Motorists whose vehicles don’t meet tighter emissions standards for driving in London, will pay a higher price to drive in the capital from October 25.
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will expand to cover all parts of London within the North and South Circular roads in a bid to reduce pollution in the city. Currently, the ULEZ covers the same area as the Congestion Charge zone in central London, from the eastern edge of Hyde Park out to Aldgate.
But unlike the Congestion Charge, the ULEZ will be in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, meaning that owners of many older vehicles will have to pay £12.50 every time they are driven within the newly expanded zone.
To drive in the ULEZ, petrol cars must meet the Euro 4 standard on emissions and diesel-powered and larger vehicles must meet Euro 6. An integrated impact assessment by Transport for London (TfL) claims about 565,000 cars registered in the capital will be liable if driven.
Any car, van or motorcycle driver failing to pay the £12.50 charge will receive a fine of £160 – which will be reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days.
Larger vans, lorries and coaches will be charged £100 a day, with a £1,000 fine for failing to pay on time, reduced to £500 if paid within 14 days. The ULEZ fees are in addition to any Congestion Charge that applies.
TfL is erecting hundreds of warning signs to notify drivers they will be entering the expended ULEZ, in addition to cameras that will read number plates to check if the vehicle meets the ULEZ standards.
To check if your vehicle complies with the low emission standard, visit the TfL website’s ULEZ checker and input your registration number.
Those with vehicles registered with a disabled or disabled passenger vehicles tax class will benefit from a ‘grace period’ after the ULEZ starts. They’ll be exempt from the ULEZ charge until 26 October 2025 providing that their vehicle doesn’t change tax class.