The Ultra-Low Emission Zone expansion and what this means for you
21 August 2023
Most vehicles are now required to meet new tighter exhaust emissions standards or pay a charge to travel within the zone. Drivers whose vehicles exceed the ULEZ (Ultra-Low Emission Zone) emission standards must pay between £12.50 to £100, a charge that is enforced by a network of cameras across the city.
What is the Ultra-Low Emission Zone?
The Ultra-Low Emission Zone was devised by the Mayor of London as a means to tackle the capital’s ongoing air pollution problem. It complements the Congestion Charge (CC). Poor air quality is impacting the health of Londoners, and research has shown that road transport is the single biggest contributor of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter emissions in Greater London.
Many vehicles driving in the ULEZ zones already meet the standard requirements, however, 5 million more people are now going to be impacted by the expansion rules.
The Ultra-Low Emission Zone is in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round (except Christmas Day).
Where is the Ultra-Low Emission Zone expanding to?
Earlier, the ULEZ covered Central London and the inner London area bounded by the North and South Circular roads; an area in which over 3.5 million people live. From 29th August 2023, the expansion covered all London boroughs taking the zone up to the inner borders of Buckinghamshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Kent, and Surrey. Areas that were impacted include Edgware, Harrow, Wembley, Greenford, Hayes, Brentford, Southall, Twickenham, Mitcham, Croydon, Bromley, Romford, Hornchurch and more.
Will my vehicle be affected?
Certain low-emitting cars; predominantly electric vehicles, are exempt from paying any fees.
To meet the ULEZ standard, your vehicle must meet the Euro emissions standard for your vehicle and emission type. For newer vehicles, the Euro emissions may be listed in section D.2 of your vehicle log book (V5C).
The ULEZ standards are:
Euro 3 for motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles, and quadricycles (L category)
Euro 4 (NOx) for petrol cars, vans, minibuses, and other specialist vehicles
Euro 6 (NOx and PM) for diesel cars, vans, minibuses, and other specialist vehicles
Lorries, vans, and specialist heavy vehicles (all over 3.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Weight (GVW)) and buses, minibuses, and coaches (all over 5 tonnes GVW) do not need to pay the ULEZ charge. They will need to pay the LEZ charge if they do not meet the LEZ emissions standard.
Most petrol vehicles under 16 years old or diesel vehicles under 6 years old already meet the emissions standards.
The daily charge will be £27.50 for vehicles under 3.5 tonnes such as cars, motorcycles, and vans (£12.50 ULEZ fee and £15 congestion charge).
It will be £100 for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes such as lorries, and for buses/coaches which are over 5 tonnes.
The revenue raised will be used by Transport for London (TfL) to help reduce pollution across the network and lead to a greener transport fleet.
Drivers of smaller vehicles that fail to pay will face a penalty of £160, but this can be reduced by half if paid within 14 days. Likewise, the same discount applies to drivers of lorries, coaches, and buses, but instead, they face fines of up to £1000.
How can I benefit from the new scrappage scheme?
The Mayor of London has introduced a £110 million scrappage scheme and expanded the eligibility to help even more London residents and small businesses. Any London resident living in one of the 32 London boroughs or the City of London with an eligible vehicle can apply to scrap a car or motorcycle, as you no longer need to receive certain benefits to apply.
The scrappage scheme is divided into two areas, based on vehicle type and applicant:
The ULEZ car and motorcycle scrappage scheme is for London residents with cars, motorcycles, and wheelchair accessible vehicles that do not meet the ULEZ emissions standards
The ULEZ van and minibus scrappage scheme is for sole traders, micro-businesses, small businesses or charities with a registered address in London, to scrap or retrofit a van or minibus that does not meet the ULEZ emissions standards. From this scheme, you could benefit from a grant payment of between £6,000 – £11,500.
We can help
With the cost of living at an all-time high, we can help businesses and sole traders with financing and sourcing vans and vehicles at the most competitive prices, to ensure you are compliant and in turn, save money!