London’s ultra low emission zone (abbreviated as ULEZ) has expanded. With 1-in-5 London cars now at risk of a £12.50 daily charge, read on to make sure you aren’t hit by a nasty surprise.
The ULEZ was planned by Boris Johnson and implemented (and now expanded) by Sadiq Khan. It aims to convince drivers to look for alternate, greener ways of travelling through the city, like the bus or Tube.
It previously covers Central London but has now expanded as far out as (but not including!) the North Circular and South Circular roads. That’s a massive increase of 1,700% - so don’t get caught out if you're used to the previous boundaries.
Anyone whose vehicle doesn't meet environmental standards will be slapped with a £12.50 charge for every day they drive in this new zone.
Let’s talk about science for a minute - it’ll help, we promise! Cars that produce nitrogen oxide (Nox) and particulate matter (PM) are particularly bad for the environment, so they’re most at risk here.
Any driver whose vehicle doesn’t meet European emission rules (known as Euro standards) faces a charge. Vehicles need to meet the following standards to drive within the ULEZ:
Newer cars are almost certainly fine, and electric vehicles will all pass the test. But older vehicles that have been on the road for a number of years could fail - and anyone who doesn’t meet those conditions has to pay up.
Whatever you drive, you can check your vehicle’s emissions standard here.
The new ULEZ map boundary stretches from the corner of Kew Gardens in the west to Woolwich in the east, and from Dulwich in the south through Tottenham in the north.
Road signs make it clear when you’re nearing, and entering, the zone - so just keep an eye out while driving in the capital.
You can check out the new map here. Ignorance is no excuse, so make sure you’re aware of the new boundaries.
It’s all very simple, with no toll booths or barriers. Instead, cameras track all vehicles driving in the ULEZ. These cameras scan licence plates, quickly assessing whether your vehicle meets standards.
If you forget, you have three more days to pay before you run the gift of getting fined £160 - so don’t hang about!
Sorry, but drivers must also pay to enter the congestion zone - which targets all vehicles, regardless of emissions (unless you have a special exemption).
The congestion charge zone is identical to the original ULEZ map, which covered a much smaller area of Central London, with a £15 daily charge in place between 7am and 10pm.
Are all these charges starting to add up? If you’d rather get rid of your current vehicle and buy something greener (or just use public transport), you could be eligible for a grant.
If you meet the conditions, you could receive:
Not bad! Check out the details here.
With new petrol and diesel cars facing the chop in 2030 (and hybrids in 2035), now could be the time to go green and buy an electric car.
Electric cars can be more expensive than traditional gas-guzzlers, but they are better for the environment and could be cheaper to run in the long-term.
However, they aren’t a realistic option for everyone just yet. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has warned that the UK will need 10 times more charging points by 2030 if it wants to meet its net zero emissions target.
Whatever you decide, we have flexible insurance perfect for you. Our temporary insurance and monthly insurance are just the thing for city drivers. And don’t forget to check out Smart Pricing - the better you drive, the more you could save.