The Ultra Low Emission Zone was introduced with cleaner air as its main purpose. But how much do you have to pay and what are the exceptions? We’ve explained it all in this guide.
When and why was ULEZ created?
In 2019, when it was first introduced, the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) covered central London. Starting with October 2021, the ULEZ was extended to include a wider area surrounded by the North and South Circular roads. There have been recent discussions to expand the ULEZ even more to include Greater London. These discussions took place in the context where the Mayor of London aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 in London.
The Ultra Low Emission Zone is part of the Air Quality Plan to tackle sources of pollution and improve the air quality in the cities.
Do you use Ultra Low Emission Zone vans?
It’s easy to check if your business uses ULEZ compliant vans. The minimum emission standards are Euro 4 for petrol vehicles and Euro 6 for diesel vehicles.
As a rule of thumb, all new diesel vans sold after September 2016 should meet the Euro 6 standard and all petrol vans registered from January 2006 should meet the Euro 4 Standard.
So, if your diesel van is older than 6 years, you’re most likely required to pay the ULEZ charge.
How much is the ULEZ charge?
If you don’t drive Ultra Low Emission Zone vans, the daily charge amounts to £12.50 and covers a period of 24 hours from midnight to midnight. This charge applies to vans with a gross vehicle mass of 3,500 kg or under. If your transit-sized vans are plated at a greater gross vehicle mass and are not ULEZ compliant vans, that means they fall under the truck category, and you’ll have to pay £100.
If your journey within the Ultra Low Emission Zone is planned, you can pay in advance. You can also pay up to 3 days after your journey.
Failing to pay the ULEZ charge means you’re liable to pay a penalty charge of £160, reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days. If your van exceeds the maximum gross vehicle mass of 3.5 tonnes, the penalty charge can increase up to £1,000.
It’s easy to pay the ULEZ charge on the Tfl website or through the official Tfl Pay app available from both Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Or you can pay by phone at 0343 222 2222 (Tfl call charges apply).