Santander Cycles: London’s Official Bike Sharing

You’ll see Santander Cycle Hire docks all across central London, with over 750 docking stations and nearing 12,000 bikes. London’s original bike sharing scheme, known as Boris Bikes after the ex-mayor (now Prime Minister) introduced them during his tenure, they’re an easy and popular way to get around the city.


If you have reservations about cycling in London, this is understandable, as the roads can be incredibly busy. However, there is an excellent network of cycle routes that make it easy to discover the city under your own steam.

Wondering how the Santander Bike Hire scheme in London works? No worries, we’ve got you covered with our easy guide to using Santander Bikes in London.



How do I use Santander Bikes?

Simply locate a docking station with a bike free, and find the terminal. All the information you’ll need about accessing your bike will be on here. But, don’t worry, we’re gonna explain it to you too..

You will need either a bank or credit card, or you can use the app. We’ll explain how to use the terminal first.

At the terminal, select your language, and then select ‘Hire a Bike’. Follow the instructions on screen to authorise your payment and access your code. Once complete, your code is printed on a small slip of paper which you then take to your chosen bike terminal. Enter the code, release the bike and away you go. Yup, it’s that easy.

You can access up to four bikes with one bank card, so you can take a small group, or family on a cycle tour of London.

If you prefer to use the app then that is even easier. Simply download the Santander Cycles App from the iOS or Google Play stores.

With your payment details inputted in advance, you simply need to locate the docking station of your choice and go to ‘Hire a Bike’. You’ll then be given your access code on the app which you can use to release your bike.

Tips for using Santander Cycles

The initial cost for access is £2 for 24 hours, with as many rides as you like in that time. Or, if you’re a resident looking at using the Santander Bikes long term, it’s just £90 for annual access (25p a day if you use it every day).

When you first access your bike, you have up to half an hour of free cycling. After this, you’ll pay £2 for every additional half hour, for each bike you have hired.

Santander Bikes are best for short trips around the city, and you’ll be surprised how far you can get in half an hour. With so many docking stations scattered around, you don’t need to keep your bike to hand when you get to your destination.

If you download the app you can also use it to plan your route and avoid cycling on main roads. The app will also show you where the nearest dock is, how many bikes are free and how many spaces there are.

Be aware that if you fail to return a bike, or if it is damaged whilst you are using it, you could incur charges of up to £300.

If you’re a visitor or a resident, Santander Bike hire can be a very efficient and affordable way to get around. We highly recommend downloading the app for the best experience. Check it out here.


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