What does the October 2021 ULEZ expansion mean for car owners?
In October 2021, London’s ULEZ expanded. The Ultra Low Emission Zone previously only impacted central London, but will, from now on, also cover the areas up to but not including the South Circular Road to the North Circular Road. If you drive within this area, you will have to pay a daily charge of £12.50.
The ULEZ, unlike the LEZ, impacts cars and motorbikes as well as lorries, buses, and coaches. If you drive any of these non-compliant vehicles in the areas between the North and South Circular roads, you may now have to pay the charge. The ULEZ will run 24/7, 365 days a year, including Christmas day.
Do the LEZ and congestion charge still operate?
Yes, the ULEZ is not a replacement for either the LEZ or the congestion charge. If you drive in a congestion charge zone, you must pay the fee. If you drive a LEZ-affected vehicle (cars are exempt), you must pay that fee, and if you are within the ULEZ zone, you must also pay that charge. This means that petrol cars or diesel car owners could be hit with a multitude of fees for even a short drive through London. Electric cars, in contrast, are exempt from the ULEZ, LEZ, congestion charge, and road tax.
Is my car ULEZ compliant?
Your car must meet certain ULEZ emissions standards in order to be ULEZ compliant:
- Petrol cars must meet Euro 4 standards (most made after January 2006 will be)
- Diesel cars must meet Euro 6 standards (most made after September 2015 will be)
- Zero emissions vehicles such as electric vehicles are exempt from ULEZ charges
- Hybrid cars and mild hybrids are automatically not exempt — be sure to check
While the above manufacturing dates offer a basic guide for your car’s compliance, you should always check your own car using an online ULEZ compliance checker.
Is there a grace period following the ULEZ October expansion?
There is no formal grace period for cars which drive through the ULEZ. The charge must be paid by midnight on the third day following the journey. You can also pay up to 90 days in advance if you know you will be driving through an affected area.
Am I exempt as a resident?
No, residents of Greater London are not exempt from the ULEZ charge, so even if your drive within the zone is simply the daily school run, you must still pay. Cars that are parked, and not driven, within the zone do not have to pay.
Use our free ULEZ checker to check compliance for your vehicle.
If you receive a ULEZ charge but are exempt
You may receive a ULEZ charge despite driving a car that meets ULEZ requirements because of several reasons:
- You did not register your car with TFL
- The information provided was wrong e.g. a typo in the reg
In order to be exempt from the ULEZ charge, you must register with Transport for London and provide evidence that your car meets the required emission standards.
Time to consider electric?
The electric switchover may be a while away but the ULEZ is already here. If you’re considering an electric vehicle, let our guides tell you all you need to know!
How to sell an electric car
Electric cars — should you buy or sell?
Selling your car and the 2030 electric car switchover
LPG cars — the ultimate guide
How long does it take to charge an electric car?
How & where to charge your electric car at home and on the road
ULEZ checker – check compliance for your vehicle