Do I Pay ULEZ If I Live In The Zone?

man checking ULEZ

Covering most of Central London, the Ultra Low Emission Zone was created to tackle the city’s high toxic fume levels. Since its inception in April 2019, nitrous oxide (NO2) levels have plummeted, and air quality has improved. 

So what does this mean for London’s residents? 

ULEZ is leading the way on a global level for how to reduce emissions. With this in mind, the UK government has built-in incentives to encourage Londoners to upgrade their vehicles to curb the fumes. 

Here’s our breakdown on if you have to pay ULEZ if you live in the zone:

Current ULEZ rules

For most Londoners, the enforced ULEZ charge has upturned the way we live. Not only is the Congestion Charge in effect, but the idea of extra daily fees has made the city even more unaffordable. 

Fortunately, you can’t help where you live! So under the current ULEZ rules, anyone residing within the ULEZ zone is eligible for a 100% discount. 

ULEZ is set to expand on the 25th October 2021, so there is an end to the grace period. 

Once registered, residents within the zone are exempt from the ULEZ charge from the 8th April 2019 to the 24th October 2021. This is in line with the North and South Road Circular expansion set for the day after. If your vehicle does not meet the ULEZ emissions standards after this date, then you will be expected to pay the full daily charge. 


Euro 4 and the T-Charge

Before ULEZ was launched, all Londoner’s had to worry about was the less strict T-Charge. As an incentive for the residents of London to get on board with the ULEZ scheme, vehicle’s which meet Euro 4 standards will have a 90% discount from the T-Charge rate. 

Most petrol and diesel vehicles registered pre-2006 that don’t meet the Euro 4 standards will pay £1 a day rather than the £10 daily fee up until the 25th October 2021. After this, if your vehicle doesn’t meet the Euro 6 standards required by ULEZ, you will have to pay the daily charge within the zone. 

Upgrading my vehicle

With the hope of most if not all London residents stepping up to the ULEZ requirements by October 2021, the government has left little room for non-compliance. Either you upgrade your vehicle, or you pay a daily penalty for not doing so. As you can imagine, this has caused quite the controversy amongst those that live in the city.

Aiming for a greener world in the long term has everyone’s interest at heart until you peel away the layers. 

The simple fact is: not everyone can afford transport let alone a new car. So asking communities of people to get in line with the ULEZ mandate does have its complications. 

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As an incentive, the TfL do offer a generous scrappage scheme for vehicles that don’t make the cut. Scrappage grants are available for low-income and disabled Londoners, as well as small businesses and charities to meet the required emissions standards. 

Here’s a quick guide to what’s on offer:

Cars & motorcycles

  • Scrappage grant: £1,000 to £2,000
  • Available for those who live within the 32 London Boroughs or the City of London
  • Applicant must already receive certain means-tested or non-means-tested disability benefits
  • Residents can apply if their vehicle doesn’t reach the ULEZ emissions standards

Vans & minibuses

At the time of writing, the Scrappage Scheme for van applications is currently suspended. 

If you have already had an application approved and received a confirmation of eligibility, you can proceed with scrapping your vehicle. Once done, submit your evidence to claim your grant payment. 

  • Scrappage grant: £7,000 – £9,500

Heavy vehicles

Again, at the time of writing, the Scrappage Scheme for ULEZ non-compliant HGV’s is currently suspended for new applications. This includes vans and other specialist vehicles over 3.5 tonnes GVW, and buses, coaches and minibuses over 5 tonnes GVW.

If you have already had an application approved and received a confirmation of eligibility, you can proceed with scrapping your vehicle. Once done, submit your evidence to claim your grant payment. 

  • Scrappage grant: £15,000
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Please bear in mind, that to receive your grant payment you must submit evidence to the Scrappage Scheme. 

Ready for the ULEZ expansion? Now is the time to consider your options ahead of 25th October 2021. Living in the city has never been so challenging. Get ahead of the game and see if you can upgrade your vehicle now to avoid daily charges.

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