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Guide to ULEZ

First announced in 2013 the zone’s aim is to improve London's air quality and reduce exhaust emissions from polluting vehicles. Any vehicles which do not meet the new requirements will be liable for a daily charge to drive within the ULEZ area. By the summer of 2023 the ULEZ zone will encompass much of Greater London.

What is ULEZ?

ULEZ stands for Ultra Low Emissions zone. Taking in a large area of London, the zone operates 24hours, everyday apart from Christmas Day.

  • Only vehicles with ultra low emissions can travel in the zone without charge. Vehicles which do not meet the standards are required to pay a daily charge to travel anywhere in the zone.
  • Initially, the first phase operated in the same areas as the current congestion charge. However, in October 2021 ULEZ expanded to the North and South Circular boundary.
  • An enlarged ULEZ is coming in August 2023, reaching from Enfield to the North, Purley and Biggin Hill to the South, Upminster to the East and Heathrow Airport to the West.
  • This is in addition to the weekday London Congestion Charge and the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) charge.
London ULEZ original area

Original ULEZ area from 2019 to October 2021

London ULEZ enlarged area 2021

Current ULEZ zone area 2021 onwards

ULEZ 2023 expansion

ULEZ 2023 Expansion

ULEZ 2023 Expansion

In late November 2022, it was announced that the ULEZ area would significantly increase on 29 August 2023. The new area will cover all London boroughs.

Some of the towns and locations which will fall into the new ULEZ boundary include:

  • Croydon
  • Romford
  • Wimbledon
  • Twickenham
  • Hounslow
  • Hayes
  • Ruislip
  • Harrow
  • Enfield
  • Stanmore
  • Heathrow Airport
  • Kingston-upon-Thames

Some towns and locations which will sit just outside of the enlarge ULEZ boundary are:

  • Caterham
  • Dartford
  • Brentwood
  • Chigwell
  • Cheshunt
  • Borehamwood
  • Rickmansworth
  • Staines
  • Epsom

The daily charge of £12.50 is remaining at the same rate and Transport For London has also confirmed plans to remove the £10 annual fee to register for Auto Pay.

Penalty Charge Notices has increased.

Prior to 30th January 2023 the penalty charge for entering into the zone in an non-compliant vehicle was £80/£160 depending on how quickly you paid. This has now increased to £90/£180.

ULEZ Grace Periods

Given the huge increase in the size of the new ULEZ zone, Transport For London has also announced plans to operate an extended grace period for large groups of people impacted by the news.

These groups include Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, Disabled Benefit registered people (or their nominated driver), Community not-for-profit minibus operators and showman's vehicles.

Some grace periods will be in operation until 25 October 2025 for the community transport vehicles, while most over grace periods will be in operation until 25 October 2027.

For a full listing of possible exemptions, take a look at the information on the TFL website.

Will I have to pay a ULEZ charge?

Most plug-in vehicles are ULEZ compliant and will not have to pay the charge. If your vehicle uses another type of fuel other than electric, it’s likely you will not meet the ULEZ standards, therefore you will have to pay the charge.

The ULEZ standards are:

  • Euro 3 for motorcycles and moped.
  • Euro 4 (NOx) for petrol cars, vans and minibuses
  • Euro 6 (NOx and PM) for diesel cars, vans and minibuses
  • Euro VI (NOx and PM) for lorries, buses and coaches and other specialist heavy vehicles (NOx and PM)

If you are unsure if your vehicle meets the new exhaust emission standards, you can check online using this TFL Vehicle Checker. If you are looking to avoid the charge by leasing an electric vehicle, take a look at the vehicles we offer which meet the ULEZ requirements.

How much does ULEZ cost per day?

If you are entering the charging zone and your vehicle does not meet the new exhaust emissions standards you will be required to pay a daily fee.

Most vehicles will pay a daily charge of £12.50. This includes motorcycles, vans and minibuses. Larger vehicles will be required to pay more.

London Bridge Sign ULEZ and Congestion Charge symbols

How to pay for ULEZ

  • If you are entering the charging zone on a regular basis you can register for Auto Pay (£10 admin charge per vehicle). If you already have Auto Pay, then you don’t need to do anything
  • Pay online at TFL website
  • Download the official TfL app
  • Pay by phone

If the charge is not paid a penalty will be issues of £160 (with a 50% reduction if paid within 14 days).

ULEZ Discounts and exemptions

A small number of vehicle types which are currently exempt from the LEZ are also exempt from the ULEZ charge. These include:

  • London-licensed taxis are exempt from ULEZ, as emissions standards have already been introduced for them.
  • Agricultural vehicles
  • Military vehicles
  • Keepers of vehicles registered with a ‘disabled’ or ‘disabled passenger vehicles’ tax class will benefit from a sunset period after the ULEZ starts. They will be exempt from the ULEZ charge until 26 October 2025 as long as their vehicle doesn’t change tax class.

ULEZ exempt electric van lease offer