The Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is expanding. This means that you could soon be charged to drive in Greater London when you weren’t before. We’ve put together this helpful guide to help you figure out how this expansion will affect you.
What is the ULEZ?
The ULEZ is a designated area of London implemented to discourage more heavily polluting vehicles from entering London with the aim of improving the air quality in the capital. Driving a more polluting vehicle that does not meet ultra-low emissions standards into the zone will require a fee to be paid. Currently this fee is set at £12.50 per day. When it was first implemented, the ULEZ only covered a small portion of central London. In 2021 it expanded by 1700% to – and including – both the North Circular and South Circular roads. The charge is active 24 hours a day, every day of the year except for Christmas Day.
How is it changing?
The ULEZ is expanding again. From Tuesday 29th August 2023, the zone will cover the entirety of Greater London. With the exception of some roads that only briefly pass through the county. Everyone driving into any of the 32 boroughs of the capital and the City of London will need to pay the ULEZ charge if their vehicle doesn’t meet standards. There are also new schemes to help Londoners with this expansion. Discounts and exemptions are available to those with disabilities, Taxis, and community transport organisers. There is also a new scrappage scheme that will offer eligible Londoners a payment to scrap their high polluting vehicles.
How will this affect you?
This change will affect everyone who drives a vehicle that does not meet ultra-low emissions standards in any part of London. The standards your vehicle will need to meet are Euro 4 (NOx) for petrol cars, Euro 6 (NOx and PM) for diesel cars, and Euro 3 for motorbikes. Petrol and diesel vans, minibuses, and specialist vehicles will also need to meet these standards to be exempt. TFL have prepared a tool you can use to check your vehicle and see if you need to pay the charge. When you drive a non-exempt vehicle into the ULEZ zone you have until midnight on the third day after your journey to pay or you may receive a penalty charge. You can pay online or register to have it automatically paid if you make frequent trips. You will need to pay £12.50 every day that you drive inside the zone. This applies even if you live there.
If you’re looking to start learning to drive, don’t let these changes overwhelm you. You can check quickly and easily if your vehicle or a vehicle you are looking to purchase is ULEZ appropriate, so you won’t have to pay extra while learning. At Lanes School of Driving, we’ve been offering driving lessons for over a century now. We have a professional and friendly team who can get you on the road and give you all the advice you need to navigate these new changes. To book your lessons, call us on 020 8166 5678 or email .