THE Capital’s Ultra Low Emission Zone now includes all roads within the North Circular and South Circular Roads.
That means motorists driving into London in cars that are too old for the clean air rules could face a £12.50 fee to enter the Ultra Low Emission Zone or face a hefty fine will.
What is the ULEZ?
The ULEZ is an area of London where only modern, efficient cars are allowed to enter.
Drivers of older vehicles must pay a fee of £12.50 or find an alternative route to get into the capital.
It includes passenger cars, motorcycles, vans as well as special vehicles and minibuses up to a certain weight.
London has high levels of air pollution, with thousands of people in the city breathing in potentially deadly toxins.
It was introduced to reduce pollution and protect public health.
The fundraising programs set out in the Mayor’s Air Quality Strategy.
According to Transport for London’s website, the charge has reduced the number of older, polluting vehicles on the road and contributed to a 44 per cent reduction in roadside nitrogen dioxide within the zone’s boundaries.
Who has to pay the ULEZ fee?
The ULEZ charge targets old firecrackers, which are likely to be more harmful to the environment than newer vehicles.
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Accordingly, fees only apply to those driving non-compliant, older cars.
Newer cars meet ULEZ standards and are allowed to enter the zone for free.
The rules are slightly different for petrol cars, diesel cars and motorcycles.
If you forget or fail to pay the ULEZ fee, you could be fined £160.
However, this is reduced to £80 if paid within a fortnight.
What are the ULEZ standards?
Euro standards are a set of emission controls that set limit values for polluting nitrogen oxides and particulate matter from engines.
Gasoline cars, along with vans, minibuses and other special vehicles, must meet the Euro 4 emission standards that were introduced in 2006 for ordinary cars.
In general, this means that petrol cars registered after 2005 can enter the ULEZ zone free of charge.
Diesel cars must meet the stricter Euro 6 standards that were introduced later.
This means that most diesel cars first registered in 2015 can drive in the ULEZ without the £12.50 fee.
Gasoline or diesel vehicles first registered before these dates may not be compliant and could be in breach of the regulations.
Motorcycles must meet the Euro 3 emission standards, which became mandatory in 2007.
Previously registered mopeds, scooters and motorcycles may not be compliant.
Even if you’re sure your vehicle is compliant and registered to these dates, it’s probably worth checking ULEZ compliance on the TfL website to be sure.
Do I have to pay the ULEZ fee in my brand new car?
Most motorists who drive newly built cars can enter the ULEZ area for free.
There are some exceptions, including special vehicles and some cars individually imported from abroad.
Most regular passenger cars recently manufactured by established brands can enter the ULEZ for free.
Some vehicles that are fifteen years old are also compliant.
Drivers should check the TfL website if in doubt.
My car is old – do I have to pay the ULEZ fee?
If you drive an older car or motorbike – a pre-2015 diesel, pre-2006 petrol or pre-2007 motorbike – you may have to pay the charge and should check before you travel to London.
If your vehicle is more than 40 years old, you can apply for inclusion in the historic vehicle tax bracket.
This status means you no longer have to pay road tax or ULEZ when driving in London.
All vehicles built before January 1, 1973 are exempt from the ULEZ fee.
Cars that meet these criteria but are registered outside the UK can benefit from the same rules but must be registered before they can be used in the zone.
I have an electric car. Do I have to pay the ULEZ?
Electric cars are exempt from the ULEZ fee.
All fully electric cars are exempt from the fee, including all major electric vehicles regardless of age, as well as any vehicle that has been properly converted and registered as a battery car.
Motorists are encouraged to use electric vehicles instead of petrol or diesel models, especially if they frequently drive in urban areas.
Are hybrid cars exempt from the ULEZ fee?
One might expect the same rules to apply to hybrid cars as to electric vehicles, but this is not the case.
Gasoline-electric hybrid cars are subject to the same rules as regular gasoline cars and must be Euro 4 compliant, while diesel-electric hybrid cars must be Euro 6 compliant.
The majority of hybrids are exempt from the fee, although drivers of some older models, such as the original Toyota Prius, will have to pay.
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What other exceptions to ULEZ are there?
Some residents and owners of disabled tax brackets may apply for reductions and temporary grace periods.
Blue Badge holders must continue to pay the fee if their vehicle does not meet ULEZ emission standards.
Taxis under the age of 15 registered in London are exempt from the charge.
Wheelchair accessible minicabs have a grace period until October 26, 2025 when used to host a private rental booking.
Some specialized agricultural vehicles including tractors, mobile cranes, tanks and excavators may also be exempt, as may some showman vehicles.
Van drivers for a charity or school – excluding private schools – can register for a limited grace period until October 29, 2023.
https://www.thesun.ie/motors/7740193/ulez-checker-ultra-low-emission-zone-london/ Which cars are exempt from the London Ultra Low Emission Zone and is my car compliant?