London’s new Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be expanded out to the North and South Circular in 2021, meaning drivers of older cars will have to pay a £12.50 daily charge across a far wider area, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has confirmed.

The new ULEZ will cover an area 18 times larger than the central London Ultra Low Emission Zone, which will begin charging in April 2019 and will operate on top of the congestion charge at all times, 365 days a year. However residents won't have to pay until April 2022.

The expanded zone will be managed in the same way as the central London ULEZ - drivers within the expanded zone using non-compliant vehicles will pay a daily ULEZ charge of £12.50. These include:

  • motorbikes that do not meet Euro 3 standards
  • petrol cars and vans that do not meet Euro 4 standards (roughly the equivalent to not being more than fifteen years old for cars in 2021)
  • diesel cars and vans that do not meet Euro 6 standards (roughly the equivalent to not being more than six years old for cars in 2021).

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What changes are on the horizon for London's drivers?

With the current Congestion Charge, £10 T-Charge which came in last October and new ULEZ, there are plenty of charges to keep on top of for motorists in London. Here's a quick summary:

London charges for car drivers

Charge When Where Times Cars affected Price / day Discount for residents?
Congestion Charge Already in force Congestion Charge Zone (Central Ldn) Mon - Fri, 7am - 6pm All cars (1) £11.50 90% discount
T-Charge 23 Oct 2017 - 7 Apr 2019 Congestion Charge Zone Mon - Fri, 7am - 6pm Cars which don't meet emissions standard Euro 4 £10 90% discount
ULEZ 8 Apr 2019 - 25 Oct 2021 Congestion Charge Zone 24/7 Diesel cars which don't meet emissions standard Euro 6, petrol cars which don't meet Euro 4 £12.50 No charge till 25 Oct 2021
From 25 Oct 2021 From North to South Circular boundary
(1) There are a few exemptions, eg, cars used by disabled people

How to check your vehicle's emissions standard

To see if you'll have to pay the ULEZ charge, you need to check your vehicle's European emissions standard. In most cases this is determined by how old your car is, as follows:

  • Euro 1 - applies to all new registrations after 31 Dec 1992
  • Euro 2 - all new registrations after 1 Jan 1997
  • Euro 3 - all new registrations after 1 Jan 2001
  • Euro 4 - all new registrations after 1 Jan 2006
  • Euro 5 - all new registrations after 1 Jan 2011
  • Euro 6 - all new registrations after 1 Sept 2015

However some manufacturers may have made vehicles to a higher emissions standard than was mandatory at the time.

For newer vehicles, your Euro emissions standard may be listed on your V5C vehicle registration certificate, under section D. Otherwise you may need to contact your vehicle manufacturer to check. See the RAC and Transport for London websites for more info.

What does the Mayor say?

Mr Khan said: “Tackling London’s lethal air and safeguarding the health of Londoners requires bold action. Air pollution is a national health crisis and I refuse to stand back as thousands of Londoners breathe in air so filthy that it shortens our life expectancy, harms our lungs and worsens chronic illness.

“I promised hard-hitting measures to tackle our shameful air pollution and today City Hall is confirming the next stage of our plans to expand the Ultra-Low Emission Zone up to the north and south circular roads.

“We’re doing everything in our power to tackle this issue and are starting to see improvements in air quality with the wide-ranging action we’ve taken already on tackling the most polluting cars, and cleaning up our bus and taxi fleet. An expanded Ultra-Low Emission Zone, in conjunction with the Central London ULEZ, will really help transform the air that millions of Londoners breathe."