A new vehicle emissions charge has launched in central London which could see some motorists pay a lot more to drive in the capital.
The ultra low emission zone (Ulez) will be introduced this week in an effort to combat rising pollution on London’s roads.
It will be introduced in two phases. The first, from April 2019 to October 2021, will cover a central area in line with the existing congestion charge.
From 2021, the Ulez will be expanded further afield. See the Ulez maps below.
Where will the charge be active in 2019?
Where will the charge be active in 2021?
What date will the Ulez start and when will it be charged?
Ulez begins its first phase on Monday 8 April 2019 and is a daily charge that runs from midnight to midnight, seven days a week, every day of the year, within the same area as the current congestion charging zone.
What will the Ulez cost?
Transport for London (TfL), which administers the new charge, said the standard daily Ulez charge will be £12.50. A penalty charge for non-payment will be £160 (reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days).
The Ulez is in addition to any congestion charge that applies for journeys within central London.
Which cars are exempt from the Ulez?
Vehicles which meet certain European emissions standards will be exempt from paying the Ulez fee. From its launch, the minimum standards for petrol vehicles will be Euro 4 while the minimum standard for diesel vehicles will be Euro 6.
You can normally find out which Euro standard your car is by Googling the make and model or by contacting the manufacturer.
Petrol: Euro 4
Diesel: Euro 6
The age of a vehicle is not always a sign that it meets these emission standards. TfL said: “The Ulez will be enforced based on the declared emissions of the vehicle rather than the age.”
The authority said petrol cars registered after 2005 are generally at Euro 4 or above, whilst diesel cars registered after September 2015 are generally at Euro 6.
Why is the Ulez being introduced?
The Ulez is being launched in response to air pollution caused by vehicles with lower emission standards.
A King’s College study showed that in 2010 there was the equivalent of up to 5,900 premature deaths across London associated with long term exposure to road pollutants.
London Mayor Sadiq Khan, himself an asthmatic, said the scheme will improve the capital’s air quality, which he says is responsible for thousands of premature deaths and other serious conditions.
But he has faced opposition. Conservatives on the London Assembly claim Khan’s decision to introduce the scheme earlier than planned could catch out some motorists – particularly those from the poorest households – who have not already upgraded their vehicle to a newer model.