The ULEZ – Ultra Low Emission Zone - came into force in central London on April 8 2019. The charge is levied on vehicles that do not meet the latest emissions standard, Euro 6.
The fee targets diesel vehicles in particular, alongside many older petrol cars and vans.
ULEZ was planned by Boris Johnson when he was mayor, and implemented by his successor Sadiq Khan, with the aim of improving London's air quality. By July of 2019, a 20% reduction in emissions was recorded following the introduction of the ULEZ.
Any ULEZ-liable vehicle driving in the zone must pay £12.50 per day - that's on top of the daily £11.50 Congestion Charge.
Most diesel cars registered before September 2015 and most vans registered before September 2016 are affected. Most cars with petrol engines registered before 2001 are liable, together with some vehicles registered between 2001 and 2005. The ULEZ must also be paid by lorries and buses registered before 2014.
- Vehicles that meet Euro 6 - introduced in September 2015 for cars and September 2016 for vans - are exempt, as are some models that met the standard earlier
- Almost every petrol car registered from 2005 and some registered between 2001 and 2005
- Petrol cars registered after 2006
- Motorcycles sold after July 2007
- All electric vehicles - since they are zero-emission
- Cars built more than 40 years ago
- Vehicles with a historic tax class
- Military vehicles
- Some farm vehicles
- Circus vehicles
If you’re still not sure whether your vehicle meets the current emissions standards required for the Ultra Low Emission Zone, check your vehicle here.
Those with a residents' Congestion Charge discount will not have to pay the ULEZ charge until October 2021.
Those with a disabled or disabled passenger tax class are ULEZ-exempt.
London's ultra-low emission zone will expand significantly from 2021, extending to both the north and south circular roads.
A number of other UK cities will introduce Ultra Low Emission Zones soon, including Birmingham, Bath and Manchester in 2020. And from 2022, Glasgow will not allow entry to any vehicle that does not meet Euro 6.
Cars that meet the Euro 4 (and Euro 5 and Euro 6) emissions standard are exempt, which means almost every car registered after January 2006. Department for Transport data revealed that 12.7m of the UK's 18.3m petrol cars already met the applicable standards when ULEZ was introduced.
ULEZ-exempt diesels must meet the Euro 6 standard; most diesels registered since September 2015 meet these regulations. A number of pre-2015 diesels also meet the Euro 6 standard, and are exempt from the charge.
To avoid the ULEZ charge, diesel vans must comply with Euro 6, while petrol vans must meet Euro 4. Nearly all new vans built since September 2016 meet Euro 6.
Hybrids do not receive any free-passes (in contrast with the London Congestion Charge); they get treated as diesel and petrol cars. However, most hybrids already meet the Euro 4, 5 or 6 standards, so won't pay the ULEZ.
For two-wheelers and quads, the standard to meet is Euro 3: All motorbikes, mopeds and quadricycles built after July 2007 had to meet Euro 3, meaning many such vehicles are exempt from paying ULEZ.