It can be a scary thought having to find an extra £12.50-£100 each day just to drive your car in London.
For so many of us, we simply can’t afford to pay out like this.
We decided to put together this little article to help you to think through London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (or ULEZ for short).
So, if you’re wondering if your car is liable to the ULEZ charges or not, look no further.
ULEZ at a glance
The Ultra Low Emission Zone was implemented back in April 2019. The idea behind the ULEZ is to build a paywall for certain drivers to prevent them entering London. As harsh as that may sound, it is done in the name of greener air quality and saving lives.
The standing charge for cars is £12.50 a day and applies across all of London’s roads within the congestion charging zone.
This charge sits on top of the congestion charge and doesn’t replace it!
If your car is affected by ULEZ and you neglect to pay, penalty charges start at £160 (or £80 if it’s paid early).
The ULEZ is there to reduce illegal levels of Pollution across London and encourage greener car ownership.
The ULEZ is also set to expand dramatically to cover all of London up to the North circular road and down to the South circular road.
How do I know if my car is liable?
There’s a few things you can do to find out if you need to pay the ULEZ charge for driving in London.
- Use the ULEZ Checker – This is the simplest way to tell.
- Find out your car’s European Standard number.
- Use your car’s registration date as a baseline
- Find out what levels of NOx, CO and PM your car emits.
We would highly recommend starting with the ULEZ checker as a fool-proof, quick way to discover if your car is liable for ULEZ charges or not.
In order to find out the European Standard number, you need to know a little bit about when your car was registered and how much it emits. As a rule of thumb, Petrol cars registered before 2005 are likely to be chargeable (although not certainly) Diesel cars registered before 2015 are also likely to be affected.
What do I need to do if my car is chargeable?
There’s not a lot you can do to avoid the charges if your vehicle is chargeable and you intend to drive within the ULEZ.
In fact, if you don’t pay the daily charge, you can be heavily fined.
London has a sophisticated system of cameras and AI technology to automatically issue penalty charges for those ignoring the ULEZ charges.
There are lots of ways to pay the ULEZ standing charge, for more information see our page: Paying ULEZ charges.
Whatever your political perspective, ULEZ is sticking around and even expanding. It’s really important that you make sure your car is up to standards. If not, you could be paying out significant sums of money each week.