From April 8th 2019, the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London will launch. The ULEZ is central to the Mayor of London’s plans improve the health of Londoners by reducing rising air pollution levels.
Most vehicles in the ULEZ will need to meet new, tighter emission standards or pay a daily charge to travel within the area.
Moneybarn has put together a guide on what LCV drivers need to know before the new zone is launched.
When the Ultra Low Emission Zone first comes into effect, it will initially cover the existing congestion charge zone in Central London, however, it will operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The area covered by the ULEZ will be clearly signposted with road signs showing where it applies. Cameras will be in use to automatically read vehicle number plates entering the zone to check against the TfL database to see if they meet the ULEZ emission standards.
All vehicles, including LCV’s, who don’t meet these will have to pay the daily ULEZ charge. This will be in addition to the weekday Congestion Charge.
From 25th October 2021, it will expand to an area bounded by the north and south circular roads.
The new emission standards
The ULEZ will be enforced based on the declared emissions of the vehicle rather than its age.
Vehicles included in the new emission standards are as follows:
The new minimum emission standards are:
If your van is compliant to the current Low Emission Zone, it may not be with the new ULEZ standards. You can check your vehicle registration document to see your vehicle’s Euro emissions standard or NOx emissions. If these aren’t listed, you can use the TfL tool to help you find out.
Payments and charges
You will only have to pay charges if your LCV does not meet the new ULEZ exhaust emission standards, totalling £12.50 per day, plus the £11.50 congestion charge if you enter the city centre Monday to Friday, 7am to 6pm.
Failure to pay will result in a fine of £160 but this will be reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days.
If you are subject to ULEZ charges and payments, it is vital you remember the daily charges run from midnight to midnight. If you are driving in a ULEZ before midnight – from 11pm for example – but don’t finish driving until 3am, you will be charged for 2 days’ worth of driving in an Ultra Low Emission Zone.
If your vehicle is parked in a ULEZ but not being driven, you will not be subject to any charges during this time.
At the end of 2018, the Mayor of London announced a £23m scrappage scheme for businesses with 10 or less employees to switch to cleaner vehicles.
Under the City Hall scheme, funding will be available to scrap vans that do not comply with the new ULEZ standards, but which are driven into the zone regularly. This should help thousands of micro-business owners update their vehicles to meet the new emission standards and avoid paying the ULEZ daily charge.