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Transport for London (TfL) impose a charge per weekday on most vehicles
Transport for London (TfL) impose a charge per weekday on most vehicles, being used in Central London.
You pay for the charge for the day and can drive within the charging zone as often as you want within the day.
If your journey takes you into the charging zone you can either pay in advance, pay before midnight that day, or, for a small surcharge, pay before midnight the following charging day.
A network of cameras reads vehicle numberplates as you enter, drive around and leave the zone.
Once the car number plate has been matched against the database of those who have paid the charge or who do not have to pay as their vehicle is exempt or registered for a 100% discount, the photographic images of the vehicle are automatically wiped off the database.
Any vehicle recorded as having been in the zone during charging hours but where no daily charge has been paid by midnight the following charging day must pay a penalty charge.
Zone entry sign
Scheme started: 17 February 2003
Zone operates: 7am to 6:00pm weekdays excluding bank and public holidays
Pay by phone: 0845 900 1234
Pay online: www.cclondon.com
Area covered: map on TfL website
The daily charge is £10 if you pay in advance or on the day, but increases to £12 if payment is made by midnight on the following charging day.
You can reduce the daily charge to £9 by registering with Congestion Charging Auto Pay - up to five vehicles can be registered.
Fleets with six or more vehicles can save by applying for Congestion Charging Fleet Auto Pay.
Following a three month consultation which closed on 8 February, the Mayor of London has confirmed the following changes to the Congestion Charge scheme.
Ultra Low Emission Discount
A new Ultra Low Emission Discount (ULED) will replace the existing Greener Vehicle and Electric Vehicle discounts.
The ULED will be introduced on 1 July 2013 and will provide a single 100 per cent discount for electric vehicles and ultra low emission cars and vans. Qualifying vehicles will have to be pure electric vehicles, or cars/vans emitting 75g/km or less of CO2 and meeting the Euro 5 emission standard.
Vehicles registered for the Electric Vehicle Discount will be automatically transferred to the new ULED on 1 July 2013.
Vehicles currently registered for the Greener Vehicle Discount will not meet the criteria for the new ULED but will continue to receive a full discount for a ‘sunset period’ of three years, ending on 24 June 2016.
The penalty charge will increase from £120 to £130 on 20 May 2013, bringing it in line with other moving traffic, bus lane and parking penalty charges within London.
The option to pay the Congestion Charge in shops will be withdrawn from 26 July 2013.
23 April 2013
Note: you can pay on the following charging day by telephone and online only
advance information sign
Those responsible for cars, vans and lorries using the zone.
There are some exemptions and discounts for example, disabled people who have a blue badge and motorcycles.
Some of those eligible for discounts and exemptions must pre-register even though they pay nothing.
Cars that emit 100g/km or less CO2 and that meet the Euro 5 exhaust emissions standard can be registered for the Greener Vehicle Discount allowing a 100% discount on the congestion charge.
Discount criteria will be reviewed in 2012 when it is posible that the discount threshold of 100g/km CO2 may be reduced to 80g/km or lower.
Vehicles currently registered under the Alternative Fuel Discount scheme will continue to qualify for discount until December 2012 but new registrations under the Alternative Fuel Discount scheme were closed on 24 December 2010.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) will qualify alongside pure electric vehicles for the electric vehicle 100% discount.
Vehicles must be registered and an annual fee is payable.
If you've driven into the Congestion Charging zone there's no way to find out if your vehicle's number plate was recorded or not, other than wait to see if you get a letter/fine through the post.
If you don't pay the Congestion Charge within the time limit (before midnight the following charging day) you will receive a penalty charge notice of £120, reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days.
Congestion charging penalties are civil matters and are in effect debts. If you consider yourself not guilty or a mistake has been made:
(24 April 2013)