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Useful Info for Drivers

| Parking in Hillingdon | Finding Hillingdon | Dating a car | Back to Hillingdon On-line |

  Click here to find out what road works may affect your journey

General Hints for Driving in Hillingdon

If you like to use Multimap or other Internet based mapping website  the Civic Centre is in Uxbridge in the middle of the borough and the postcode is UB8 1UW. (Click this symbol wherever you see it in the site for a map of where you want to get to.)

Generally Speaking Hillingdon lies in a North/South orientation while  the major roads in Hillingdon run East/West. One major exception to this is the Hayes Bypass, the A412.

With this knowledge in mind try and approach the end of Hillingdon you want to get to before you arrive in Hillingdon. In other words if you need to be in the north of the borough don't arrive in the south of Hillingdon and hope to make your way north or vice versa.

The M40/A40 are more useful for the north of the borough, The M4/A4 are more useful for the south. The M25 motorway has intersections with both the M40 and M4.

The M4 and M25 near the airport are often jammed around peak times and peak times are longer here than in most other places as the people who left London at 5pm have spent half an hour getting here while the local people have been stuck in jams for half an hour already. Then remember the people who are heading into London for an evening of pleasure will start to block up junctions and roundabouts from about 6pm onwards.

Even so, don't be tempted to come off the M25 at Uxbridge and make your way through the borough if you don't need to - see the first paragraphs above.

  Parking in Hillingdon

Click here to go to the council web site to get a map of the public car parks in Hillingdon

Parking is not always easy or cheap in Hillingdon. If you are coming to one of the Airport terminals with the aim of having a week or two away and you want to save money it may be worth your while to look at off airport services that ferry you and your luggage onto the airport.

Tip If you are not staying in a council car park for long check to see if the machine is part of the free parking scheme. You can get half an hour of parking for free just by pressing the button. You have to display a ticket even if you are only using the free half hour.

Parking Fines and other penalties

Hillingdon, like most London Boroughs, is full of yellow lines and places where you are not allowed to park. A warden issued ticket gives you a penalty of 80 (which drops to 40 if paid within 14 days). Wardens work on a bonus type system so the more tickets they issue the happier they are. Even the shortest illegal stops can result in a ticket.

A more expensive ticket (for the driver) will be issued if you break parking regulations in relation to schools, crossings and some other places. Also beware of yellow box junction infringements and bus lane infringements.

Beware supermarket car parks if you intend to overstay. They may fine you without leaving a ticket despite saying they work to the DVLA code of practice. Their fine can be 170 reduced to 85 if paid quickly.

Car Parks

Car parks are situated throughout the borough. They tend to have varying costs but make sure you check the full day cost if you are leaving your car for a while. In some car parks it jumps dramatically once you have stayed longer than the average shopper is expected to stay. This is to deter commuters from using shopping car parks but if it is coming up to a big day and you are expecting to be in town for several hours check it out - it's a miserable end to the day to think that your parking costs would be 3 or 4 and find it is 15!

Some council car parks offer reasonably priced all day parking. See the link below for more details.

Controlled Parking Zones (CPZs)

Parking near the town centres is at a premium. This has meant that people who live in or around the town centres found themselves unable to park anywhere near home. At their request CPZs were introduced. If you are visiting someone who lives in a CPZ ask them for a ticket to put in your windscreen to avoid a fine. If you cannot get one check the restrictions if it says you shouldn't don't park there - wardens patrol all of the time.


The bane of the desperate motorist. Clampers operate in various places around the borough and often charge well over 200 for releasing your car - especially after it has been towed or even just attached to the tow truck - which tends to be immediately after the clamp has been attached.

Remember to look for very small signs in unusual places. If you see several parking spaces together in a place which doesn't charge you can be assured that you haven't found a parking haven - other motorists are avoiding it because there is a tiny notice on a lamppost or wall that says that you will be clamped.

Finding Hillingdon on the motorway network

Hillingdon is easy to find if you are coming here from the West or the Midlands. We are situated on the western edge of greater London.

The A4 and M40 both go through Hillingdon and the M25 sweeps round the west side of the borough cutting through both the M40 and M4.

If you are coming from the North East find your way south to the M25 and follow signs for Heathrow Airport.

As a rule of thumb if you are very far away follow signs for London and as you get closer follow signs for Heathrow Airport.

In Central London follow signs for Oxford (A40) or come via Hammersmith on A4/M4.

If you are trying to find anywhere in Hillingdon via Multimap or other map site and don't have a postcode the post code for the Civic Centre, which is in Uxbridge in the middle of the borough, is UB8 1UW. You can use the panning arrows to get you to exactly where you want to be.


Dating a car by its number

In the UK we have been able to tell the rough age of a car by looking at its registration number since 1963.

For a while it was reasonably straightforward. Then it changed. From 1963 to 31 July 1983 the letter identifying the year came at the end e.g. a car number plate ABC 123 H was registered between 31 August 1969 and 31 July 1970.

Then we came to the end of the alphabet (Z wasn't used, probably to avoid confusion with the number 2).

The same thing started again but the letter identifying the year came at the beginning of the number plate. So J 123 ABC would have been on a car registered between 1 August 1991 and 31 July 1992.

So far so good. but then we got close to the millennium and cars were more plentiful and the alphabet wasn't. So car year identifier letters were changed twice a year from March 1999 to March 2001. It was then decided to use numbers to represent years rather than letters and the number identifier works like this:

If the number is less than 50 it was registered in March - July of the year of that number.
E.g. AA 03 ABC was registered between March and July 2003.

If the number is greater than 50 take 50 from it and then add 2000 and it shows it was registered between August of that year and the end of February of the following year.

E.g. AA 53 ABC  take 50 from 53 and you have 3 add 2000 and it comes to 2003. This shows it was registered between August 2003 and Feb 2004.