ULEZ is expanding: what are the changes?
From October 25, 2021, the London Ultra Low Emission Zone, or ULEZ, is expanding wider to reduce CO2 emissions polluting the roadside and into the atmosphere. We explain what the ULEZ is and how the changes might affect you.
To travel in the ULEZ, your vehicle will need to meet a tighter exhaust emission standard. Failure to do so will see you incur a daily charge if you want to travel inside the ULEZ. In some ways, it’s very similar to how the London congestion charge operates.
The introduction of an Ultra Low Emission Zone is intended to help improve the air quality in central London. Currently, air pollution is one of the biggest challenges the city is facing and, as road transport is one of the biggest source of health-damaging emissions in London, the government decided to tighten its rules regarding the vehicles on its roads.
The ULEZ started on 8th April, 2019, and will be expanding on 25th October, 2021, to include other areas which are: Barnet, Brent, Camden, City of Westminster, Ealing, Hammersmith, Fulham, Kensington, Chelsea, Greenwich, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Hackney, Redbridge, Waltham Forest, Enfield, Haringey, Islington, Hounslow, Richmond, Wandsworth, Lambeth, Lewisham, Southwark.
The zone will be larger and will reach (but not including) the North Circular Road (A406) and the South Circular Road (A205) and only electric vehicles and those that meet the emissions standard will be exempt from paying a daily charge within the ULEZ.
"The ULEZ has already delivered significant improvements - helping to reduce the levels of some harmful pollutants by almost half and improving the air breathed by millions of Londoners. But air pollution is not just a central London problem. It affects the whole of our city, with many areas exceeding legal pollution limits."
SADIQ KHAN, MAYOR OF LONDON
How do I know if my vehicle meets the emissions standard?
Four out of five cars already meet the emissions standard, but owners of petrol vehicles build before 2006 and diesel vehicles built before 2015 will be required to pay a daily charge when driving within the zone. You can quickly check if your vehicle meets the emissions standard required by visiting here
The current emissions standards are:
- Euro 3 (NOx) for motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles and quadricycles.
- Euro 4 (NOx) for petrol cars, vans and other specialist vehicles up to and including 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight, and minibuses up to and including 5 tonnes.
- Euro 6 (NOx and PM) for diesel cars, vans and other specialist vehicles up to and including 3.5 tonnes, and minibuses up to and including 5 tonnes.
What are the charges?
All cars, motorcycles, vans and other specialist vehicles up to and including 3.5 tonnes, plus minibuses up to 5 tonnes will need to meet emission standards or they will be required to pay a daily charge of £12.50 when driving within the zone. The ULEZ daily charge is in operation 24 hours of every day except Christmas Day. There are over 700 cameras in operation to record which vehicles are entering the ULEZ.
How will ULEZ affect larger vehicles?
All vehicles entering the ULEZ will need to meet emissions standards or pay the daily charge of £12.50, and that includes larger vehicles such as HGVs, coaches and vehicles weighing over 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight, plus buses, minibuses and coaches weighing over 5 tonnes. You can quickly check your vehicle by visiting here
How will I know when I enter the ULEZ?
There will be a signpost at each entry point explaining that you are entering the ULEZ. There will also be further signs located on surrounding major roads offering advance information.
There will be no toll booths or barriers because your vehicle’s number plate will be instantly read by one of 700 cameras located around the zone. Your vehicle will then be automatically recognised and checked to see if it meets the emissions standards.
Are the ULEZ signposts easy to recognise?
Yes, the signposts that are located around the ULEZ are easily recognised and you can see them here
Where exactly will the ULEZ expansion reach?
To find out if you're affected by the new areas of the ULEZ, you can find out by entering your postcode here
How do I pay the ULEZ daily charge?
It is easy to pay and there are a few ways to pay automatically. If you sign-up to Auto Pay you will be billed automatically for the number of days that you travel within the ULEZ.
You can also register to pay automatically with the official Transport for London Pay to Drive app, that is available as a free download from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store There is also a £10 annual administration charge when you register a vehicle.
What happens if I don't pay the daily charge?
If your vehicle doesn’t meet ULEZ standards and you fail to pay the daily charge, the registered keeper of the vehicle will be issued a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN). A ULEZ PCN for cars, motorcycles, vans and minibuses is £160 (this can be reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days).
For buses, coaches, lorries and other specialist vehicles over 3.5 tonnes is £1,000 (reduced to £500 if paid within 14 days).
HGVs, vans and other specialist vehicles over 3.5 tonnes GVW, plus buses, minibuses and coaches over 5 tonnes GVW that don’t meet the Euro VI emissions standards will have to pay the appropriate LEZ charge. An additional ULEZ charge will not be required as the Euro VI standard is a London-wide LEZ emissions requirement.
What about other transport options?
Many Londoners and those travelling through the ULEZ are now using public transport, cycling or walking. It’s not about making a profit – it’s about reducing the amount of CO2 entering the atmosphere from vehicles that don’t meet the emissions standards.
Can I apply for a discount?
While there are strict rules in place, it may still be possible to receive either exemption or a discount. Find out more details here
Where will the money go from the ULEZ charges?
All the money collected from daily ULEZ charges will go straight back into improving London’s infrastructure such as cycleways, buses and the Tube. Plus, by reducing the amount of CO2 being pumped out by vehicles, the air quality will improve too.