The ULEZ initially covered the Congestion Charge zone in central London, from the eastern edge of Hyde Park out to around Aldgate.
But as UK Today News reports, from October 25, 2021, this will expand to cover all parts of London within the North and South Circular roads.
And unlike the Congestion Charge, the ULEZ operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 364 days a year – excluding Christmas Day on December 25.
Older vehicles, including motorbikes, that don’t meet the tighter emissions standards have to pay £12.50 every day they are used within the ULEZ.
As a rule of thumb, the vehicles affected include pre-2015 diesels and pre-2006 petrol cars – but you can check if yours falls foul; on the ULEZ website: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/ultra-low-emission-zone
But those are just a rough guide and the charges will be enforced based on emissions rather than the car’s age.
To drive in the ULEZ, petrol cars must meet the Euro 4 standard on emissions, and diesels, as well as larger vehicles, must meet Euro 6.
Transport for London’s “integrated impact assessment” claims about 565,000 cars registered in the capital will be liable if driven.
It is estimated that an additional 100,000 cars, 3,000 lorries and 35,000 vans will be affected by the expanded zone every day.
The daily charge runs from midnight to midnight, 7 days a week, every day of the year bar Christmas Day.
Failure to pay will result in a fine of £160 for cars, vans and motorbikes which will be reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days.
Lorries, coaches and larger vans will be charged £100 a day, with a £1,000 fine for failing to pay on time, reduced to £500 if paid within 14 days.
These are in addition to any Congestion Charge that applies.
TfL is in the process of erecting hundreds of signs warning motorists they will be entering the ULEZ where congestion charge zone signs are currently located.
There are currently about 1,000 congestion charge cameras, but there will be 18 times that number for the ULEZ.
Cameras will read number plates and check if the vehicle meets the ULEZ standards.
By charging £12.50 a day, cash-strapped TfL will raise between £700million and £1.5billion. The congestion charge only brings in £230million a year.
The best way to be sure you comply with the low emissions standard is to check online.
You can do this by inputting your vehicle’s number plate into the TfL website: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/check-your-vehicle/
Some drivers and vehicles qualify for at least a temporary discount from the ULEZ charge. Others are entirely exempt.
London-licensed taxis are exempt from ULEZ charges. They are currently subject to a 15-year age limit - we are currently reviewing proposals to reduce this to 12 years.
All newly licensed taxis must be zero emission capable (ZEC) vehicles.
Designated wheelchair-accessible PHVs used to carry out a private hire booking will be granted a grace period until 26 October 2025, during which they will be exempt from the ULEZ daily charge.
These vehicles will only be exempt when carrying out a private hire booking for a TfL-licensed PHV operator. At all other times PHV owners will have to pay the charge if their designated wheelchair-accessible PHV does not meet the emissions standards and is not in the disabled or disabled passenger vehicle tax class.
See a list of designated wheelchair-accessible PHVs licensed by TfL here: https://tfl.gov.uk/info-for/taxis-and-private-hire/passengers-and-accessibility
If you feel that your vehicle should be on the list please email email@example.com
PHVs that do not meet the emissions standards and are not wheelchair-accessible must pay the full ULEZ charge to drive within the zone.
Many not-for-profit organisations that operate minibuses used for community transport can register for a temporary 100% discount of the ULEZ charge until 29 October 2023.
Keepers of vehicles registered with a 'disabled' or 'disabled passenger vehicles' tax class will benefit from a grace period after the ULEZ starts. They'll be exempt from the ULEZ charge until 26 October 2025 as long as their vehicle doesn't change tax class.