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London’s ULEZ expands this month – don’t get caught out if you drive for work

2-minute read

London’s ULEZ expands this month – don’t get caught out if you drive for work
Catriona Smith

Catriona Smith

11 October 2021

If you regularly drive in London, make sure you’re aware of the extended ultra low emission zone that’s being expanded from Monday 25 October.

Read on to make sure you don’t get caught out with extra charges if you drive in the city for work.

The ULEZ clean air charges were introduced in London in 2019 to manage air pollution that causes environmental and health risks. It applies all year round, 24 hours a day, seven days a week (apart from Christmas day).

Ultra Low Emissions Zone expansion – what’s changing?

The zone's now expanding beyond central London up to, but not including, the North Circular Road (A406) and South Circular Road (A205).

If you’re driving in that area and your vehicle doesn’t meet specific emissions and safety standards (typically older vehicles) then you have to pay £12.50 a day. You don't have to pay if your car is parked in the zone on days you're not driving.

There’s a penalty charge of £160 if you fail to pay by midnight on the third day following the journey, although this is reduced to £80 if you pay within 14 days.

Which vehicles have to pay the charge?

You can use TFL’s congestion charge tool to check if your vehicle is exempt from the charge. You just need your car registration number to find out.

Typically, vehicles that don’t meet the emissions standards and have to pay the ULEZ charge are:

  • petrol cars and vans that don’t meet Euro 4 standards (typically vehicles registered before 2006)
  • diesel cars and vans that don’t meet Euro 6 standards (typically vehicles registered before 2015)
  • motorbikes that don’t meet Euro 3 standards (sold before July 2007)

If you drive an electric car or van then you’ll be exempt from the charges.

How to pay

You can pay the charge in a number of ways:

  • set up Auto Pay – this gives you the option to register up to five vehicles if your business regularly uses multiple vehicles, and you’ll be charged automatically so you won't have to worry about forgetting to pay the charges
  • TFL app – using the app you can set up to auto-pay, make payments, and view your balance
  • by phone – call 0343 222 2222 to pay the charge over the phone

TFL map showing ULEZ expansion

Clean air zones across the UK

Other cities across the UK are planning on introducing clean air zones in 2022, including Bristol, Manchester and Oxford.

Meanwhile, Bath, Birmingham, and Portsmouth (from late November) already have clean air zones in place. To check if you need to pay for your vehicle or to pay the daily charge for cities outside London, visit the government’s clean air zone page.

Do you have any questions about the ULEZ expansion? Let us know in the comments.

Photograph 1: kichigin19/stock.adobe.com

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