London Relocation - Where to keep 2 cars?

London Relocation - Where to keep 2 cars?

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car user

Original Poster:

588 posts

92 months

Friday 5th March
quotequote all
My girlfriend has landed a job in central London and wants to relocate there, her employer is taking care of everything regarding the move, we just need to choose somewhere to live.

I have done a little research and parking for 2 cars looks tricky and it turns out there's also some congestions charge LEZ/ULEZ stuff I don't fully understand. Even though the cars aren't particularly valuable I want to keep both, I know it's irrational but cars are my hobby.

We're looking to live somewhere around Regents Park, she wants to be in walking distance of the office and an area like Chalk Farm appears to be the favourite. I'm open to any other suggestions but walking distance from Kings Cross area is a must. My work is all over the UK so I'm flexible.

So to the questions:
- Is owning 2 cars and expecting off-road parking for them completely unrealistic in this part of London? Budgeting between £1500-2000pcm rent.
- If so, are there any places I can rent to store one of the cars so I can regularly swap vehicles, maybe even somewhere that has access to ramps?
- Both cars are ULEZ compliant and my journeys will all be heading north out of the city, I assume I'm not going to be hit with any charges in the near future?

//j17

3,708 posts

191 months

Friday 5th March
quotequote all
car user said:
- Is owning 2 cars and expecting off-road parking for them completely unrealistic in this part of London? Budgeting between £1500-2000pcm rent.
Depends - is that your whole rental budget, or just the one for renting parking spaces in the Regents Park/Chalk Farm areas...?

tomtom

4,156 posts

198 months

Friday 5th March
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You'll be lucky to find a flat with two spaces but you may be able to rent an extra space from a fellow resident, if you end up renting a modern flat with an underground car park. Depending on where in London you live, underground spaces are typically £100-300/month (more in the swanky parts of W/SW London...).

Otherwise you're looking at gumtree to find individual lock-ups, or underground spaces. The prices vary wildly so just do some searching around.

There's always street parking but north London is a pain for permits these days; Camden and Islington really don't want you owning high-emitting cars, or at least parking them on their streets.

I think you should be able to manage to rent a 2 bed flat, with parking for at least one car, for £2k/month, in that sort of area. You might need to go a little further out to hit the budget though.

No need to worry about C charge or ULEZ if you're up that way.

On a general note, I would prioritise living as centrally as possible over having somewhere to park. Driving is miserable in London these days and you'll get much more out of the experience of living in London if you're not having to traipse around on tubes and buses every time you want to go somewhere fun.

ElectricSoup

8,007 posts

119 months

Friday 5th March
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I rented a garage from my local council once, was quite cheap to store a car in for a few years. Maybe London councils have some for rent too, it's worth enquiring.

car user

Original Poster:

588 posts

92 months

Friday 5th March
quotequote all
Thanks for the suggestions. It's a lot to spend on rent but her job pays well and she's always wanted to live in central London. Her company pay a relocation bonus and handle almost everything involved with the move so I'm just along for the ride.

My only stipulation has been off road parking, I had hoped that my next move would be a house with room for another car or two and a garage and a lift but that's not going to happen down south. It does seem off road parking for 2 cars is not going to happen so I might have to live with one being street parked. I'll look into the permit situation.

I'll also check out gumtree and Facebook market for any possibility of renting someone else's space.

That Windrush garage looks great, but the fees would exceed the cars value after 12 months smile

paralla

2,418 posts

103 months

Friday 5th March
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I live in central London (Vauxhall) and have two cars. I rent a secure space in an underground car park from Lambeth Council for £60/month for my GT3. I was on the waiting list for the space for almost two years. An equivalent space rented privately would be just over £300/month.

The Golf R is parked on the street with a resident permit that costs around £130/year.

For £2K a month you are not going to get a two bedroom place with two parking spaces anywhere near Angel/Chalk farm.

Check out this link to see what parking might cost you in the area you are looking to move to.
https://www.parklet.co.uk/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAyoeCBhCTA...

Edited by paralla on Friday 5th March 21:35

Blu3R

2,348 posts

167 months

Saturday 6th March
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Lots of the 3/4 storey Victorian houses just off Finchley Road have been converted into flats or house shares and quite a few on the road I know well have off-street parking for residents, but many don't rent the spaces. It's worth contacting the local letting agents to ask what's available as some landlords do entertain renting spaces for non-residents.
As has been said, Camden are known to hate high polluting cars though and I think they're happy the ULEZ extension is going to cover them in October.

I guess where you find for your money will also depend on your age and how long you plan to live in the area. The house I'm familiar with has 9 rented rooms and all but one tenant are over 50. Generally the area is predominantly 30-50 age range and a mix of singles or couples. Might be slightly too far out for your girlfriend's needs, but worth considering IMHO.

By this summer I'll have cleared the front garden and have 3 parking spaces with a wider drop curb (hurry up Camden planning dept...), yet none of the residents own a car. I won't be the only one in that position in the area.

paralla

2,418 posts

103 months

Saturday 6th March
quotequote all
You might also change your view on needing two cars once you move to London.

If your partner walks to work and you do things together on weekends one of the cars is never going to get used. Paying £300/month to store something you never use soon gets old.

The London use case for cars is different from many other parts of the country. It’s not uncommon for my daily driver to sit unused for weeks at a time.

car user

Original Poster:

588 posts

92 months

Saturday 6th March
quotequote all
paralla said:
You might also change your view on needing two cars once you move to London.

If your partner walks to work and you do things together on weekends one of the cars is never going to get used. Paying £300/month to store something you never use soon gets old.

The London use case for cars is different from many other parts of the country. It’s not uncommon for my daily driver to sit unused for weeks at a time.
She doesn't drive either of them, I do about 25k miles a year on average so I get chance to put mileage on both. I'm a contractor so depending on where my projects come up and their duration I may end up renting somewhere else to live mon-fri. Currently the sites I work on are scattered all over England and my friends and family are are all at different sides of the country so I have a good usage case for them.

It's certainly way more effort than I imagined to own a car in London. I could survive with 1 car so I might have to consider putting one in a shed at my parents house.


car user

Original Poster:

588 posts

92 months

Saturday 6th March
quotequote all
paralla said:
I live in central London (Vauxhall) and have two cars. I rent a secure space in an underground car park from Lambeth Council for £60/month for my GT3. I was on the waiting list for the space for almost two years. An equivalent space rented privately would be just over £300/month.

The Golf R is parked on the street with a resident permit that costs around £130/year.

For £2K a month you are not going to get a two bedroom place with two parking spaces anywhere near Angel/Chalk farm.

Check out this link to see what parking might cost you in the area you are looking to move to.
https://www.parklet.co.uk/?gclid=Cj0KCQiAyoeCBhCTA...

Edited by paralla on Friday 5th March 21:35
£60/month secure parking is a bargain anywhere in the country!

For £1500 there's a few nice 2 bedroom places with 1 parking space around Chalk Farm. I don't know if that's normal or a result of the recent exodus from London.

car user

Original Poster:

588 posts

92 months

Saturday 6th March
quotequote all
Blu3R said:
Lots of the 3/4 storey Victorian houses just off Finchley Road have been converted into flats or house shares and quite a few on the road I know well have off-street parking for residents, but many don't rent the spaces. It's worth contacting the local letting agents to ask what's available as some landlords do entertain renting spaces for non-residents.
As has been said, Camden are known to hate high polluting cars though and I think they're happy the ULEZ extension is going to cover them in October.

I guess where you find for your money will also depend on your age and how long you plan to live in the area. The house I'm familiar with has 9 rented rooms and all but one tenant are over 50. Generally the area is predominantly 30-50 age range and a mix of singles or couples. Might be slightly too far out for your girlfriend's needs, but worth considering IMHO.

By this summer I'll have cleared the front garden and have 3 parking spaces with a wider drop curb (hurry up Camden planning dept...), yet none of the residents own a car. I won't be the only one in that position in the area.
My cars are both ULEZ compliant but I'm worried that the goalposts keep moving.

I don't know how long the expected stay is. More than 2 years, less than 5 is my expectation. I suppose it all depends on the direction life takes. I'm a country person and would want to move back before having children but not really on the cards just yet.

tomtom

4,156 posts

198 months

Monday 8th March
quotequote all
paralla said:
I live in central London (Vauxhall) and have two cars. I rent a secure space in an underground car park from Lambeth Council for £60/month for my GT3. I was on the waiting list for the space for almost two years. An equivalent space rented privately would be just over £300/month.
I must live pretty close to you (think I've seen your GT3 around now you mention it) and all the council spaces/lock-ups I saw were advertised at more like £60/week when I looked. How long have you had it to be paying that!? smile

paralla

2,418 posts

103 months

Tuesday 9th March
quotequote all
tomtom said:
I must live pretty close to you (think I've seen your GT3 around now you mention it) and all the council spaces/lock-ups I saw were advertised at more like £60/week when I looked. How long have you had it to be paying that!? smile
I've had my parking space for five years.

The spaces are not advertised, you can apply to rent one online but you might be better off speaking to them. There is a long waiting list but they do come up occasionally, especially if you are flexible with your requirements you might get one ahead of people that are not flexible. I emailed the guy every month for nearly two years before I got my space and it has a six inch cast iron pipe over it so there is a height restriction, my Golf is too tall.

https://beta.lambeth.gov.uk/housing/council-tenant...

Gratuitous pic of the GT3 at home.

croissant

1,256 posts

106 months

Tuesday 9th March
quotequote all
paralla said:
For £2K a month you are not going to get a two bedroom place with two parking spaces anywhere near Angel/Chalk farm.

Edited by paralla on Friday 5th March 21:35
I have to agree with this. Double your budget and move out a mile to west hampstead or golders green and you might

//j17

3,708 posts

191 months

Tuesday 9th March
quotequote all
car user said:
She doesn't drive either of them, I do about 25k miles a year on average so I get chance to put mileage on both. I'm a contractor so depending on where my projects come up and their duration I may end up renting somewhere else to live mon-fri. Currently the sites I work on are scattered all over England and my friends and family are are all at different sides of the country so I have a good usage case for them.

It's certainly way more effort than I imagined to own a car in London. I could survive with 1 car so I might have to consider putting one in a shed at my parents house.
It's not really an effort to own a car in London, it's just rather pointless - once you live here, especially centrally cars tend to get used to either do a big supermarket shop or go somewhere away from London as it's just quicker and easier to use public transport for anything else.

In your case do you have any friends/family near a main train line out of London? Would work well if you could leave 1 car with them and then if you had to travel that direction for work rather than driving the whole way jump the train out of London/swap to the non-London car/drive the rest of the way. I had a long term project with a client who were happy for me to leave me car in the (security staffed) work car part over the weekends so I could use it for the hotel commute suring the week but train up/home Mon/Fri. Much as I like driving knowing I'll make the pub in London to catch up with my friends 2.5hrs after leaving the office wins vs. 3-5hrs driving, plus then having to get from home back into town.

paralla

2,418 posts

103 months

Tuesday 9th March
quotequote all
Having two with the same engine and transmission seems a bit pointless wherever you live. I get that a Z4 35i DCT is a roadster and a 335i DCT isn't but they must feel similar to drive. Seems to me a better two car garage would be one of them more fun and the other more practical and economical rather than two roughly the same.

car user

Original Poster:

588 posts

92 months

Friday 12th March
quotequote all
paralla said:
Having two with the same engine and transmission seems a bit pointless wherever you live. I get that a Z4 35i DCT is a roadster and a 335i DCT isn't but they must feel similar to drive. Seems to me a better two car garage would be one of them more fun and the other more practical and economical rather than two roughly the same.
I initially purchased the 335i as a test bench for engine and transmission tuning hence the matching spec. I'd written custom program code for the engine and wanted to run it up on something for road testing as there's only so much you can emulate before you have to try it on a real car and didn't want to brick my only other car at the time. I picked it up cheap expecting it to be a shed and it turned out to be a real gem so now I don't want to part with it.

The two cars drive very differently though, more so than I expected, the 335i is much more comfortable but less capable in terms of handling, certainly doesn't put power down as well.
The economy isn't really an issue, my thinking is that the fact I'm driving fairly cheap cars with low depreciation is a big enough saving. The extra fuel costs are nothing compared to what I'd lose in depreciation with a newer more economical car.

Admittedly a manual V8 car would be a more suitable contrast as a second car. Maybe as a third when I live somewhere with more space!

car user

Original Poster:

588 posts

92 months

Friday 12th March
quotequote all
//j17 said:
It's not really an effort to own a car in London, it's just rather pointless - once you live here, especially centrally cars tend to get used to either do a big supermarket shop or go somewhere away from London as it's just quicker and easier to use public transport for anything else.

In your case do you have any friends/family near a main train line out of London? Would work well if you could leave 1 car with them and then if you had to travel that direction for work rather than driving the whole way jump the train out of London/swap to the non-London car/drive the rest of the way. I had a long term project with a client who were happy for me to leave me car in the (security staffed) work car part over the weekends so I could use it for the hotel commute suring the week but train up/home Mon/Fri. Much as I like driving knowing I'll make the pub in London to catch up with my friends 2.5hrs after leaving the office wins vs. 3-5hrs driving, plus then having to get from home back into town.
I won't be working in London, my work is with renewables and is often site based (and nowhere near public transport) so I'll still be doing a lot of driving Mon-Fri. We've found a place that has 1 underground space so I'll leave 1 car at my parents house and just rotate them every time I visit.

I didn't want to do that originally as I've heard it's a massive pain keeping mice/rats out of stored cars but I think that's the lesser problem compared to parking 2 cars in central London!

//j17

3,708 posts

191 months

Tuesday 16th March
quotequote all
car user said:
We've found a place that has 1 underground space so I'll leave 1 car at my parents house and just rotate them every time I visit.

I didn't want to do that originally as I've heard it's a massive pain keeping mice/rats out of stored cars but I think that's the lesser problem compared to parking 2 cars in central London!
I have to say I've never had any issues with mice/rats and have a few cars sitting around. Generally it's more of a "stored in a barn on a farm" issue than a domestic garage/driveway one.

From my experience the car parked in the underground car park will be more at risk. Just try and avoid having a space anywhere near one of the soil pipes bottom elbows. The ones with the little access plate. The little access plate they just pop off to relieve pressure in the system when the above toilets start backing up...

It's amazing how good toilet paper is at blocking up the drain holes for the heater inlet, so it fills up till it finds a gap to escape...into the car. hurl

Chubbyross

2,261 posts

53 months

Sunday 21st March
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I rent two secure underground spaces in islington for my decent cars. It costs me £275pcm. Having two cars in London is indeed pointless (I actually have three but one’s a family workhorse and lives on the street where it gets vandalised on a regular basis) but then so is stamp collecting and building model trains. I found my spaces by using the various parking spaces to let sites online.