Drivers of older vehicles in particular are increasingly likely to face extra charges for driving in the capital.
- There’s been a Low Emission Zone covering most of Greater London affecting mainly commercial vehicles since 2008.
- An emissions surcharge (also known as the toxicity charge or the‘T-Charge') applies from 23 October 2017, on top of the existing Congestion Charge, for petrol and diesel vehicles that don't meet the Euro 4 emissions standard (most cars first registered before 1 January 2006).
- An Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will replace the T-Charge from 8 April 2019 and will affect all vehicles types apart from black taxis.
Low Emission Zone
- Runs 24/7 and the daily charge is £100 to £200.
- Number-plate recognition tracks entry.
- It began in 2008 for large, commercially operated diesel vehicles like buses, lorries and coaches.
- Extended in 2012 to cover vans, minibuses, horseboxes, motor-caravans, utility vehicles, pick-ups and more.
- HGVs, buses and coaches registered before October 2006 must be modified or pay the charge.
- Vans, minibuses, horseboxes, motor caravans, utility vehicles and pick-ups registered before October 2002 may have to be modified or pay the charge.
Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)
The ULEZ will start on Monday 8 April 2019 and will cover the same central London area as the Congestion Charge. It will affect lots more vehicles than the LEZ, including all cars and motorcycles.
- Runs 24/7 and the daily charge will be £12.50 per car, moped or motorbike
- This charge is on top of the LEZ and the Congestion Charge but it will replace the T-Charge.
- HGVs, buses and coaches must meet the ‘Euro VI’ standard (effective from 2014) or pay a £100 daily charge
This means that by 2019, the oldest car you can drive in the ULEZ without paying would be a 4 or 5-year-old diesel or a 13 or 14-year-old petrol.
April 2017 - date confirmed for ULEZ start
Subject to further consultation, the Mayor announced new or updated proposals:
- The ULEZ will start operating, and replace the T-charge, from Monday 8 April 2019.
- The ULEZ will initially cover the same area as the Congestion Charge.
- For heavy diesel vehicles (buses, coaches, lorries) the ULEZ will be extended to cover the whole of Greater London in 2020.
- For cars, vans, minibuses and motorcycles, the ULEZ will be extended to the North and South Circulars in 2021.
July 2016 - ULEZ to be bigger and earlier
Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan wants to extend the ULEZ and start it sooner.
In July 2016 a package of measures intended to tackle air pollution in London was proposed:
- Start the ULEZ a year earlier, in 2019.
- Extend the ULEZ to the North Circular Road and the South Circular Road in 2020 for motorcycles, cars and vans, and london-wide for lorries, buses and coaches
- Add a £10 environmental surcharge (T-charge) to the Congestion Charge from 2017 for the most polluting (older than 2005) vehicles.
- The start date for the T-charge was subsequently confirmed as 23 October 2017.
25 February 2019