The Ultra Low Emission Zone, or ULEZ, is a zone in London where you are charged a fee for driving the most polluting vehicles. The zone was introduced in April 2019 and initially covered all areas within the North and South Circular Roads. The charge is £12.50 per day for cars, vans, motorbikes, and minibuses that do not meet the ULEZ emissions standards. If you want to check and see if your vehicle is ULEZ-compliant, you can do just that on the Transport for London website.
On August 29, 2023, the ULEZ will expand to cover all of Greater London. It is designed to improve the air quality in London significantly. Air pollution is a major health problem in the city, and it is estimated that the ULEZ could prevent up to 4,000 premature deaths each year. So that’s what it is, so how can you avoid the £12.50 per day charge if you live within this new zone? The simplest approach would be to switch to a compliant vehicle.
What cars are ULEZ-Compliant?
ULEZ compliance is based on the Euro emissions standards. Petrol cars must meet Euro 4 emissions standards and most petrol cars registered after January 2006 meet these standards. Petrol cars that meet Euro 5 and Euro 6 standards are exempt from paying charges.
Diesel cars must meet Euro 6 emissions standards to be ULEZ compliant. Most diesel cars registered since September 2015 meet these standards, though some earlier models may also be compliant. All electric cars are compliant, as they produce zero tailpipe emissions. Hybrids and mild hybrids must meet Euro 4 or 6, depending on their fuel type. Even though they do not meet emissions standards, some vehicles are still ULEZ-compliant. These include cars that are more than 40 years old and have a historic tax class, as well as agricultural and military vehicles.
What vans are ULEZ-Compliant?
Van drivers are some of the worst affected by the new ULEZ restrictions and charges. Many van drivers have no choice but to drive into London for work, and the majority of vans are diesel-powered, which means they need to meet the stricter ULEZ standards.
If you are looking for a definitive answer, then most diesel vans post-2016 will be compliant with the Euro 6 standards, meaning they will avoid the charge. Petrol vans only need to meet Euro 4 standards, which have applied to pretty much every vehicle since 2007!
What motorbikes are ULEZ-Compliant?
Motorbikes may be smaller and have fewer wheels, but they will still incur the full £12.50 per day charge if they are not compliant. Motorbikes, mopeds, and quadricycles must all be compliant and must meet Euro 3 emissions standards. If your motorbike was registered after July 2007 then it will most likely be compliant, as Euro 3 became mandatory for these vehicles then.
What cities have an ULEZ?
All across the UK there are low and ultra low emission zones popping up, so it is good to know where they are and what class they fall under:
|Greater London||Under Review|
|Greater Manchester||Under Review|
|Tyneside - Newcastle & Gateshead||Class C|
|Edinburgh (in planning)||In Planning|
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