London Ultra Low Emission Zone: What drivers need to know

What drivers need to know about London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone – words Alexa Wang

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has recently revealed that the city’s new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) could be introduced as early as 2019.

The ULEZ is the latest bid to reduce London air pollution — following the enforcement of Greater London’s Low Emission Zone, London’s far-reaching Congestion Charge, the city’s simple-yet-effective Cycle Hire Scheme and even Pigeon Air Patrol.

Ultra Low Emission Zone

How can motorists get ready for London’s ULEZ? Vehicle hire specialist Northgate is on hand to answer your questions:

What does the ULEZ mean for motorists in London?

Every bus, car, coach, heavy goods vehicle, minibus, motorcycle and van will need to meet previously agreed exhaust emission standards when they enter London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone. Drivers of such vehicles who don’t meet these standards will need to pay a daily charge in order to access the zone.

It is also important to bear in mind that the ULEZ will be enforced alongside both London’s Congestion Charge and Low Emission Zone standards. Furthermore, it will be at work 24/7, even on weekends and public holidays.

What exactly are the standards of the ULEZ?

Exhaust emission standards have already previously been agreed when it comes to the ULEZ. Conform to the following standards and you can drive your vehicle within the zone without charge:

  • A petrol engine car, minibus or van which is of Euro 4 standard.
  • A diesel engine car, minibus or van which is of Euro 6 ULEZ standard.
  • A HGV, bus or coach which is of Euro VI ULEZ standard.
  • A motorcycle, moped or similar vehicle which is of Euro 3 standard.

My vehicle doesn’t meet the ULEZ standards, so what charges will I face?

Fail to meet the aforementioned ULEZ standards and you will be required to pay one of the following standard daily charges in order to access the zone in your vehicle:

  • £12.50 per day if you drive a petrol engine car, minibus or van.
  • £12.50 per day if you drive a diesel engine car, minibus or van.
  • £100 per day if you drive a HGV, bus or coach.
  • £12.50 per day if you drive a motorcycle, moped or similar vehicle.

It is important that you pay the daily charge if they apply to you. Otherwise, Penalty Charge Notices will be issued to the vehicle’s registered owner or operator if you fail to do so:

  • Those with a petrol engine car, minibus or van will be issued with a £130 penalty, reduced to £65 if payment is made within 14 days of issue.
  • Those with a diesel engine car, minibus or van will be issued with a £130 penalty, reduced to £65 if payment is made within 14 days of issue.
  • Those with a HGV, bus or coach will be issued with a £1,000 penalty, reduced to £500 if payment is made within 14 days of issue.
  • Those with a motorcycle, moped or similar vehicle will be issued with a £130 penalty, reduced to £65 if payment is made within 14 days of issue.

Will I actually be affected by the ULEZ?

The same area that London’s Congestion Charging Zone covers will be used for the operation of the capital’s ULEZ. If you are unsure of the proximity of this zone, Transport for London has a handy ULEZ postcode checker already active.

Are there any discounts or exemptions associated with the ULEZ?

The following specialist vehicles will be exempt from paying the ULEZ’s standard charges:

  • Agricultural vehicles.
  • Certain types of mobile cranes.
  • Military vehicles.
  • Non-road going vehicles which are allowed to drive on a highway.
  • Vehicles manufactured before January 1st
  • Vehicles with a ‘historic’ vehicle tax class.

Will you be based within London’s ULEZ and drive or make use of a vehicle with a ‘disabled’ or ‘disabled passenger vehicle’ tax class? Please be aware that you will need to meet the ULEZ standards, but will be able enjoy a three-year sunset period where you receive a 100 per cent discount. This is to give you enough time to acquire a more appropriate vehicle.

What drivers need to know about London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone – words Alexa Wang

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