ULEZ petrol car age – is YOUR vehicle affected?

Sadiq Khan discusses expansion of London's ULEZ area

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London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) will be dramatically expanded tomorrow from a relatively small area in central London to covering most of the nation’s capital. As the ULEZ grows to 18 times its original size, many older petrol and diesel vehicles will have to pay a £12.50 charge to drive in London. These are some of the most popular cars of the estimated non-compliant 138,000 motors registered to addresses within the new ULEZ.

The ULEZ is being expanded to cover all areas of London falling between the North Circular and South Circular.

Motorists driving the “most pollutant” vehicles will be charged £12.50 for driving within the zone, which is active 24 hours a day, 264 days a year, the only exception being Christmas Day.

Drivers of vehicles falling short of the low emissions standard are faced with a choice: either pay £12.50 every time they drive or invest in an electric or hybrid vehicle.

However, planned changes to the ULEZ mean even electric cars will be charged the fine by the end of 2025.

A study by Motorway found almost half of Londoners – 43 percent – were unaware of the ULEZ expansion coming into effect tomorrow.

A third of those surveyed did not know how to check whether their vehicle is compliant with the ULEZ standards.

Older petrol and diesel vehicles are the most affected, as they do not meet the Euro 6 standard for lower emissions.

In general, newer petrol cars meet the standard as well as diesel cars registered after September 2015.

Petrol vehicles older than 15 years old – pre-2006 – are likely to be non-compliant.

Classic cars from before January 1, 1981, can apply for exemption from the ULEZ – as long as they are not commercial use vehicles such as food trucks.

Vehicles built before January 1, 1973, including commercial vehicles, can receive an exemption.

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These are the criteria for compliance:

  • Motorbikes and mopeds: need to meet Euro 3 standards (post-2007 vehicles)
  • Petrol cars and vans: need to meet Euro 4 standards (vehicles post-2006)
  • Diesel cars and vans: need to meet Euro 6 standards (vehicles post-2015)
  • Buses, coaches and lorries: need to meet or exceed the Euro VI standard

However, these dates are only a guiding principle and there are many exemptions.

To check your vehicle, use Transport for London’s license plate checker tool here.

How do you pay ULEZ?

You can pay a ULEZ charge online, or if you frequently drive a non-compliant car within the ULEZ you can set up an automatic payment.

If you skip paying the ULEZ charge, you can be fined up to £160.

This is cut to £80 if paid within a fortnight of being fined.

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