Ultra Low Emission Zone: A Guide To London's New Pollution Charge

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has come into force in Central London today, 8th April 2019. If you're unsure about what it all means and how you will be affected, simply read the below guide.

Over 25,000 drivers a day are likely to be affected by the new rule, which has been introduced to reduce the amount of higher polluting vehicles travelling into and out of central London. Around 100,000 vehicles a day enter the congestion charge zone and drivers whose cars fail to comply with modern emissions standards will have to pay a daily fee of £12.50 to enter the zone, in addition to the congestion charge.

Unlike the current 7am-6pm weekday congestion charge, the ULEZ will run for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so evening and weekend drivers will now be at risk of falling foul of the new rules without realising it and could receive a £160 fine if they fail to pay.

Will all drivers have to pay the ULEZ?

It only applies to older petrol and diesel vehicles driving in the central London congestion charge zone. You will be able to check whether your own car is affected, but the general rule is that petrol cars over 14 years old and diesel cars over four years old by 8th April will have to pay the charge.

How can I find out if my vehicle is liable for the ULEZ charge?

The quickest and easiest way to check is by entering your vehicle registration number into the TfL website. Most electric vehicles (EVs) and hybrids won’t be affected.

What will happen if I don’t pay?

Drivers who fail to pay will be sent a £160 fine, which is reduced to £80 if paid within a fortnight, similar to the way payment for a parking ticket works.

If someone lives in the congestion charge zone, are they eligible for a residents’ discount?

Yes they are, but only for a fixed period. Drivers who are registered for the residents’ congestion charge discount will get a 100% ULEZ discount until the 24th October 2021, to give them more time to change their vehicle in order to then meet the ULEZ standards

To find out more about London's Ultra Low Emission Zone, click here.

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