The Ultra-Low Emission Zone began its operations in 2019 as a small sector in Central London. It expanded further in October 2021, the zone now covers all areas within the North and South Circular Roads. Most vehicles need to meet the ULEZ emissions standards or you must pay a £12.50 daily charge to drive inside the zone.
Check If Your Car is ULEZ exempt
You can check if your car is ULEZ exempt by using the ULEZ car check. Drivers of older, more polluting petrol and diesel cars are affected. Drivers of petrol cars with engines that are compliant with Euro 4 emissions regulations, which were introduced in 2006, will escape the ULEZ charge.
ULEZ is an Ultra-Low Emission Zone. That means only drivers with low emission cars can drive through it without an issue. If you drive through ULEZ, you will have to pay £12.50 a day. When you add on the £15 congestion charge, the cost of driving in London can get expensive.
Working Days & Hours
ULEZ rules apply 7 days a week 24 hours a day, the only exception is the 25th December. This is different from the congestion charge fee. If you are driving through the ULEZ zones daily then you will have to pay the fee. If you drive within the zone, you’ll have to pay by midnight on the third day following the journey.
Why was ULEZ introduced?
The ULEZ is designed to encourage people to drive less polluting cars or use other methods of transport, such as walking, cycling or public transport. This was expected to substantially improve the air quality in the area. A report four months after its introduction found that around 13,500 fewer polluting cars were being driven into central London every day, compared with six months earlier. This equated to a decrease of around 36% in levels of roadside nitrogen oxides, which are harmful to respiratory health.
Who Can be Affected by ULEZ Laws?
Drivers who have old cars and those driving more polluting petrol and diesel cars are significantly affected by the ULEZ law. Drivers of petrol cars containing engines adaptable to Euro 4 emissions policies brought in 2006 will be exempted from the ULEZ charge. But drivers of diesel-powered vehicles will only be relieved of the charges if the engine complies with the Euro 6 car emission policies implemented in September 2005.
If your car is a diesel-powered model and built before September 2015, then it’s likely you’ll have to pay the fee. There are also separate regulations for motorcycles and trucks, while classic car drivers can rejoice; vehicles built before 1979 with historical vehicle tax status are entirely exempt.