London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone, (ULEZ), will expand to cover most of the capital within days. However, the majority of motorists are unaware.

Only 43 per cent of drivers in and around the city are aware the £12.50 a day zone is vastly expanding on Monday, according to the study by car sales website Motorway.   

Only a third of drivers surveyed could check if their vehicle was compliant with ULEZ. Even fewer were confident about the new boundaries of the extended zone, according to a poll of more than 2,000 respondents. 

Before the expansion next week, please read our ULEZ explained feature. 

Huge change: The zone will from Monday extend from the orange area in Central London to the yellow boundary up to the North and South Circular

Big change: The zone will be extended from the orange area of Central London to the yellow boundary to the North and South Circular starting Monday

The poll of drivers, with three quarters of them living within Greater London and the rest living outside, was conducted just one week ago, between 6 October and 13 October.

However, only 29% of respondents knew that the zone would soon extend across South West London (including Croydon and Kingston upon Thames), Merton, Richmond upon Thames and Sutton) and 33% said they knew that the boundary will cover West London including Brent, Hammersmith and Fulham (Harrow, Hillingdon and Fulham), Kensington, and Chelsea.

Another third of those surveyed did not know that it covered North London, including Barnet and Enfield, Hackney, Haringey and Haringey. The same was true for the South East which includes Bexley, Bromley and Greenwich.

Motorway also stated that only 37% of respondents correctly identified Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge, Tower Hamlets, Tower Hamlets, and Waltham Forest in North East as being within the ULEZ boundaries.

TfL estimates that 100,000 cars a days will be affected by the ULEZ expansions at the North (A406), South Circular Road(A205) and 35,000 vans and 3,000 heavy-duty vehicles (HGVs).

Based on these estimations, the ULEZ will bring in some £1,987,500 every day for the Greater London Authority. That’s almost £14million a week, or £723million a year.

Those who have returned to offices in the capital on a hybrid working basis of just two days a week would incur £1,125 in charges per year if their vehicle is non-compliant, while a driver who enters the ULEZ five days a week for work would have to pay up to £2,800 per annum.

A poll of motorists who live in London or within an hour of the city found that only 35% knew how to check if their vehicle is compliant with ULEZ

A poll of London-based motorists found that only 35% of them knew how to check if their vehicle conforms with ULEZ.

Many will be affected by the daily charge. One in seven polled, likely owners of non-compliant vehicles, said they would sell their vehicle within six months.

Motorway reported that two thirds of London’s motorists said they would consider purchasing an electric vehicle due to the ULEZ expansion.

This is despite the fact that 29% are concerned about not being able to charge an EV at their home and 28% are worried about how they will feel when they wait for the batteries to charge. 

Despite concerns about the growing size of the zone, 30% of those surveyed believe that it is necessary to extend the London ULEZ in order to improve the city’s poor air quality. 

Tom Leathes was the chief executive officer of the car sales firm. He stated that it was surprising that more drivers in London didn’t know about the ULEZ expansion. After having had three years to prepare after Sadiq Khan’s announcement in 2018. 

Leathes stated, “If your car is driving you to the ULEZ, it will be charged,”

“With used car values at an all-time high now is a great opportunity to sell – and even noncompliant cars are going for great price as those who don’t live outside of Clean Air Zones like ULEZ won’t be feeling the pinch from these fuel prices.

Amanda Stretton is a motoring expert and said: ‘It is really shocking that despite Transport for London’s best efforts to communicate about the expansion of ULEZ only 43% of drivers in the London area have a clue. 

“Additionally, only 35 percent know how to check if they will be charged! 

“Clearly, motorists have been in denial about this, but with more cars on roads now that people return to work, we will see many unaware drivers facing penalties starting 25 October. 

“It will be interesting if these penalties translate to an increase in these kinds of cars going on sale in the not so distant future.”


Read our guide on everything you need to know about ULEZ, including where the income for payments and fines goes and who came up with the plan for the zone in the first place

Our guide will tell you everything you need to know about ULEZ. It will explain where the income for payments and fines goes, and who created the plan for it.

What is the ULEZ and how does it work?

The Ultra Low Emission Zone was established in London on 8 April 2019, replacing the now defunct T Charge.

Sadiq Khan, London’s Mayor, introduced the tax to encourage cleaner driving and lower capital’s air pollution levels.

He hopes that the ULEZ encourages drivers to either switch to low-emission models or electric cars that emit less toxic pollutants and use public transportation more often – or increase walking or cycling.

What area of London is the ULEZ covering? 

The first two years of its creation, the zone covered the same area that the Congestion Charge Zone in London’s most central part.

However, it will be extended up to, but without including, the North Circular Road and South Circular Road (A406), which will cover much of inner London. 

It is being monitored by ANPR camera systems that track all vehicles in the zone, just like the congestion fee.

When will the ULEZ become operational? 

ULEZ is active 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

How much does the ULEZ charge cost? 

The charge is £12.50 per day for non-compliant cars, vans and motorcycles.

For the HGVs, the charge is £100 a day. 

ULEZ is an additional charge on top of the Congestion Charge (£15). That means entering the congestion zone in a car that’s not exempt during its operating hours (7am to 10pm) will cost drivers a combined sum of £27.50. 

Motorists should also know that the ULEZ fee resets at midnight and does NOT cover drivers for a 24-hour period lasting more than two days. So if you enter the ULEZ at 23:59 and leave at 00:01, you will have to pay twice (£25). 

The ULEZ is active 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year and will be enforced by hundreds of automatic number plate recognition cameras around the city

The ULEZ is available 24 hours a days, seven days a săptămână, 365 days a calendar year. It will be enforced with hundreds of automatic number plate recognition cameras located around the city.

How can I pay for entry to the ULEZ  

Regular users can register to auto pay – though there is a £10 admin charge per vehicle to set this up.

Alternatively, you can go the TfL website to pay online.  

How many cars will be driven in London each day and have to pay the ULEZ fee?

TfL estimates that 100,000 cars a days will be affected due to the ULEZ expansion to North and South Circular Roads. This includes 35,000 vans as well as 3,000 HGVs. 

Based on these estimations, the ULEZ will bring in some £1,987,500 every day for the Greater London Authority.

That’s almost £14 million a week, or £723,450,000 a year. 

Motorists are urged to use Transport for London's ULEZ vehicle checker online to clarify in their vehicle is exempt from the £12.50 daily charge or not

Motorists are urged to use Transport for London’s ULEZ vehicle checker online to clarify in their vehicle is exempt from the £12.50 daily charge or not

How can I check if my car meets ULEZ compliance?

You may be exempt from ULEZ depending on the vehicle you have and the fuel it uses.

Here’s a breakdown on the emissions standards for each vehicle type.

  • Mopeds and motorbikes: need to meet Euro 3 standards (post-2007 vehicles) 
  • Vans and petrol cars: need to meet Euro 4 standards (vehicles post-2006) 
  • Diesel cars and vans need to meet Euro 6 standards (vehicles post-2015) 
  • Buses and coaches: need to meet or exceed the Euro VI standard

These dates are only guidelines and may not apply to all cars. 

If you’re unsure of the Euro standard of your car, motorcycle or van, you can use the TfL’s vehicle checker to discover if you’re compliant with ULEZ requirements or not. 

Cars Alliance of British Drivers claims that despite being relatively young, they are not eligible for ULEZ exemption 

These are just some examples of diesel cars produced after 2015 – when Euro 6 emissions standards were introduced – but will still incur £12.50 daily ULEZ charges.

Alliance of British Drivers has provided the following list:

  • 2015 Citroen C3 Edition 1.6 Bluehdi 100 Edition 5dr 90bhp
  • 2015 Citroen C4 1.6 e-HDi Airdream VTR+ Hatchback 5dr 115bhp
  • 2015 Ford Fiesta 1.6 TDCi ECOnetic Design 5dr 94bhp
  • 2015 Ford Focus 1.6 TDCi 115 Zetec 5dr 113bhp
  • 2015 Fiat Panda 1.2 MULTIJET POP 5d 75 BHP
  • 2015 Fiat 500 Lounge1.3 Multijet 3dr 95bhp
  • 2015 Nissan Juke 1.5 ACENTA DCi 5 DOOR 110 BHP

  • 2015 Renault Clio 1.5 dCi ECO Expression + 5dr 90bhp
  • 2015 Toyota Auris 1.5 D-4D Excel (s/s 5dr 90bhp)
  • 2015 Vauxhall corsa 1.3CDTi Ecoflex design 94BHP
  • 2015 Vauxhall Astra 2.0 CDTi Ecoflex Elite 163 Bhp
  • 2015 Vauxhall Astra 1.5 CDTi 16V Ecoflex 5dr 108bhp
  • 2015 VW Golf hatch 1.5tdi Bluemotion tech S, 104bhp
  • 2015 VW Golf Bluemotion 1.6tdi estate 108bhp

Are classic cars required to pay for entry to the ULEZ 

All vehicles registered with Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency for having historic vehicle tax – which is required to have the car be older than 40 – will be exempted by the ULEZ. 

Your classic car that is registered as having historical vehicle tax will automatically be exempt. 

It is important that vehicle owners apply to DVLA for a vehicle exemption. This will allow them to issue an updated logbook to clarify that the car is eligible to receive historic vehicle tax at no charge.

If a classic vehicle is being used commercially, such as a coffee van or street food outlet, owners will need to pay to access the ULEZ.

Are there any other vehicles that are ULEZ-exempted?

A few vehicle types will be exempted from the ULEZ fee. These include:

  • London black taxis
  • Vehicles for agriculture 
  • Military vehicles 
  • Non-road going vehicleswhich are allowed to drive on a highway (excavators, for example) 
  • Some types of mobile cranes
TfL estimates that 100,000 cars a day will affected by the ULEZ charge being expanded to the North and South Circular Road, along with 35,000 vans and 3,000 HGVs. Based on these estimations, the ULEZ will bring in some £1,987,500 every day for the Greater London Authority. That's almost £14 million a week, or £723,450,000 a year

TfL estimates that 100,000 cars a days will be affected by the ULEZ expansion to the North Circular Road and 35,000 vans and 3,000 heavy-duty vehicles. Based on these estimations, the ULEZ will bring in some £1,987,500 every day for the Greater London Authority. That’s almost £14 million a week, or £723,450,000 a year

Are foreign drivers required to pay the ULEZ?

Non-UK-registered vehicles will need to pay the ULEZ fee to drive in the zone if their emissions standards are not met. 

However, there are very few chances that they will be caught for non compliance.

This is because it is notoriously difficult to gain access to vehicle keeper information in the EU for law enforcement. 

How much is the penalty for not paying to be admitted to the ULEZ

If ANPR cameras snap your non-compliant vehicle being used within the zone and you haven’t paid to enter the ULEZ, you will be fined £160.

This fine is reduced to £80 if you pay within 14 days of receiving the notice.

Lorry and bus drivers who don’t pay have to fork out a whopping £1,000. 

TfL stated that the first offenders would be sent warning letters. However, penalties will be issued to those who follow.

Can I drive into the ULEZ without being stopped?

If your destination is within the ULEZ then you can’t avoid the payment in a noncompliant car.

If your most direct route takes to the ULEZ, you may be rerouted around it.

Waze, navigation and traffic app, updated its software to show drivers if their vehicle is compliant with ULEZ. 

Drivers will be notified if their route passes through the ULEZ zone. They can then choose to travel that route or not.

Was the ULEZ Sadiq Khan’s original idea?

No. Boris Johnson, an ex-London Mayor and current Prime Minister, came up with the scheme.

Khan however, had proposed to accelerate the date of its introduction and expand the scope of the expansion starting 25 October 2021. 

Are there discounts available for residents who live in the ULEZ?

Anyone who has lived in the ULEZ can register to receive a 100 percent discount. This offer was only valid for a limited time, and was not available beyond 8 April 2019.

Residents will have to pay the full daily ULEZ cost to drive a vehicle in this zone from 25 October.   

Blue Badge holders will not be exempt from paying the ULEZ charge of £12.50 if their vehicle is not compliant with the restrictions

Blue Badge holders will not be exempt from paying the ULEZ charge of £12.50 if their vehicle is not compliant with the restrictions

Are there ULEZ Discounts for blue badge holders 

Vehicle owners with a disabled’ or ‘disabled personal vehicles’ tax category can be exempted of the ULEZ fee until 26 October 2025 provided that their vehicle does not change tax classes.  

Blue Badge holders will have to pay the fee unless their vehicle meets the new ULEZ emission standards, or is registered with DVLA with a disabled’ or disabled passenger car’ tax class.

Vehicles with ‘disabled’ passenger vehicles or vehicles that are not compliant with ULEZ emission standards, will be subject to the daily ULEZ fee starting 27 October 2025

TfL will help me get rid of a non-compliant vehicle and purchase one that won’t be stung with the ULEZ fee.

Although there is a ULEZ Scrappage Scheme, it is only available for low-income drivers. The funds available are almost exhausted.

Drivers must be eligible for the grant if they receive one of several benefits. These include universal credit, child tax credit (child tax credit), pension credit, and working tax credit.

It is only available to residents of 32 London boroughs. The vehicle must be insured, have a current MOT certificate, and be taxed. Only vehicles that are not ULEZ-compliant are eligible for this scheme.

Drivers who meet all the necessary criteria can apply for a grant of £2,000 to replace a car that doesn’t meet the required emission standard criteria with one that does. Motorcyclists will receive £1,000.

TfL stated to This is Money just one week before the expansion that they did not have enough funds to support additional 1,500 applicants. 

Eligibility for the ULEZ scrappage scheme only with one of these benefits

Universal Credit

Armed Forces Independence payment

Attendance Allowance

Carer’s Allowance

Child Tax Credit

Constant Attendance Benefit

Disability Living Allowance

Employment and Support Allocation

Housing Benefit

Income Support

Industrial Injuries Disability Benefit

Jobseeker’s allowance

Pension Credit

Personal Independence Payment

Severe Disablement Allowance

War Pensions Mobility Supplement

Working Tax Credit

What has City Hall already made from ULEZ?

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone helped City Hall rake in an extra £107million in the first year it was in place, This is Money revealed earlier this year. 

With ULEZ introduced in April 2019, official records for the financial year 2019-20 show that Greater London Assembly’s net profits from congestion charges was £267million, data published by the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government shows. A year earlier, it was just £160million. 

Congestion charge income has been steadily falling from around £258million in 2014-15 and 2015-16 to £230 million in 2018-19.

However, in the first year ULEZ was introduced, income leapt to more than £400million – an increase of 74 per cent.

Where are the ULEZ earnings going? 

Transport for London claims that it does no profit from congestion charges. Any money received from the congestion fee and ULEZ will be reinvested in improving the transport network, including its cycleways and Tube.

The AA is skeptical about the claims.

Luke Bosdet of the motoring organization says that ‘all that they list was transport spending paid out from taxation or airfares.

“Now it comes down to targeting users of vehicles going through their daily lives and not having enough wealth to purchase the most up-to-date cars.

“What the Greater London Authority gets in charges and fines far exceeds the cost for the infrastructure it requires to implement its restrictions.

“They don’t spend it for facilities that would reduce car traffic, regardless if the motorists have the means to do so, such as park and ride or cycle facilities in the outskirts London. 

‘Yes, the ULEZ will have the desired environmental effect – by pricing poorer people off the road and as to what the financial impact of the ULEZ being expanded will be, we can only wonder.’ 

A spokesperson for TfL said: ‘The introduction of the ULEZ is not about making money, but about improving the health and wellbeing of thousands of Londoners. Any money received from ULEZ can be reinvested in walking, cycling, or public transport.

Transport for London states that it does not make a profit from congestion charges and any money received from the congestion charge and ULEZ is reinvested into improving the transport network, including its cycleways, buses and Tube

Transport for London claims that it does no profit from congestion charges. Any money received from congestion charge and ULEZ will be reinvested in improving the transport network, including its buses and cycleways.

Why is the ULEZ being implemented in London?

TfL statistics show that approximately half of the emissions of harmful nitrogen oxides and particulate matter (NOx) are caused by transport.

It also states: “These pollutants make chronic diseases worse, shorten lifespans, and can damage the lung development.

‘The communities that suffer the most from poor air quality are often most vulnerable, including children in London. 360 primary schools are located within safe legal pollution levels. 

Alex Williams, TfL’s director for city planning, stated that toxic air in London damages children’s lungs, and leads to thousands of unnecessary deaths. It is crucial that we expand the Ultra Low Emission Zone.

“It is anticipated that the North and South circular harmful emission from vehicles will drop by around 30% when the zone is extended up to, but without including, the capital.

‘The ULEZ has already proven to be hugely successful, with nitrogen dioxide pollution being cut by almost half in the centre. Many people are making the green transition in preparation for the expansion. We are seeing more cars in inner London that meet the strict pollution standards, ahead of the scheme going into effect in October. 

Recent research has shown that the health damage from cars and vans across the UK costs £6billion a year to the NHS and society, with the bill in London £650million.

Officials claimed that expanding the ULEZ and stricter standards on heavy vehicles in London would result more than 100,000 Londoners living in areas below legal air quality limits in 2021. Furthermore, all areas of London are expected to see a reductions in pollution.

Birmingham earlier this year became the first city outside the capital to charge drivers a daily fee for using older polluting motors. Find out if there's going to be a vehicle emissions tax zone in the cities where you live by reading our full guide linked below

Birmingham became the first city to charge drivers a daily fee for older polluting motors in the United States earlier this year. Check out our guide to find out if your city has an emissions tax zone. 

The Clean Air Zone covers all roads within the A4540 Middleway ring road in Birmingham city centre

The Clean Air Zone includes all roads within the A4540 Middleway Ring Road in Birmingham city centre

Is there a ULEZ in my area?

Older cars in Britain, not just London, are now having to accept the concept of emissions tax zones within the most polluted areas.

Councils have been ordered by the government to reduce air pollution. They must also get rid of any vehicles that are causing it.

Birmingham in June became the first UK city to introduce a charging zone for car drivers outside the capital, with its new Clean Air Zone (CAZ) demanding an £8 payment each time a user of a non-compliant vehicle enters the boundary around the city centre.

It’s not the only city that will be imposing such levies on drivers. There are 14 cities that plan or will create similar zones for motor vehicles. Five of these zones will be in place before the end this year, but not all will impact car owners. 

> Read our guide to each emissions tax zone due to be introduced and when they are expected to launch. 


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