In an attempt to half the local air pollution in the air, London introduced the Ultra Low Emission Zone back in 2019. This area imposes charges on vehicles that do not meet selected emission standards. Recently, it has been announced that the area covered by the zone will be increasing in late 2021.
The London Ultra Low Emission Zone is a scheme to discourage drivers of high emission vehicles from entering the city centre. It does so by cameras scanning number plates in the city and seeing if they meet the correct emission standards. Any that don’t, have to pay a daily charge or risk a fine.
The ULEZ covers the centre of London, the same area as the congestion charge. The boundaries set to grow in October 2021 to include the North and South Circular roads. The map here, identifies the current area.
The London Ultra Low Emission Zone applies round the clock, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
For most non-compliant vehicles the charge is £12.50 per day. This includes non-compliant cars, taxis, LGVs and minibuses. For larger vehicles, over 3.5 tonnes, the charge is £100 per day.
The charge is also in addition to the Congestion Charge.
The charge will be payable via an online portal or Autopay, similar to that of the Dartford Tunnel or London Congestion Charge.
There is a clear line in defining what cars will have to the pay the charge or not. Any Diesel Car not conforming to the Euro 6 Emission standards and any Petrol Cars not at least conforming to the Euro 4 standard will be subject to the charge.
Unfortunately for the average driver it’s not easy for them to identify whether their cars conform to the Euro 6 or Euro 4 standard. As a general rule, Diesel vehicles registered before the 1 st September 2015 and Petrol vehicles registered before the 1 st January 2006 will be subject to the charge.
This general rule can vary so you can check if your vehicle is affected by the CAZ using the Transport for London.
The current penalty for not paying your charge is £160. This penalty is reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days.
If you regularly drive to the centre of London, it may be best to change your vehicle now to avoid these charges. Changing vehicle could even save you money considering the savings made against the daily charge.
If you regularly drive along or live near the North and South Circular roads you won’t necessarily be affected yet, but you will in the near future. It may be worth checking if you’re vehicle meets the correct standards and if not consider changing vehicle soon.
All of our new cars meet the latest emissions standard so won’t be subject to the Clean Air Zone Charge. Similarly, all of our petrol used cars and most of our diesel cars will meet the required standard. Just ask us if you want to be sure.
Alternatively, you might want to consider an electric or hybrid car. Oxford is introducing a Zero Emissions Zone and it is likely that more and more places will impose tighter restriction on vehicles driving in their city. An electric or hybrid vehicle might be a safer long term option for these cases.
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Please note, this page is as accurate as possible at the time of creation (February 2020). All plans and details may change at a later date.