ULEZ stands for Ultra-Low Emission Zone and it was established in 2019 as a small zone in Central London in a bid to reduce air pollution in the city. Those driving the worst polluting vehicles are charged a fee to drive within this zone, but in October 2021, the zone was expanded and that means that drivers of non-compliant vehicles will be charged £12.50 per day if they drive within the ULEZ boundaries. It’s important that drivers know whether they’re driving compliant or non-compliant vehicles in order to prevent getting caught out.
The ULEZ checker uses your car’s registration number to see if it meets the emissions standards which qualify it as a low polluting vehicle. Since only high polluting vehicles are targeted by ULEZ, this will determine if you have to pay the charge or not when driving within the boundaries of the zone. You can use our car checker service to find this data and determine the type of vehicle you’re driving or will be purchasing.
Regardless of how short your trip is, if your vehicle is deemed to be high polluting and you have to pay the charge, you’ll need to do so daily for every day you’re driving in the low emission zone. There are some discounts and exemptions for certain people, such as taxi drivers, disabled drivers, community transport and some other vehicles, such as historic vehicles. Vehicles built before 1973 are exempt from the ULEZ, even if used commercially.
You can either make the payment online or set up Auto Pay if it’s a regular occurrence, such as if you live or work in the area. If you choose Auto Pay, you’ll never have to worry about forgetting to pay the charge, as this can lead to a hefty fine. However, you will need to pay a £10 registration charge for every year and every vehicle you add to Auto Pay.
For vehicles registered outside of the UK, you will still need to meet the same standards as UK vehicles when it comes to driving in the ULEZ area. If you believe your vehicle meets the emissions standards, you will need to provide evidence to the TfL, as without this you’ll need to pay the daily charge.
You can register your vehicle with the TfL, but you’ll need to pay the daily charge until you have confirmation from them that your emission status has been accepted. After this, any payments you’ve made can be refunded.
ULEZ stands for Ultra Low Emission Zone and it covers the North and South Circular Roads in central London. If you are driving a vehicle that doesn’t meet the ULEZ compliance criteria, you will need to pay the daily charge to drive in the zone, even if you’re only in the zone for a short period of time. If you drive a non-compliant vehicle in the ULEZ without paying the charge, you’ll be issued a fine.
For your vehicle to be compliant and meet the emission standards, it needs to meet a specific Euro emissions standard which is dependent on the type of vehicle you’re driving. These are Euro 3 for motorcycles, Euro 4 for petrol vehicles and Euro 6 for diesel vehicles, though all categories have some exceptions. If you’re driving a vehicle over 3.5 tonnes, you may be required to pay the LEZ charge instead.
The ULEZ charge is £12.50 per day, though some heavier vehicles will need to pay the LEZ charge which is £100 per day.
You make the payment for the ULEZ charge online. You will need to pay before three days after your journey to avoid receiving a penalty notice and fine.
If you’re driving in the ULEZ area and your vehicle doesn’t meet the standard, you will receive a penalty charge notice if you don’t pay in time. This is usually £160 but if you pay within 14 days it may be reduced to £80 instead. However, making a payment is easy to do online and if you pay within 3 days of driving in the ULEZ, you’ll avoid the penalty altogether.
The ULEZ charge encompasses the areas between the North and South Circular roads in London, so if you’re using the A406 North Circular or you’re driving on the A205 South Circular, you won’t be charged but as soon as you leave them to drive towards Central London you’ll be charged.