What is the ULEZ?

ULEZ stands for Ultra Low Emission Zone. It’s a government initiative set up by Boris Johnson and brought forward by the current Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, to address the issues surrounding air quality in the capital.

The scheme provides strict guidelines on what vehicles it deems to emit too much pollution.

It looks to reduce the number of pollutants in the air by encouraging people who drive into London to drive more eco-friendly vehicles or pay a fine. It operates 24/7, so be aware.

Most vehicles will be affected by the ULEZ including this covers everything from cars, motorbikes, and vans.

From 8th April 2019, it will cover the same area as the Congestion charge but will be extended further up to the North and South Circular roads in October 2021.

The ULEZ is going to replace the T-Charge but will be in addition to the already standing Low Emission Zone and Congestion charges.

What vehicles are exempt from the ULEZ?

There are a few exemptions for the ULEZ charge, which are the following:

  • Agricultural vehicles
  • Military vehicles
  • Non-road going vehicles which are allowed to drive on the highway (for example, excavators)
  • Certain types of mobile cranes
  • Vehicles older than 40 years (built in or before 1979)
  • Not for profit minibuses
  • Showman’s vehicles
  • London-licenced taxis
  • Vehicles for disabled people (under a sunset period until October 2025)

What can I do about it?

It’s likely for the best to invest in a newer vehicle if you’re still using a pre-Euro 6 vehicle and going into the capital, as you could be looking at paying an extra £3000+ a year, based on Monday-Friday.

There are also some exemptions you might want to look at, most notably the sunset period for residents to give themselves some time to change their vehicles. The discount will be available to those who live within the ULEZ and in designated areas next to the boundary where the Congestion Charge residents’ discount applies.

The people eligible for the discount must be living in the area and registered with TFL. It’s available from 8 April 2019 to 24 October 2021, when the discount will end and residents will pay the full charge.

There are a few other options regarding upgrading to LPG or emission reduction technology which might be worth looking into.


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