MSE News

London drivers to face new ultra low emission zone from today - check if you'll pay £12.50/day

Drivers of older cars will be hit with a new charge of £12.50/day in central London from today, as the ultra low emission zone has replaced the current T-Charge.

The daily charge for the ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) runs 365 days a year, within the same area as the current congestion charging zone (CCZ).

It replaces the £10 Toxicity Charge (or T-charge), which was in force from Monday to Friday between 7am and 6pm. 

Drivers who have to pay the ULEZ charge will pay it in addition to the £11.50 weekday congestion charge, meaning they could face paying up to £24 each day. 

Only certain vehicles which don't meet minimum emission standards have to pay the charge, but for those that have to pay, it costs:

  • £12.50 for most vehicle types, including cars, motorcycles and vans (up to and including 3.5 tonnes).

  • £100 for heavier vehicles, including lorries (over 3.5 tonnes) and buses/coaches (over 5 tonnes).

If you fail to pay the charge, you will face a penalty of £160 (reduced to £80 if you pay within 14 days).

How can I check if my vehicle is affected?

Vehicles which don't meet minimum emission standards when travelling in the ULEZ must pay the daily charge.

The following vehicles will be affected:

  • Cars - petrol vehicles that don't meet Euro 4 and diesel cars that don't meet Euro 6.
  • Motorcycles - all vehicles that don't meet Euro 3 emissions standards for NOx.

In most cases, a car's emission standard is defined by when it was registered:

  • Euro 4 - all new registrations after 1 Jan 2006
  • Euro 6 - all new registrations after 1 Sept 2015

For motorcyles, Euro 3 engines are usually those registered with the DVLA after 1 July 2007.

For newer vehicles, you can checked your Euro emissions standard on the TfL website. It may also be listed on your V5C vehicle registration certificate, under section D. Otherwise you may need to contact your vehicle manufacturer to check

When does the ULEZ operate?

A daily charge runs from midnight to midnight every day.

If you drive within the ULEZ area late at night, and go across two days - i.e. before midnight and after midnight - you will be liable to pay two daily charges if your vehicle doesn't meet the ULEZ standards.

Where does the ULEZ operate?

You can use Transport for London's postcode checker to see which streets are included in the ULEZ.

The below signs will let you know when you are approaching and entering the ULEZ:

From 25 October 2021 the ULEZ boundary will be extended to create a larger zone bounded by the North and South Circular Roads.

Are there any exemptions to the charge?

There are several reasons that can exempt a vehicle from having to pay the ULEZ charge.

The key ones are:

  • Residents will be exempt until 24 October 2021. The discount will be available to those who live within the ULEZ and in designated areas next to the boundary where the Congestion Charge residents' discount applies. This discount will only apply if you live within the zone.

    If you're using a vehicle that doesn't meet the current T-Charge emissions standards will continue to pay the T-Charge, at a discounted rate of 90%, during the ULEZ resident sunset period

  • All vehicles over 40 years old will be exempt. As of this year, vehicles built before 1979 are eligible to apply for historic vehicle tax class, and these vehicles are then exempt from paying the ULEZ charge. If your vehicle meets the above criteria and is registered in the UK, it is automatically exempt and you don't need to register with TfL.

You can see a full list of exemptions here.

How do I pay?

You can pay the ULEZ online on the TfL website from today. Regular users can also set up an autopay function, for an admin fee.

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