London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) and the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) have been dominating the city’s headlines for years. Now as the ULEZ is set to expand to cover an area 18 times its current size, it’s worth knowing some facts ahead of the game.
Launched in April 2019, the ULEZ zone has had a significant impact on the lives of Central Londoners. Taking over the T-Charge, the new scheme has made the cost of daily living harder on low-income households. As we get closer to the 25th October 2021 expansion deadline, it’s worth knowing where each zone covers.
Read on to see what the ULEZ and LEZ will look like in 2021:
How will the ULEZ and LEZ continue to operate?
Despite the expansion, 2021 will bring only a few changes to the schemes that are already in place. The ULEZ and LEZ will continue to operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all year round except Christmas Day.
Any vehicle that doesn’t meet the emissions standards will have to pay the £12.50 charge for cars and light vans, and the £100 charge for heavier vehicles. With stricter restrictions coming into place for the LEZ from 1st March 2021, it’s worth making sure your vehicle meets the standards.
To avoid paying the daily charge, your vehicle must meet the required ULEZ and LEZ standards:
- Euro 3: motorcycles, mopeds, quadricycles, motorised tricycles
- Euro 4: petrol cars, vans, minibuses, other specialist vehicles
- Euro 6: diesel cars, vans, minibuses, other specialist vehicles
- Euro VI: lorries, buses, coaches, other specialist vehicles
Electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles will not have to pay either of the charges to travel within the zone.
If you don’t know how to find out if your vehicle is ULEZ compliant, check here.
ULEZ Map 2021
Monday 25th October 2021 will be a new day for London’s residents and workforce. The newly upgraded ULEZ zone boundary will stretch to the North Circular Road (A406) down to the South Circular Road (A2015). The area will be eighteen times the size of the current zone. It will no longer carry the same level of discounts and exemptions that the scheme currently offers.
So if you have been delaying an upgrade to a ULEZ compliant vehicle, time is no longer on your side.
The daily charge to travel within the zone will remain £12.50 midnight to midnight, but won’t be payable if your car is parked within the area.
Outside of these areas, regardless of your type of vehicle, you will not be subject to the daily ULEZ charge.
(ULEZ changes: Source)
Any vehicle that doesn’t meet the ULEZ emissions standards – including non-EU cars – will have to pay the daily charge to travel within the zone. This applies even if you drive your car around the block to the supermarket!
LEZ Map 2021
Tighter restrictions for heavy vehicles are set to roll out on Monday 1st March 2021. They are in place to limit how much particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) a vehicle may emit.
To avoid the LEZ charge, heavy vehicles including lorries, buses, coaches and specialist vehicles will need to meet the Euro VI (NOx and PM) standards to drive within the Greater London area.
Here’s what the LEZ area looks like:
(LEZ Map 2021: Source)
The new LEZ standards affect lorries, heavy vans or specialist heavy vehicles over 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight and buses, minibuses and coaches over 5 tonnes. Each vehicle needs to match the Euro VI standard, which coincidentally is the same as the ULEZ standard. With the new restrictions, these vehicles will no longer need to pay a separate ULEZ charge.
For vehicles such as vans, minibuses (up to 5 tonnes) or specialist diesel vehicles that are between 1.205 tonnes to 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight still only need to meet the Euro 3 standards. These vehicles will continue to pay the LEZ charge if they do not meet the Euro 3 requirements.
Like the ULEZ, the aim is for all vehicles travelling within the zones to meet the stricter emissions standards. If your vehicle fails to meet the requirements, the daily LEZ charges will look like this:
- Euro VI (NOx and PM) – you will need to pay a daily charge of £100
- Euro IV (PM) – you will need to pay a daily charge of £300