What cars are ULEZ compliant?
ULEZ compliant cars are a necessity for drivers who live and work in Greater London, with 52% of residents surveyed by Motorway in 2023 expressing concern that they would not be able to afford the daily charge.
On the 29th of August 2023, the UK capital’s Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) expanded throughout Greater London, costing drivers of non-compliant vehicles entering ULEZ £12.50 per day. ULEZ operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 364 days a year (excluding Christmas Day).
You can check your car’s ULEZ compliance now with our ULEZ checker, and read on to find out which petrol and diesel cars are compliant – and, crucially, how to avoid the ULEZ charges.
Is my car ULEZ compliant?
The aim of the ULEZ is to reduce pollution and improve air quality in London by introducing a charge for vehicles that don’t meet new exhaust emission standards.
For petrol cars, this standard is Euro 4, which has been the prevailing standard since about 2006. For diesel, though, the standard is Euro 6, which has only been the common engine standard since 2016. Diesel cars exhaust higher levels of harmful pollutants, so they are regulated on a higher level than petrol.
Here are the ULEZ standards at a glance:
ULEZ compliant cars: petrol
– Must meet at least Euro 4 emissions standards
– Were generally registered after January 2006.
ULEZ compliant cars: diesel
– Must be Euro 6 compliant
– Were generally registered after September 2015
ULEZ compliant cars: hybrid and electric vehicles
– With hybrid diesel engines: Must meet Euro 6 standards
– With hybrid petrol engines: Must meet Euro 4 standards
– Battery-electric EVs: Electric cars are always compliant
ULEZ compliant vans and motorcycles:
– Diesel vans must be Euro 6 compliant
– Petrol vans must be Euro 4 compliant
– Motorcycles must be Euro 3 compliant
If you’re concerned that your car might not be ULEZ compliant, there is an easy way to check – using Motorway’s free ULEZ checker tool.
Simply enter your vehicle’s reg and it will instantly pull data from the DVLA to see if your car meets the current emissions standards that qualify it as low polluting. (Only high-polluting vehicles are targeted by the ULEZ.)
Are petrol cars ULEZ compliant?
Some petrol cars are compliant – and some are not.
In order to be ULEZ compliant, petrol cars must meet Euro 4 emissions standards.
Most petrol cars registered since January 2006 meet these standards.
Petrol cars that meet Euro 5 and Euro 6 standards can drive into and around the ULEZ without paying charges.
All petrol vehicles that have a historic vehicle tax class (non-commercial) are ULEZ exempt, along with some disabled tax class vehicles. Read our guide for more on exemptions from ULEZ charges and fines.
Are diesel cars ULEZ compliant?
As with petrol cars, it depends on the type of diesel car you have.
In order to be ULEZ compliant, a diesel car must meet Euro 6 standards.
Most diesel cars registered since September 2015 meet these standards, though some earlier models do too, and some later models were slower to be compliant – so it’s worth checking.
As with petrol models, diesel cars that have a historic vehicle tax class or a disabled tax class aree exempt from the ULEZ.
How can I make my car ULEZ compliant?
If your car is not ULEZ compliant, and you don’t want to pay the daily charges, you might consider retrofitting a non-compliant van or car to meet the requirements of the zone.
This can be achieved by either upgrading the vehicle’s exhaust system or changing its engine.
However, it is extremely pricey to have this work carried out – and, after the work is completed, you will also need to have the vehicle re-certified by the DVSA at your own cost to ensure it is recognised as compliant. Then, you’ll have to make sure the DVLA and local authorities that manage charging Clean Air Zones (CAZs) are notified of your upgraded status, to avoid unexpected Penalty Charge Notices.
In most cases, it would be considerably cheaper to sell your car and trade up to a compliant car.
What year cars are ULEZ compliant?
Though this question is asked regularly online, a car’s registration year isn’t a deciding factor on whether it is compliant.
To be ULEZ compliant, petrol cars must meet Euro 4 emissions standards.
Most petrol cars registered after January 2006 meet these standards. Petrol cars that meet Euro 5 and Euro 6 standards are exempt from paying charges.
To be ULEZ compliant, diesel cars must meet Euro 6 standards. Most diesel cars registered since September 2015 meet these standards, though some earlier models will also be compliant.
The Euro standards are the European emissions rules brought in to reduce the amount of pollution generated by cars. Specifically, they target nitrogen oxide (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (THC and NMHC) and particulate matter (PM).
How do I prove my car is ULEZ compliant?
To prove your vehicle meets the ULEZ standards you will either have to apply for a letter from your vehicle manufacturer’s Homologation Department stating the vehicle’s Euro standard – or, apply for a Certificate of Conformity (CoC).
A CoC is a paper document issued by the manufacturer of your vehicle. Its purpose is to ensure the free movement of goods between EU countries. It is a document that contains information about the vehicle and certifies that it has been manufactured in conformity with standards.
If you have received a ULEZ charge – and you think it has been sent to you in error – you can find out for sure if your vehicle is compliant by using Motorway’s ULEZ checker tool.
Simply enter your vehicle’s reg into the checker and it will use data from the DVLA, to see if your car meets the current emissions standards.
How long will diesel cars be ULEZ compliant?
Like petrol vehicles, most newer diesel vehicles are ULEZ-compliant.
The majority of diesel cars registered after September 2015 meet Euro 6 standards – and therefore, also meet the current ULEZ emissions standards, though some earlier models do too.
The Euro standards framework was introduced in 1993 to reduce the amount of pollution generated by cars. Specifically, Euro 6 standards measure and cap the levels of nitrogen oxide (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), hydrocarbons (THC and NMHC) and particulate matter (PM).
London’s ULEZ first began operating in April 2019 and imposes a compulsory charge of £12.50 for non-compliant petrol and diesel vehicles entering the city with a view to deterring their use and reducing air pollution.
Sell your car with Motorway
Is your car ULEZ compliant? If you’re going to be driving around the capital, and as low emission zones expand to other cities around the uk, replacing your non-compliant car with a compliant one would be a smart decision. Selling your car with Motorway, whether compliant or not is quick, easy and free.
Selling your car?
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