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Charges for older vehicles to help improve air quality in London

By 2020, you could face extra charges for driving in the capital. There’s been a Low Emission Zone affecting mainly commercial vehicles since 2008, an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will affect all cars and motorbikes from 2020 and the Mayor has proposed an environmental surcharge on top of the existing Congestion Charge from 2017.

London low emision zone

Low Emission Zone

  • It 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.

Is your vehicle affected by the LEZ?

Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)

The ULEZ is due to start in September 2020 and cover the same central London area as the Congestion Charge. It will affect lots more vehicles than the LEZ, including all cars and motorcycles.

  • It 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
  • Exemptions: petrol cars, vans and minibuses that meet the Euro 4 standard, diesels that meet the Euro 6 standard, and motorbikes/mopeds that meet the Euro 3 standard
  • HGVs, buses and coaches must meet the ‘Euro VI’ standard (effective from 2014) or pay a £100 daily charge

This means that by 2020, the oldest car you can drive in the ULEZ without paying would be a 5-year-old diesel or a 14-year-old petrol.

More about the ULEZ.

Latest news

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.
  • Add a £10 environmental surcharge to the Congestion Charge from 2017 for the most polluting (older than 2005) vehicles.



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