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 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 is due to start on 8 April 2019 (subject to consultation) 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.
23 October 2017