London’s ULEZ Is Expanding & It Will Affect Millions Of People

You may or may not have heard about the Congestion Charging Zone (CCZ) and London’s ULEZ (Ultra Low Emissions Zone) but unless you ever drove into central London then this will not have affected you.

What you may not be aware of is the planned expansion of the ULEZ which will, in October 2021, leave the constraints of the CCZ and expand massively into Greater London. The below maps will highlight the dramatic increase in area and how it will affect millions more drivers and business owners.

From 25 October 2021 London’s ULEZ boundary will be expanded from central London to create a single larger zone up to the North and South Circular Roads. The North and South Circular Roads are not in the expanded zone. Vehicles using these roads and not going into the ULEZ will not be charged. If you are driving any petrol or diesel vehicle within the expansion you will also need to meet the tighter emissions standards or pay a daily charge.

This daily charge is in addition to the CCZ charge for central London, it is not included.!! More information on this can be found on the Transport For London (TFL) website.

London’s ULEZ Charges

  • Cars, Motorcycles & Vans (upto and including 3.5 tonnes) will be charged £12.50 per day.
  • Heavier vehicles, including Lorries (over 3.5 tonnes) and Buses/Coaches (over 5 tonnes) will be charged £100.00 per day.

Signs at every entry point will tell you when you are entering the zone and advance information signs will be installed on surrounding major roads.

There are no barriers or toll booths. Instead, cameras will read your number plate as you drive within the zone and check it against our database. This will tell TFL automatically whether or not your vehicle meets the ULEZ emissions standards.

ULEZ Location Maps

Current CCZ & ULEZCurrent CCZ & ULEZ Area Map
New ULEZNew ULEZ Map Showing Ongoing CCZ

Who Will Have To Pay London’s ULEZ Charges?

The charges will apply to everyone who enters the zone (with very few exemptions) for personal or business purposes whose vehicle does not meet the minimum standards for free travel within London’s ULEZ. (Excluding the congestion charge zone)

Those 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)

To avoid the ULEZ charge, petrol cars must meet Euro 4 emissions standards at the least. Most petrol cars produced on or after January 2006 will be Euro 4 compliant.

Only Euro 6-compliant diesel cars are exempt from ULEZ charges. Almost every diesel car produced since September 2015 meets the standard.

All electric cars are exempt from ULEZ charges. Hybrid cars with a petrol engine must comply with Euro 4 regulations. Diesel hybrids are only ULEZ-exempt if they meet Euro 6 standards

To see which, if any charges you are liable for when entering the ULEZ or CCZ, you can enter your registration on the TFL website and it will list what you are expected to pay.

ULEZ Exemptions & Discounts

Some drivers and vehicles qualify for at least a temporary discount from the Ultra Low Emission Zone charge (ULEZ). Others are entirely exempt.

These can include but are not limited to residents of the area who have applied for a residential permit in time, disabled rivers or vehicles for disabled people, Taxis, Private Hire Vehicles, Historic Vehicles, Some Agricultural Vehicles, Military Vehicles, Community Minibuses, Non Road Going Vehicles and some types of mobile Cranes. You can find more information on ULEZ exemptions and discounts here.

What Does This Mean When Hiring A Car?

When hiring a car, you the driver or the person named on the rental agreement are responsible for paying all driving related tolls and charges. This includes, parking fines, congestions charges and the new expanded ULEZ.

One thing to bear in mind is that the majority of rental companies have a fleet of vehicles with a maximum ages of 2-3 years. This means that most rental vehicles (excluding large commercial vehicles) should meet the new standards and allow free travel within the ULEZ. However, it is your responsibility to ensure this is the case before you enter any such chargeable zone. Most suppliers will have more information on this but simply asking the question can put your mind at ease.

Our Advice For Driving Into London’s ULEZ

  • Before driving into the Central London Congestion Charge and ULEZ zone, ensure you have checked whether your vehicle is subject to the ULEZ charge.
  • Remember the ULEZ operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (excluding 25th December) and will also operate on days when the Congestion Charge may not be. When the Congestion Charge is in operation, you will be charged for both.
  • If you are going to London on a day-trip, check other alternatives such as train travel and tube travel, which may work out cheaper than ULEZ, Congestion Charge and parking options.
  • Plan your route – if you are crossing London from north to south, east to west or vice versa, you should set your sat-nav to avoid local charge/toll areas.