We expect you are here because you are wondering about the new ULEZ charges and penalties. 

It is true that people who do not pay the ULEZ are liable for a penalty charge/fine. 

These penalties can be quite substantial.

The best way to avoid an ULEZ penalty is to either pay the daily ULEZ charge or make sure you have an ULEZ compliant vehicle. 

We’ve put together this article as part of a series of mini articles to help equip you with everything you need to know about the ULEZ. 

We hope that you feel armed with everything you need to know to survive ULEZ! 

 What exactly is ULEZ? 

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (or ULEZ for short) is an area of the city where daily charges are applied to certain motorists. 

These charges are based on the levels of air pollution the cars are responsible for producing. 

The ULEZ was conceived by the mayor of London as a response to calls to take drastic action against air pollution. 

London has notoriously high (and even illegal) levels of air pollution and the largest culprits are the thousands of polluting vehicles using London’s roads each day. 

Since ULEZ has been in place, figures suggest London’s road network has reduced by around 13,500 cars each day. 

The Ultra Low Emission Zone covers the same space currently as the Congestion Charge Zone (although it does not replace this charge). 

What is the penalty charge criteria for ULEZ? 

If any of the following conditions apply, you may be liable to a penalty charge: 

  • Your vehicle doesn’t meet ULEZ standards. 
  • You fail to pay the daily charge before midnight the day after travelling
  • Your car is not registered with TFL
  • You paid the daily charge using the wrong number plate and/or vehicle details. 
  • You didn’t allow 10 days before your date of travel for a postal payment to clear. 

The penalty charge can be stacked for each day you continue to use the roads without paying ULEZ charges. 

Penalty charging is based on type and weight of vehicle. 

What are the ULEZ penalty charges? 

The charging schedule is as follows: 

Cars, vans, motorcycles, motor tricycles and mopeds <3 tonnes: £160 (although reduced to £80 if paid early). 

Motor caravans and Ambulances 2.5-3.5 tonnes £160 (Again, reduced to £80 if paid early). 

Minibuses (with more than 8 passenger seats) >5 tonnes  £160 (reduced to £80 if paid early). 

Lorries, Goods vehicles, Motor caravans, Motorised horseboxes, Breakdown and recovery vehicles, Snow ploughs, Gritters, Dustbin vehicles, Road sweepers, Concrete mixers, Tippers,

Fire engines, Removals lorries & Other specialist vehicles over 3.5 tonnes £1000 (reduced to £500 for early payment). 

Buses & Coaches (with < 8 passenger seats) more than 5 tonnes £1000 (reduced to £500 for early payment). 

In some circumstances, you may be able to appeal a charge however, ULEZ and the charging brackets are here to stay. We strongly advise motorists to plan ahead and check if they are liable to the standard charges. See our guides on paying the charges to ensure you don’t incur a penalty notice. 

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2 Comments

  1. 1. your system do not respond to my car registration checking, Can you help?
    2. I have read this so far, no mentioning of the situation for those who live within the zone, do they have to pay?
    3. I mistakenly entering into the congestion zone a few months ago and left after 1 minute. I did not know I drove into the zone . There was no warning! Just penalty straight away . This is very awful because for the first time driving in London, it is a very bad feeling that one was accused offending a penalty while one was trying very hard to learn the rule around.

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