looking to hire a bike for a day, there are several bike hire companies. One of the most popular is the London Bicycle where you can rent for as little as £20. There main rental shop is located in Central London.
Tips on riding a bike in London
- Make sure to ride on the left hand side of the road
- It’s best to cycle along the quieter street, so avoid the main roads
- Riding on the pavement (the sidewalk) is not allowed
- Look out for dedicated cycle lanes. There are even some special cycle routes called “superhighways”
- Head to one of London’s Royal Parks on a sunny day for a great riding experience