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  • Apr 9, 2019

  • 3 min read


The Ultra Low Emissions Zones are here

As the ULEZ is introduced to the streets of central London, here's our guide to what you need to know about the scheme designed to tackle air pollution in the capital.

What is ULEZ?

The Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) has been introduced in London to help improve the city’s air quality. The zone covers the same central London area as the Congestion Charge (although, important to note, the ULEZ charge doesn’t replace this). It operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. This means that if you drive into the ULEZ zone at any point and your vehicle doesn’t meet the required standard, you’ll be liable to pay the charge.

From 25 October 2021 the ULEZ boundary will be extended to create a single larger zone bounded by the North and South Circular Roads.

Whilst London was the first city to introduce an Ultra Low Emissions Zone, other cities are introducing similar restrictions. In Bath, for example, a new Clean Air Zone (CAZ) was introduced in March 2021 (we have a blog all about this), and Birmingham will be introducing a CAZ in June 2021.

The Ultra Low Emission Zone will operate in the same area as the Congestion Charge Zone

What’s the cost?

There’s a daily charge of £12.50 for most vehicle types, including cars, motorcycles and vans (up to and including 3.5 tonnes)

For heavier vehicles, including lorries (over 3.5 tonnes) and buses/coaches (over 5 tonnes), the daily charge is £100.

It’s worth noting these costs are on top of the Congestion Charge, meaning if your vehicle doesn’t meet the required standards you might end up paying under both schemes.

How could it impact you?

If you drive in London, this could have a big impact on you. ULEZ charges are based on Euro emissions standards, and vary according to vehicle type. If your vehicle doesn’t meet the required standards, you’ll have to pay the charge. As a general rule, emissions standards can be identified by the age and type of vehicle, and so the vehicles that meet the ULEZ standards are as below:

Petrol cars - Euro 4 - from January 2006

Diesel cars - Euro 6 - from September 2015

Petrol Vans - Euro 4 - from January 2006

Diesel Vans - Euro 6 - from September 2015

Motorcycles, scooters, moped etc - Euro 3 - from July 2007

Lorries, Buses and coaches etc - Euro VI - after 2014

Note, these are the general rules of thumb; you’ll need to check how your vehicle meets the ULEZ standards.

How can we help?

Electric vehicles are some of the cleanest, least polluting types of vehicles on the road. This means they won’t be liable to the ULEZ charge. And whether it’s a car, van or taxi, a charger or an electricity tariff, we’ve got the right EV package for you.

Octopus Electric Vehicles offers a wide range of electric cars to make your driving emissions ultra low, as well as charging solutions and energy tariffs to help keep the running costs ultra low.

We’ve got a team of experts on hand to find the right vehicle for you, so if you can’t find what you’re looking for, get in contact.