Potentiodynamic polarisation studies were carried out on the inhibition of low carbon steel in 0.1 M hydrochloric acid solution over the temperature range 20-60degreesC at different inhibitor concentrations by various quaternary ammonium salts and cationic surfactants. The inhibitors examined were tetraethyl ammonium chloride, tetrabutyl ammonium chloride, benzyltrimethyl ammonium chloride, benzyltriethyl ammonium chloride, benzyltributyl ammonium chloride, phenyltrimethyl ammonium chloride, alkylbenzyldimethyl ammonium chloride, tetradecyltrimethyl ammonium bromide and cetyltrimethyl ammonium bromide. Maximum inhibit;on efficiencies of cationic surfactants were observed around and above critical micelle concentration (cmc), while the inhibition efficiencies of the quaternary ammonium salts were found to increase with the increase in their concentrations, The degree of shift in E-corr value, together with change in anodic and cathodic Tafel slopes (beta(a), beta(c)), revealed that cationic surfactants behave as an anodic inhibitor, while quaternary ammonium salts behave as mixed type inhibitors. Inhibition efficiencies of studied inhibitors seem to be closely related with the chain length of the alkyl group as well as the presence of benzene ring in quaternary ammonium compounds. Thermodynamic and kinetic parameters for dissolution and adsorption were also calculated.