The Ultra Low Emission Zone is an area in and around London where, in order to reduce emissions, vehicles need to meet certain standards or pay a daily charge of £12.50. It operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except Christmas Day) and is different to the Congestion Charge.
The main reason for introducing the ULEZ is to clean up London’s air by reducing toxic air pollution. It was first introduced in 2019 and then expanded in October 2021. By expanding the ULEZ area, the aim is to reduce harmful Nitrogen Dioxide by approximately 30% in London.
From 25th October 2021, the Ultra Low Emission Zone expanded and as well as covering Central London, it now also includes all areas within the North and South Circular Roads. The map illustrates the exact area that is affected.
If your vehicle does not meet ULEZ standards, you will need to pay the daily charge, even if you are only making a short trip into the zone. Those who live within the zone will also be required to pay the charge when their vehicle is driven.
The daily charge for ULEZ is different to the congestion charge. If you drive within the congestion charge zone, you will need to pay this in addition to the ULEZ charge if your vehicle does not meet the necessary emission standards. The congestion charge area has not changed.
European Union regulations were first imposed in 1992 meaning that vehicles would have to meet certain emission standards when they are manufactured. This was brought in with the objective of improving air quality and reducing pollution, particularly harmful Nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) from exhaust emissions. Petrol and diesel engines are subject to separate standards because they produce different types of emissions.
With regards to driving in London, your vehicle will need to meet the following ULEZ standards, otherwise you will be required to pay the daily charge of £12.50 within the expanded zone:
You can find out if your current vehicle meets the required emissions standard here.