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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.
TfL is consulting (6 January to 14 March 2014) on proposed changes to the congestion charge scheme.
Proposed changes include:
There are more than 220,000 registered CC Auto Pay accounts - a payment system which automatically records the number of days a vehicle travels within the charging zone each month and bills the account holder’s payment card.
For more details on the consultation or to have your say, visit the TfL website
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: 0343 222 2222
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 2013, the Mayor of London confirmed the following changes to the Congestion Charge scheme.
Ultra Low Emission Discount
A new Ultra Low Emission Discount (ULED) replaces the Greener Vehicle and Electric Vehicle discounts.
The ULED was introduced on 1 July 2013 and provides 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 were automatically transferred to the new ULED on 1 July 2013.
Vehicles previously 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 increased 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 was withdrawn on 26 July 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 75g/km or less CO2 and that meet the Euro 5 exhaust emissions standard will qualify for the 100 per cent Ultra Low Emission Discount (ULED) introduced on 1 July 2013.
Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV) will qualify alongside pure electric vehicles for the Ultra Low Emission 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 £130, reduced to £65 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:
(5 January 2014)