What does ULEZ mean and am I ULEZ compliant?

In a nutshell, ULEZ stands for Ultra Low Emissions Zone. It’s a scheme that was set up with the aim of improving London’s health and cleaning up all that toxic air. Where did it all begin? What does it mean exactly and is your vehicle exempt?

Find out all you need to know here.

What is ULEZ?

First launched back in April 2019, by the Mayor of London, the ULEZ scheme requires that all drivers in the city, both commuters and residents, to meet the strict emission standards. Vehicles need to meet the different emission standards for ULEZ based on their vehicle type, and the type of emission.

Born out the need to tackle the high toxic fume levels in the city, ever since its rollout you’ll be glad to hear that the fume levels have plummeted! Deep down though, what London is really trying to do is to encourage people to upgrade their vehicles to meet this standard. For now, vehicles that meet the petrol and diesel standards are exempt from the current charges, so great news for you if this is yours.

Where is the zone?

The ULEZ area that you need to know about is the Central London area, including the City and Westminster areas.

Word on the block has it that after October this year, 2021, the ULEZ zone will be expanding to cover a much broader area of London.

The zone will account for the entire area of the north circular road all the way down to the west, the east and the south.

ULEZ zone

Do you have to pay if you live in London?

The short answer to this one is no. If you live in the ULEZ zone. Instead, you’ll be able to claim a 100% discount until October 2021, how amazing is that!

After this time, you’ll have to pay, unfortunately, unless you switch to a compliant car.

Who doesn’t love a discount either? It's great if you live within the ULEZ and in the areas next to the boundary when the charge residents’ discount applies.

Is my car exempt?

It’s not news to you that we need to weed out these heavy emission vehicles we have on the road and that’s the whole point of ULEZ. With that countrywide ban due to come into force in 2030 too, there’s so much to keep an eye on.

If you’re driving around in a diesel car at the moment, you’re more than likely facing a daily charge.

For a complete breakdown of those vehicles that are exempt though, check this out:

  • All 100% electric vehicles and hybrids
  • Euro 3 for motorbikes that were registered after July 2007
  • Euro 4 for petrol cars for the majority of petrol cars from 2005
  • Euro 6 for diesel cars, which includes most of those registered after September 2015
  • Most historical vehicles, such as military and farm ones
  • Vehicles built more than 40 years ago

When your vehicle doesn't meet the standard

Do you drive a car that doesn’t meet the standard? Not to worry, but if the daily charge isn’t paid, a Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) will be issued to the registered keeper, and we’d hate for that to happen.

If you land yourself this penalty, you’ll receive this on top of any congestion charge or low emission zone penalties that you have racked up too.

How to pay

These penalties really will get you and when it comes to paying for them, they love for nothing more than to make this really simple for you.

You can pay up to 90 days ahead of your journey to avoid any penalties, great isn’t it?

One of the great ways to pay is via AutoPay, which is linked to the ULEZ cameras throughout the city. The way it works is that your debit card will automatically be charged whenever you drive through the zone. It’s a great idea if you think about it.

Just remember, unless your vehicle is compliant, then this scheme is out to get you as it operates seven days a week, 24 hours a day. There’s no getting away from it, so don’t let it catch you out.

Check out these daily charges:

  • · Flat fee for most vehicles is £12.50
  • · Heavier vehicles, including lorries etc. is £100

What is LEZ?

Ever heard of the Low Emissions Zone? Well, it’s much larger than the ULEZ and it's quite different too. It turns out this actually only applies to commercial vehicles, like buses, coaches and horseboxes etc. you get the drift.

Cars, most vans and motorbikes are exempt.

News has it that the City of London Corporation has outlined plans for a zero-emissions zone within the next Mayoral term, which runs from May next year up until May 2024, so watch this space.

If you live in or around the ULEZ area or you find yourself driving through it a lot, you may want to check whether or not your car meets the ULEZ requirements and how much your congestion charge is going to be. If you're finding it too much or you just don't your car you can always get rid of it. No need to ask "who will by my car?" because we're right here. You can use our sell your car service and get an instant car valuation service and it's all free.

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