Official data from Transport for London (TfL) has revealed that between 2.4m and 2.5m motorists are set to be stung by the £12.50 daily ULEZ charge to drive into the capital.
With the Ultra-Low Emission Zone set to go live on 8th April 2019, cars, vans, motorbikes, lorries, buses and coaches will all be subject to tight exhaust emission standards or face having to pay a daily charge to travel within the marked out area in London.
To avoid these fees and use the zones freely, diesel vehicles must meet Euro 6 emissions standards, while their petrol counterparts must meet Euro 4 standards. For further clarity, the majority of petrol cars made before 2006 and diesel cars registered before 2015 will be subject to the full ULEZ charge. As the £12.50 ULEZ charge will be in operation 24/7, drivers who use the zone every day for a year could face a soaring charge of £4,562.
The Congestion Charge will also be enforced simultaneously with the ULEZ charge, which runs between the hours of 07:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday. The max annual charge for this will be £2,990. Joining both fees together, motorists could have to to pay £7,552 to travel in these areas with a non-compliant vehicle.
Other vehicles to pay the ULEZ charge will include non-compliant motorbikes and vans charged at £12.50 a day. Lorries, buses and coaches will pay a higher daily rate of £100 to enter the zone, and will be fined £1,000 if they choose not to pay, reduced to £500 if paid within 14 days.
|Vehicle type||Min. emission standard||ULEZ Charge if below emission standard|
|Motorbikes||Euro 3 (all bikes registered since July 2007)||£12.50|
|Cars & small vans||Petrol Euro 4 (since January 2006)
Diesel Euro 6 (since September 2015)
|Vans||Petrol Euro 4 (since January 2007)
Diesel Euro 6 (since September 2016)
|Lorries & coaches||Euro VI (since January 2014)||£100|
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
“London’s toxic air is a public health emergency and the introduction of ULEZ is exactly the sort of bold action that is required to deal with it. I’m delighted we were able to bring the introduction of the zone forward to April this year, ensuring people both in and outside the zone experience the benefits of ULEZ sooner.
“I know Londoners are passionate about improving the quality of the air they breathe so – with only three months to go before the launch of ULEZ – I’d encourage everyone who drives within central London to spend a couple of minutes checking whether their vehicle complies with the new emissions standards.
“A predicted 45 per cent fall in harmful emissions within the zone should be a great start to improving the lives of millions of Londoners.”
Air quality in city centres is certainly a very important matter, and while this will undoubtedly be a challenge for professional drivers and fleet managers, TfL are installing warning signs at all entry points and also directly contacting owners of registered congestion charge vehicles that do not meet the standards. This could see many companies choose to realign their business strategies in the early stages, in order to accommodate these changes.