Good news for you and the planet! If you’re driving an electric vehicle or a ULEZ-compliant petrol, diesel, or hybrid you won’t have to pay the ULEZ charge. The Ultra Low Emission Zone expanded across all London boroughs on 29th August 2023.
Drivers entering the ULEZ in vehicles that don’t comply with emissions standards will have to pay a charge (£12.50 per day for most vehicle types) 24 hours a day, every day of the year, except Christmas Day.
According to Transport for London (TfL), the ULEZ has already helped to reduce harmful nitrogen dioxide pollution by nearly 50% in central London.
What is the ULEZ?
The ULEZ replaced the T-Charge in April 2019 with the aim to improve air quality for everyone’s health. It was expanded in October 2021 and again in August 2023. It’s now the world’s largest low-emission zone.
Anyone driving in the ULEZ in a non-compliant vehicle will have to pay a fee. This applies to cars, motorcycles, vans, and specialist vehicles (up to and including 3.5 tonnes). Money received from the scheme is reinvested into running and improving London’s transport network.
It’s important to remember that the ULEZ fee is applicable to all motorists driving a non-compliant vehicle, whether you’re a resident of London, travelling for work or visiting.
In August this year, the ULEZ expanded across all 32 London boroughs, bringing cleaner air to five million more people.
The move is also expected to reduce carbon emissions in outer London by a further 27,000 tonnes.
View a detailed map of the ULEZ and congestion charge zone from 29th August 2023.
Does the ULEZ include the M25?
The M25 is not part of the ULEZ, even where it passes within the boundary. Those driving on the London orbital road will not incur a charge, however Heathrow airport is now part of the ULEZ, as are the roads bordering it and the entrances into it.
Look out for the green signs, which let you know when you’re entering the zone.
For a full overview of the boundaries, visit TfL.
The ULEZ charge explained
£12.50 for most vehicle types, including cars, motorcycles, vans, and specialist vehicles (up to and including 3.5 tonnes) and minibuses (up to and including 5 tonnes). That means if you drive within the ULEZ five days a week, the total annual fee would be £3,238 (using Christmas Day as an exemption).
Buses, coaches, and minibuses over 5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW) do not need to pay the ULEZ charge.
Trucks, vans or specialist heavy vehicles (all over 3.5 tonnes) and buses, minibuses and coaches (all over 5 tonnes) do not need to pay the ULEZ charge but must pay the London-wide LEZ charge if they do not meet the LEZ emissions standards.
When to pay
You can pay by midnight on the third day following the journey or up to 90 days in advance. If the charge is not paid in time, a penalty charge notice may be issued (£180, reduced to £90 if paid within 14 days).
Set up Auto Pay.
Find out about discounts and exemptions.
How do I know if my vehicle is ULEZ compliant?
According to TfL, 90% of cars and nearly 80% of vans seen driving in outer London already meet the ULEZ standards.
See if your vehicle meets the emission and safety standards with this ULEZ check tool.
Generally, petrol cars first registered as new with the DVLA after 2005 and diesel cars registered after September 2015 will meet the standards. However, it’s based on the emissions and not the age of your car, so always check.
- Euro 3 for motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles, and quadricycles (L category)
- Euro 4 (NOx) for petrol cars, vans, minibuses, and other specialist vehicles
- Euro 6 (NOx and PM) for diesel cars, vans and minibuses and other specialist vehicles.
If you’re a London resident and you have a car that doesn’t meet the ULEZ emission standards, you may be eligible to £2,000 if you decide to scrap the car, or £1,000 for a motorcycle. For wheelchair accessible vehicles, you could receive £10,000 to scrap or £6,000 to retrofit to the ULEZ standards. The total amount invested in the scrappage scheme is £160 million.
Find out more about the scrappage scheme.
A separate scrappage scheme is in place for vans and minibuses. The grant payments have been increased to help even more London-based charities and businesses. Eligible businesses can apply for up to 3 vans or minibuses in total. Successful applicants can now receive:
- £7,000 to scrap a van
- £9,000 to scrap a minibus
- £6,000 to retrofit a van or minibus
- £9,500 to scrap a van and replace with an electric van
- £11,500 to scrap and replace a minibus with an electric minibus.
Find out more on the ULEZ van and minibus scrappage scheme.
Is the ULEZ different to the congestion charge?
Yes, the ULEZ fee is in addition to the congestion charge.
The congestion charge is a £15 daily charge for driving a vehicle within the charging zone between 7am and 6pm Monday-Friday and 12noon and 6pm on weekends and bank holidays. There’s no charge between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.