If you’ve been living in a cave recently then you may not know about the very recent expansion of London’s ULEZ. For people who live or regularly drive into the zone, it’s going to impact the type of car you drive. And for anyone living in other large cities across the UK, you may want to get informed for when a similar scheme comes to your area.
We’re always being asked questions about ULEZ. So we’ve created this FAQ as a handy reference that we can add to as we find out more. Meaning you have a reliable source of information to follow and keep on top of the latest developments.
What is ULEZ?
ULEZ stands for Ultra Low Emissions Zone, and it is a zone that previously covered central London. The idea is to reduce the number of vehicles that produce high amounts of exhaust emissions from entering the capital, by charging £12.50 per day to do so. As of 29th August, 2023 the zone has been expanded to virtually the entirety of greater London, which is basically everything with the M25.
How do I know if my car is ULEZ compliant?
Generally speaking if your car is petrol powered and meets Euro 4 emissions standards then it is compliant. If your car is diesel-powered then it will need to meet Euro 6 emissions standards. The best way to tell though is to use the ULEZ checker on the Transport for London website. We also have a list of great ULEZ-compliant cars under £10,000.
How much is ULEZ?
As of 2023, it costs £12.50 per day for any car that enters or stays within the ULEZ zone. This cost is almost certain to rise in the future.
How do you pay for ULEZ?
The charge must be paid by midnight on the next working day after you enter the zone or you face a fixed penalty notice. You can pay the ULEZ charge online via the TFL website. If you frequently travel within the ULEZ zone then you can set up an autopay account. This is essentially an account that you top up regularly and the ULEZ charge for each day is taken from it.
What happens if you don’t pay the ULEZ charge?
If you don’t pay the ULEZ charge on time the registered keeper of the vehicle will receive a £180 fixed penalty. Failure to pay this could result in court proceedings against the registered keeper.
Does the ULEZ charge replace the congestion charge?
No. The ULEZ charge is on top of the congestions charge. In other words you have to pay both the congestion charge and ULEZ charge if your vehicle is non-ULEZ-compliant and you enter the congestion charge zone.
I live in London. Do I have to pay ULEZ?
Yes, everyone has to pay ULEZ. There are no allowances made for residents. This means you have to pay the charge every day if your car is non-compliant.
Do you have to pay ULEZ on weekends?
The ULEZ charge is payable every day of the year with the exception of Christmas Day.
Do I have to pay each time I enter the ULEZ?
The ULEZ charge is a daily charge. So once you have paid you can enter the ULEZ as many times as you like within 24 hours without having to pay again.
What if I only visit the ULEZ for a short period of time?
It doesn’t matter if you spend one minute or 23 hours in the ULEZ. You will have to pay the daily charge if your car is not compliant with the emissions standards.
Do disability vehicles need to pay the ULEZ charge?
If you own a disability vehicle and it is not ULEZ-compliant then you do not have to pay the ULEZ charge until 24th October 2027. This grace period is designed to give you time to replace your vehicle with one that is compliant. In order to receive this grace period your car has to be registered with the DVLA as having a ‘disabled’ or ‘disabled passenger’ tax class. If the tax class changes then the vehicle will have to pay the ULEZ charge.
Do taxi drivers have to pay ULEZ?
London-licensed taxis are exempt from ULEZ charges.
Can I get financial help buying a car that is ULEZ-compliant?
The ULEZ Scrappage Scheme was designed to help those on low income and other exceptional circumstances to replace their vehicles.
I’ve received a ULEZ penalty. Can I appeal?
If you believe you have been incorrectly charged for the ULEZ and have received a fine then you can appeal it. Visit the TFL website to find out more about the appeals process.
How we reviewed this article:
Our experts continually monitor motor industry news & research, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.
- 3rd October 2023
Current Article - By Gary McKrill
- 7th October 2023
Checked & Reviewed - By Sjoerd Bakker
- 6th September 2023
Copy Edited - By Gary McKrill
- 2nd January 2024
Reviewed - By Gary McKrill
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