If you’re here, we’re guessing you’ve heard of the Congestion Charge zone, Ultra Low Emission Zone (or ULEZ for short).
We’re also guessing you’re wondering if it affects you.
We have written a series of articles about various aspects of ULEZ to help you to understand what it is, where it is and what it means.
We really hope that you come away feeling equipped with relevant knowledge and understanding of the ULEZ.
Congestion Charge Zone /ULEZ – a quick overview.
The Congestion Charge Zone or Ultra Low Emission Zone was implemented in the first quarter of 2019 with expansion plans put in place for 25th October 2021.
The ULEZ was conceived in response to growing pressure to provide a greener climate and avoid illegal levels of pollution. Long story short, respiratory related deaths caused by air pollution were on the rise (and we’re talking a sharp rise). Something radical needed to be done to prevent this dangerous pollution.
The ULEZ targets the worst offenders for this dangerous pollution, namely vehicle owners.
The ULEZ introduces a daily charge to drive within its borders if your vehicle doesn’t conform to its very tight restriction standards.
Whilst there are plenty who would dissent against the ULEZ, it’s not going away anytime soon. Those refusing to pay are liable to huge penalty charges.
Congestion Charge Zone/ULEZ Zone – Where is it?
At the time of writing, the Congestion Charge Zone/ ULEZ covers roads within central London (see map here).
The ULEZ covers the same ground as London’s current Congestion Charge zone (although it doesn’t replace the Congestion Charge).
There are radical proposals and firm plans set to expand the ULEZ significantly by 2021.
In October 2021, the ULEZ will expand its borders up to London’s North Circular road and down to London’s South Circular road. The ULEZ will not apply to those driving on the circular roads but, the roads serve as helpful border lines.
There’s no denying that this is the world’s most radical attempt to address air pollution caused by drivers to date.
Congestion Charge Zone/ ULEZ – how does it affect me?
As we’ve mentioned elsewhere on the site, the easiest way to check if the ULEZ charges apply to you is to use the ULEZ Checker. Simply enter your registration details and get instant results.
If your car doesn’t meet the ULEZ’s strict emission standards, you will be expected to pay £12.50 every day that you drive within the ULEZ.
In addition to the £12.50, if you miss a payment you may be liable to pay a minimum penalty charge of £160 (less if you pay early).
The good news is that paying the ULEZ charge is easy. There are a number of options for payment (including many automatic options) so that you can go about your daily life confident you’re paying the charge.
It’s worth noting, it may be cheaper in the long term to buy a newer vehicle that isn’t liable to these charges. This is especially true if you take advantage of the ULEZ scrappage scheme where you can receive 1000s in exchange for non-compliant vehicles.
Whatever your perspective on the Congestion Charge Zone/ ULEZ, whether for or against the charges, it is here to stay. We strongly recommend motorists read up on all the relevant information to make sure they are fully compliant with ULEZ standards.