Rent a bike

Use the Santander Cycles app to hire bikes when you can - you can go straight to a bike and avoid any docking station queues. Also, you won't have to touch the terminal.

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Rent, ride, return

Step 1 - Rent

  • If you can't use the app to hire, go to the nearest docking station terminal with your debit or credit card (accepts contactless) and touch the screen to begin. You cannot use contactless devices such as phones or watches
  • Choose 'Hire a cycle', follow the on-screen instructions and take the printed release code
  • You can hire up to four bikes at the same time (you'll need a separate release code for each one)
  • If you have a membership key with an active account, you can use this at any docking station to hire a bike
  • You cannot hire an e-bike at the terminal - you need to be a Santander Cycles member to use e-bikes

Tip: Santander Cycles are for short trips. Find out what you pay to hire.

Tip: Each cycle release code is valid for 10 minutes and only at that docking station. Bikes are valuable so don't let anyone see your code before you use it.

Step 2 - Ride

  • Take a moment to read our tips for safer cycling at the terminal
  • Choose your bike and check the tyres, brakes and bell
  • Type your release code into the docking point's keypad and pull the bike out when the green light appears
  • Adjust the saddle height and you're good to go!

Tip: The bikes have lights that come on automatically when you start pedalling.

Step 3 - Return

  • Push the bike firmly into any empty docking point
  • Wait for the green light - this will show that the bike is securely docked (otherwise we'll keeping charging you for your journey). If you don't get a green light, call us on 0343 222 6666 (charges may apply)
  • If the docking station is full, choose 'No docking point free' at the terminal and follow the on-screen directions to get an extra 15 minutes included
  • To find a nearby space if the docking station is full, choose 'Status of nearest docking station' at the terminal
  • Remember, if you're not using the bike, dock it back!

Tip: If the bike is unsafe to ride, please let us know it needs repairing by pressing the 'Fault' button on the docking point within 10 seconds of docking it. Turn the saddle backwards to show others that it needs to be repaired.

Membership keys

A simple way to hire a Santander Cycle is with a membership key:

To buy a key for £3 - or if you need help - you can also call us on 0343 222 6666 (TfL call charges).

How to use your key

  • Put the key into the docking point next to any available bike (make sure there is no red light). Wait for the green light and then remove your bike
  • At the end of your journey, simply return the bike to any available docking station. Don't forget to wait for the green light to ensure that the bike has been correctly returned

Hubs with staff

We've put hubs at certain high-demand Santander Cycles docking stations to make it easier to hire and return bikes in central London. The hubs are staffed during specific hours by Santander Cycles team members - they will move and stack bikes to make more docks and bikes available for customers.

Locations/staffed hours

  • Argyle Street (Kings Cross): Monday to Friday, 07:30-09:30 and 16:30-19:00
  • Queen Street (Bank): Monday to Thursday, 08:00-19:00
  • Waterloo Station: Monday to Friday, 07:30-09:30 and 16:30-19:00

Summer hubs

Extra hubs are running until 27 October 2023, Monday to Thursday, 08:00-19:00

  • Grosvenor Square
  • Holborn Circus
  • St James's Square

Regular cleaning

All touchpoints on our docking stations and Santander Cycles are cleaned regularly with anti-viral solution. This includes the terminal screens, pin pads, handlebars, brakes, seat and basket. Remember to always wash your hands before and after travelling.