ULEZ, or Ultra Low Emission Zone, is a scheme for central London that was introduced in 2019 to help improve air quality and reduce vehicle emissions.
The scheme applies to all vehicles, including:
Under the scheme, vehicles must meet certain emission standards to enter the zone.
The standards are based on Euro emissions standards, and vehicles that do not meet the standards will be subject to a daily charge.
Here, we take a closer look at some of the frequently asked questions you might have about ULEZ.
What does ULEZ mean?
ULEZ means Ultra Low Emission Zone. The ULEZ operates in central London and charges a daily fee for vehicles that don’t meet emissions standards.
Is ULEZ the same as the congestion charge?
No, they are two separate charges. You must pay the daily charge should you drive within the Congestion Charge zone between Monday to Friday, 7am – 6pm. And if your car isn’t ULEZ compliant, you must also pay the additional ULEZ charge.
How much will I pay?
The daily fee for cars, vans and motorbikes is £12.50. Lorries, buses and coaches over 3.5 tonnes do not pay anything.
When is ULEZ in operation?
ULEZ is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – except for Christmas Day.
Is there a ULEZ exemption for residents?
No. If their vehicle doesn't meet the requirements of ULEZ, they must pay the daily charge.
How do I pay the ULEZ fee?
You can pay the fee online, by phone or with the app. If you are driving regularly in the zone, the easiest way to pay is by setting up an Auto Pay account. With this facility, your card is automatically charged every time you drive in the ULEZ area.
What if I don't live in London and need to pay?
If you enter the charging zone, you will need to pay by midnight on the third day afterwards – or face a fine.
Are any cars exempt from the ULEZ charge?
The government has announced that all electric and hybrid cars will be exempt from the zone’s charges. Cars with petrol engines that meet the Euro 4 emissions standard, and for diesels the stiffer Euro 6 standard, are exempted from ULEZ. There's more information on their website, including a list of compliant vehicles for both new and older models to keep up with emission standards. Additionally, there are several other types of exemptions available including for taxis, community transport minibuses and historic vehicles.
How do I know if my car meets the emissions standards?
You can check the emissions standards of your car online – we have a quick ULEZ checker. You simply enter your car's registration number to find out whether you are exempt or not.
What if my car doesn't meet the emissions standards?
Should your vehicle not meet the emissions standards, you must pay the ULEZ amount.
What if I don't pay for ULEZ?
Not paying the ULEZ charge means you risk a fine of £160. This can be reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days.
Can I appeal the ULEZ penalty?
Yes, you can appeal the penalty if you believe you have been incorrectly charged. You can do this by contacting:
Low Emission Zone
PO Box 553
Darlington DL1 9TZ.
What is the ULEZ appeals process?
The appeals process is as follows:
- You must contact the enforcement authority within 28 days of receiving the charge notice
- The enforcement authority will then review your case and decide whether or not to refund the charge
- If you are unhappy with the decision, you can appeal to an independent tribunal
- The tribunal will then review your case and decide whether or not to refund the charge.
Where is the ULEZ?
The Ultra-Low Emission Zone for all drivers now covers every area within the South and North Circular Roads.
I am a Blue Badge holder; do I have to pay for ULEZ?
No, Blue Badge holders are exempt from the charge. You will need to have a car that is registered with DVLA as having a tax class of either ‘disabled' or ‘disabled passenger vehicle'.
I am a registered disabled person; do I have to pay for ULEZ?
No, you are exempt from paying the fee if your car is registered correctly with DVLA (see the previous question and answer). However, the exemption for Blue Badge holders who have a car that does not comply with the emission standards will expire on 26 October 2025.
What is the difference between ULEZ and the Congestion Charge?
The Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is a daily charge for vehicles that don't meet certain emissions standards. The Congestion Charge is a daily charge for driving within the Congestion Charge Zone during Congestion Charge hours. This means that someone driving within the North and South Circular Roads with a car that is non-compliant with ULEZ will need to pay both charges.
Can I make my car ULEZ compliant?
Yes, you can make your car ULEZ compliant by making sure that it meets the Euro 4 standards for emissions. This can be done by retrofitting an approved emission control device, such as a catalytic converter. This is an expensive process, and any retrofit equipment needs approval from CVRAS first. It would be easier to buy a car that meets the Euro 4 standards.
What are the benefits of being ULEZ compliant?
The benefits of being ULEZ include improving the air quality in London by reducing the emission of harmful pollutants.
What is the difference between the ULEZ and the Low Emission Zone (LEZ)?
The ULEZ is a new, more stringent emissions standard that applies to all vehicles. The LEZ, on the other hand, only applies to certain types of vehicles, such as vans and lorries.