London Mayor announces expanded zone to make polluting cars pay from August

Tom Barnard


All drivers venturing in to a London borough will have to pay £12.50 per day from the end of August 2023 if their car does not meet modern emission standards, it has been announced. This will mainly hit drivers of older petrol and diesel models which do not meet Euro6 emissions standards. 

The new rule includes residents of the ULEZ. However, you don't need to pay the ULEZ charge if you are parked inside the zone and don't drive. The ULEZ penalty charge will increase from £160 to £180, reduced by 50% if paid within 14 days. 

The current ULEZ, which has been in operation since April 2019, began in central London and was expanded to cover the areas within the North and South Circular roads in October 2021. Since its introduction, Transport for London (TfL) says 94% of vehicles recorded driving in the zone now meet the strict ULEZ standards on an average day, up from 87% in the weeks before the zone expanded up to the North and South Circular Roads in 2021 and 39% in 2017. 

This has meant that harmful Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2) concentrations in inner London are estimated to be 20% lower than they would have been without the ULEZ and its expansion. In central London, NO2 concentrations are estimated to be 44% lower than they would have been.

To help residents and businesses shift to cleaner vehicles, the mayor will be offering some limited grants. From 30th January 2023, Londoners receiving certain disability and means-tested benefits can apply for a scrappage scheme and receive a grant payment, or a subsidised season ticket for public transport. A separate van and minibus scrappage scheme will also be available for small businesses and charities. 

You can check to see if your vehicle is exempt on the TfL website here. Electric cars are exempt from ULEZ charges.

The new zone will reach out as far as the M25 in some areas (Map:Google)

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