How to check if you need to pay the London ULEZ charge

The London ULEZ is coming

Britain’s first 24-hour ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) is now operating in central London on, and motorists are being urged to check to see if they need to pay it before driving into the capital. 

Most cars need to meet new, tighter exhaust emission standards or pay a daily charge to travel within the ULEZ. Usefully, Transport for London has created an online checker to see if you need to pay the London ULEZ.

Drivers who enter the ULEZ in vehicles that do not comply with the new emissions standards will be subject to a £12.50 fee – and that’s on top of the £11.50 Congestion Charge. This system replaces the current T-Charge scheme.

Unlike the Congestion Charge, the ULEZ is enforced 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is thought this fact alone may catch out some motorists. 

The ULEZ covers the same areas as the Congestion Charge, but in 2021 it will be expanded to the inner London area bounded by the North and South Circular roads.

Vehicles affected are those with pre-Euro 6 diesel and pre-Euro 4 petrol engines. Motorcycles built before 2007 will also have to pay the ULEZ charge.

The ULEZ will be enforced based on the declared emissions of the vehicle, but diesel cars that meet the standards are generally those registered after September 2015. Similarly, petrol cars registered after 2005 should meet the minimum requirements.

Yes, the age difference is that stark: ULEZ is likely to hit diesel car owners harder than petrol car owners. 

If in doubt, you can also use a an online too from data firm HPI, which also includes a breakdown of the different Euro emissions standards.

‘Out of pocket’

London Congestion Charge

Fernando Garcia, consumer director at HPI, said: “Research has already shown that over a third of motorists had not heard of the Euro Emission Standard classification system, while two-thirds of those who had were unsure what category their vehicle fitted in.

“The changes around vehicle emissions could give motorists a real headache and leave them out of pocket.

“Our online check is completely free and allows motorists to check the emissions standard of their vehicle and potentially avoid a fine.”