Important notice: All details are correct at the time of writing but are subject to change. For the latest, up to date information on the LEZ scheme please visit the TfL website
The London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) is an area of Greater London in which driving heavily polluting diesel-powered commercial vehicles attracts a fee.
Vehicles that do not meet certain strict emissions standards are charged, while other vehicles can enter the area without cost.
The London Low Emission zone (LEZ) was set up to encourage owners of the most polluting vehicles to either buy cleaner replacements; to modify their vehicles so they are less polluting; or to use alternative forms of transport.
The impact of polluted air on health
London's poor air quality has a direct impact on its residents' health. Lung disease and asthma are exacerbated by tiny particulates in the air. Much of this pollution comes from road vehicles. In 2007 Transport for London (TfL) estimated that each year there were 1,000 premature deaths and 1,000 hospital emissions because of poor air quality in the capital.
The LEZ scheme began in 2008 with particular emissions standards, which were further tightened in 2012.
LEZ charge zone: What is the LEZ charge zone?
All roads within Greater London, those at Heathrow and parts of the M1 and M4 are included within the LEZ charge zone. However, the M25 is not included (even where it passes within the Greater London Authority boundary).
Distinctive green and white signs mark the boundaries of the LEZ, which covers London's 33 boroughs.
Who has to pay LEZ charge? - Affected vehicles
LEZ charge zone costs are applicable to the following vehicles:
LEZ charging days
The charging day for the LEZ runs from midnight to midnight, so anyone driving a designated vehicle from, for example, 11pm to 1am will need to pay for two days.
How is the LEZ enforced?
The LEZ is enforced using the same automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) technology used for the London Congestion Charge. Hundreds of ANPR CCTV cameras are located across London. The data they collect is accessed by the DVLA, which compares number-plates to its vehicle database. It can therefore immediately detect any liable vehicle that has not paid the LEZ fee. This enables TfL to pursue unpaid LEZ fees.
Parked LEZ vehicles
Any LEZ-liable vehicle parked in the LEZ but not driven will not attract a fee.
- Cars and motorcycles
- Certain vehicles primarily designed for off-road use, such as construction machinery, agricultural vehicles and mowers.
- Ministry of Defence vehicles
- "Historic vehicles built before 1 January 1973"
LEZ charge zone cost: How much is the LEZ charge?
LEZ charges are dependant on the vehicle that is being driven.
LEZ charges for vehicles are based on the category type and weight of the vehicle and are payable as follows:
- £100 for vans or specialist diesel vehicles (over 1.205 tonnes unladen weight up to 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight) or minibuses (up to 5 tonnes) which do not meet Euro 3 standards.
- £100 for HGVs, lorries, vans and specialist heavy vehicles over 3.5 tonnes as well as buses/minibuses and coaches over 5 tonnes which do not meet Euro VI (NOx and PM) standards, but meet Euro IV (PM)
- £300 for HGVs, lorries, vans and specialist heavy vehicles over 3.5 tonnes as well as buses/minibuses and coaches over 5 tonnes which do not meet Euro IV (PM)
Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) for non-payment of LEZ charges
The penalty payment (Penalty Charge Notice) for failing to pay the LEZ charges will be either £500, £1000 or £2000, depending on the vehicle's weight/type.
There is a 50% reduction if the fee is paid within 14 days of issue.
The LEZ should not be confused with the London Congestion Charge.
The Congestion Charge must be paid for most motor vehicles driven in the London Congestion Charge Zone between 7am and 6pm on weekdays and 12pm to 6pm at weekends, except Christmas Day (25 December) and the period after that, up to and including New Year's Day Bank Holiday.
At the same time, residents' discounts, which see those living within the London Low Emission Zone pay just 10 per cent of the charge, are being reinstated after previously being scrapped.
Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)
The ULEZ charge applies to vehicles that do not meet certain emissions standards, including relevant cars, vans and motorcycles.
There are plans in 2023 to expand the ULEZ zone further to the edges of London's boroughs