To help you, we’ve created an interactive ULEZ zone map that you can use to see the areas affected by the ULEZ zone clearly. This map can help you better plan for journeys and also plot alternative routes through the city that avoid the zone.
The ULEZ map is a valuable tool that allows users to see the entire boundary of the current ULEZ area. This tool can help people plan journeys through London to either find routes that avoid the ULEZ area or make arrangements so that they are prepared to pay the charge once they enter it. Check if your car is ULEZ compliant.
This visual aid is interactive, meaning that you can zoom into specific locations to see exactly where the boundaries end. It also allows you to see what’s near your destination. This can be helpful because knowing things like the local stations and bus routes could enable you to plan a journey through public transport to help you avoid a charge.
This map is the most current one that shows the ULEZ area. The ULEZ zone operates across all London boroughs and the City of London. The M25 is not in the zone.
As the ULEZ zone is an area that has been in constant flux and change since it’s been first introduced, it’s worth checking our map every time you set off on a journey into central London to make sure that you know what areas are part of the ULEZ scheme.
It’s essential to keep tabs on the ULEZ map and check it often to ensure that you don’t accidentally go into a ULEZ area unwillingly. If you want to check a specific location in the ULEZ zone, you can also use our ULEZ postcode checker to see if it falls in the area.
The ULEZ zone is an area within London that limits what types of vehicles can enter without getting charged a fee. The ULEZ was implemented to reduce the number of people who enter the area with high-emission cars. The entire purpose of the ULEZ zone is to improve the air quality within the capital and reduce the amount of pollution within the city.
The ULEZ was first instigated in 2019 by the Major, and its first iteration originally spanned the same area as the congestion zone. In 2021, the area under ULEZ expanded to include everything within the A406 and A205 carriageways. This meant that far more residential areas were included in the ULEZ, which affected many people living in London. Today, the ULEZ zone operates across all London boroughs and the City of London. The M25 is not in the zone.
If you drive in these areas with a car that doesn’t meet the minimum requirements, you will have to pay a charge for each day you drive into the area. The price is currently £12.50, which could add up to a high amount if you’re making multiple journeys into the ULEZ area a year.
The ULEZ area is typically marked by green signs informing drivers that they’re about to enter a ULEZ zone. This allows them to turn away and go a different route if their car is not compliant.
Various cameras patrol the parameter of the ULEZ area and the regions within the zone. These systems of cameras check to see if a vehicle needs to be charged or not, as they’ll be able to record the registration plate of each vehicle entering and exiting the ULEZ area. These plates are then checked against their database to see if they are compliant or not.
The original ULEZ area, first introduced in 2019, shared the same area as the congestion zone. This means that the most central areas of London, such as Westminster, Soho, Lambeth, and the borough of the City of London, all required a compliant vehicle to travel to.
However, things changed in 2021, and the ULEZ area has since expanded to cover more of the city. Now most of London and the surrounding area are part of the ULEZ zone.
The new ULEZ zone expanded on August 29th operates across all London boroughs and the City of London. The M25 is not in the zone.
The ULEZ zone has been in effect since 2019 and has been in operation continuously since. The ULEz area runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This means that you will be charged no matter when you drive into the area if your car isn’t compliant.
This is different from the congestion charge, another TFL scheme many confuse with the ULEZ zone. The congestion charge is in place to stop traffic in the most central areas of London and is only in operation from 07:00 – 18:00 on weekdays and 12:00 – 18:00 on weekends.
It’s important to note that each charge runs from 00:00 – 23:59 for a single-day cost. This means that if you complete a journey late at night and are spotted by one camera at 23:55 one day and then spotted by another camera later at 00:10, you will be charged two days’ worth of fees.
The ULEZ charge works through a series of cameras that record the registration plates of all the vehicles driving into, around, and out of the ULEZ zone. These cameras are positioned strategically across the parameter of the boundary and on all the junctions or roads that lead into the ULEZ area.
When you drive past one of these cameras, the system will look up your registration plate and check it against the TFL database to see your car’s emission level. This is how the system knows which drivers to charge and which drivers to not.
If you drive into the ULEZ area with a car that isn’t compliant, you’ll be sent a charge that you’ll need to pay quickly once it’s been received. If you’re driving a car, motorbike, or light van, this amount will be £12.50, although it can rise to £90 if you miss your payment window and get a penalty.
You can pay these charges in multiple ways, have a look at our guide to pay ULEZ.
It is possible to pay for a ULEZ charge before you drive through the ULEZ area up to 90 days before your journey, which is excellent if you have a one-off trip planned.
All types of road vehicles are affected by ULEZ, including lightweight vehicles such as cars, motorbikes, and vans under 3.5 tonnes. The ULEZ zone also scrutinises heavier vehicles such as lorries and coaches.
To ensure that you don’t have to pay a ULEZ charge, you must drive through the zone with a vehicle with a compliant emission standard.
When the DVLA registers vehicles, they are given a Euro Emission Level that is used to illustrate what kind of emission output the vehicle produces. These Euro Emission Levels are checked when you enter the ULEZ zone to see whether you’re driving a car that needs to pay a charge.
The level your vehicle needs to be at will alter depending on the vehicle you drive, with petrol and diesel cars having different standards they need to meet. Motorbikes also have their own criteria to meet.
Vehicles that have the following emission levels will be affected by ULEZ and will have to pay a charge when entering the area:
Petrol cars must be Euro Emission Level 4 or higher to avoid paying ULEZ. This means that if your petrol vehicle is within levels 1 to 3, its output is far too high and will be charged to pass through a ULEZ area.
It’s important to note that you won’t get charged more with a level 1 emission car than you would a level 3, as all non-compliant vehicles under 3.5 tonnes have to pay £12.50 a day.
In terms of the numbers, a non-compliant petrol car that will need to pay ULEZ will produce more than:
A petrol car needs to have all of its emissions under these thresholds to pass and not be charged a ULEZ fee. This means that if the vehicle is only over in one category, it still fails and is not compliant.
A diesel car cannot be lower than Euro Emission Level 6, the highest possible level you can currently get. That means if it produces more emissions that place it between levels 1 and 5, you will have to pay a ULEZ charge when driving it through the affected area.
A non-compliant diesel car will produce more than:
If any of these criteria aren’t met, the diesel car cannot be considered compliant and will incur a charge.
If you’re driving through a ULEZ area with a motorbike, you will need to pay the charge if its current emissions of NOx are below the threshold within Euro Level 3. This is the only pollutant that is checked for motorbikes, so the criteria are a bit relaxed when driving with this vehicle.
A non-compliant motorbike will produce more than 0.15g/km of NOx.
Larger vehicles, such as coaches, lorries, and vans that weigh over 3.5 tonnes, do not have to pay ULEZ charges. This is because ULEZ only affects vehicles under this weight. That said, these larger vehicles must still comply with a different set of emission rules.
Instead of ULEZ, larger vehicles need to comply with the LEZ (Low Emission Zone). This area covers most of Greater London and is designed to encourage the most polluting heavy diesel vehicles driving through London to be a bit cleaner. The requirements are slightly different but still based on your vehicle’s emission levels.
There are three potential charges you can get if you drive a non-compliant LEZ vehicle, ranging from £100 to £300. As this can be a pretty hefty fee, checking if your vehicle is compliant before setting off on your journey is important.
Plenty of vehicles are exempt from having to pay a ULEZ charge. In fact, most people who drive relatively modern cars will likely not have to pay ULEZ and be exempt.
As long as your vehicle produces minimal exhaust pollution under the threshold for its vehicle type, it will be exempt from having to pay when entering a ULEZ zone. In addition, hybrid and electric vehicles will also be exempt from having to pay a ULEZ charge because they produce almost no emissions. Especially if you drive a fully electric car, you’ll have no exhaust pollution, saving you from paying the charge.
However, although most drivers will be exempt because they have low emissions, some vehicles are exempt from paying ULEZ regardless of their emission output. If any of the following vehicles drive through the ULEZ zone with emissions higher than the threshold, they still won’t have to pay anything.
All of the vehicles exempt from having to pay ULEZ include the following:
In addition to exemptions on certain vehicles, there is also an exemption for when the ULEZ area is not operating. For one day a year, the ULEZ zone is free to drive through regardless of your vehicle’s pollution output. That day is Christmas Day on December 25th.
Historically, only a few people travel on Christmas, meaning that this exemption isn’t benefiting most individuals. Aside from this one day off, the ULEZ will be in operation constantly, 24 hours a day. It is still used during bank holidays and other significant holiday periods, meaning that you should expect to get charged no matter what day or time you travel into the Ultra Low Emission Zone with a non-compliant vehicle.
Pollution within London has reached terrible levels, with the city having some of the worst pollution statistics not just in the UK but also in wider Europe. These high levels of pollution increase the risk for residents of the city to get repertory problems, and it also means that London contributes a lot to greenhouse gas emissions and thus climate change.
The ULEZ was introduced to combat these statistics and find a way to reduce this issue. The charge encourages fewer drivers of heavily polluting vehicles to enter key areas of the capital, making the air in and around London much cleaner and safer.
The scheme has been successful so far, as levels of various pollutants, such as CO2, NOX, and PA, have all dropped significantly. In fact, some areas have had their pollution levels fall by more than 50% in only three years, which is a great sign that things are working.
Many people who are against the scheme argue that it was introduced to generate more money from the public, as the charge operates like an emissions tax that punishes people who don't have the most up-to-date vehicles. Although these scheme has been able to generate £90million in just 2022 alone, that money is put back into improving the road infrastructure of London, making it an even better place to drive and transport around.
The ULEZ zone isn't just for non-compliant vehicles entering the area from different locations, as those living there will also need to pay a charge if their vehicle produces too many emissions.
There are no exceptions to this, meaning that even if you make a short journey within the area, you will still have to pay every time the car leaves the driveway.
That said, you only need to pay ULEZ when the car is driven. That means you won't incur a fee if it's kept stationary and parked. This means that those living within the ULEZ zone can choose instead to do most of their travelling through public transport and only use their car for longer journeys where paying the fee may feel more justified.
Additionally, people who live within the ULEZ area can also choose to change their vehicle to one that is compliant. This may mean that they have to pay a large initial expense. However, not having to pay the ULEZ charge can help residents save thousands of pounds over the years.
In certain situations, you may also get support from the council, which will give you cash to buy a new car when you trade it in. Just be aware that this option isn't available for everyone.