The Ultra-low Emission Zone (ULEZ) was set up to reduce air pollution in London by charging drivers of the worst polluting vehicles a fee to drive within the zone.
The recent expansion of this zone in October 2021 is part of a determined effort to further reduce vehicle emissions across the city and means that drivers of non-compliant cars will now be charged £12.
With fines for non-payment now a reality, make sure you don’t get caught out.
What Type Of Cars Are Free from ULEZ Charges?
Different rules are applied to different types of vehicles.
ULEZ Compliant Petrol Cars
- Need to Meet Euro 4, Euro 5, or Euro 6 emissions standards.
- Registered after January 2006.
ULEZ Compliant Diesel Cars
- Need to meet Euro 6 compliant.
- Registered after September 2015.
ULEZ Compliant Hybrid & Electric Cars
- Diesel engines: Need to meet Euro 6 standards.
- Petrol engines: Need to meet Euro 4 standards.
ULEZ Compliant Vans & Motorbikes
- Diesel vans need to meet Euro 6 compliant.
- Petrol vans need to meet Euro 4 compliant.
- Motorbikes need to meet Euro 3 compliant.
What is an Ultra Low Emission Zone? (ULEZ)
In London, the use of older, high-polluting vehicles is restricted through the use of a Penalty fee. If your car is not compliant, you will have to pay a daily charge.
Where Does This Charge Apply?
Outside of Central London, the charge now covers the area between the North and SouthCircular.
You will not be charged if you use the A406 North Circular or A206 South Circular.
As soon as you leave them and head towards the center of London, the Ulunze charge will be applied.
How Do I Know If I Need to Pay ULEZ?
If you drive a car that is not compliant, TFL will be in touch to let you know that you will face a charge.
Automatic number-plate recognition (ANPR), means you won’t be stopped from entering the ULEZ in a non-compliant vehicle, but you will receive a penalty charge notice, which means the area is policed through automatic number plate recognition.
If you haven’t paid by midnight of the third day after your journey, you’ll receive a penalty charge notice of £160.
Which Cars Are Free from ULEZ?
Euro 6 or Euro 4 compliant cars are the ones that are free to drive in the U.S. Low emission and zero-emission vehicles will not be charged because of that.
Some hybrid cars made before 2015 may not be ULEZ compliant, so they are not automatically exempt.
How to Check If a Car Is ULEZ Compliant?
Car Guide has a number plate checker that you can use to check if your vehicle complies.
If you enter your registration into the checker, the system will tell you if your vehicle complies with the standards.
You can drive through the zone if your car doesn’t meet the standards. Depending on your car, you’ll have to pay a fee.
Where is ULEZ Located?
Areas of London inside the North and South Circular roads are now covered by the ULEZ.
The ULEZ charge will affect owners of non-compliant vehicles who live or travel in areas of Hammersmith and Fulham, Greenwich, Camden, Haringey, and Waltham Forest.
Large parts of the London boroughs of Newham, Redbridge, and Newham will also be affected.
How To Check If A Vehicle Is Euro 6 Compliant?
You can check your vehicle for Euro 6 compliance using Motorways ULEZ checker.
If your vehicle was made after September 2015, there is a good chance it is Euro 6 compliant and you will be able to drive in London for free.
You can check your reg with the ULEZ check tool, which will show whether it is Euro 6 compliant, or you can find this information in your registration details.
If you have a car that is ULEZ compliant, it will mean it’s Euro 6 compliant as well.
How To Check If A Bike Is Euro 3 Compliant?
If you have a bike that is Euro 3 compliant, then it will also be considered ULEZ compliant.
How To Check If A Bike Is Euro 5 Compliant?
From the start of 2021, only Euro 5 compliant bikes can be sold in the EU, so if you buy a motorbike at this time, you will be both Euro 5 and ULEZ compliant.
If you purchased a bike before this, you should check your registration details to make sure.
Bikes manufactured before 2000 may still be able to drive in the ULEZ charge-free because they must be Euro 3 compliant, not Euro 6 as cars are.
Truck driver by profession, automotive lover by heart. Ricky is the main publisher and editor at Truckile.com sharing his life-long knowledge and experience in the auto industry and truck driving!