1 May 2023

What is ULEZ Compliant?

Many UK cities, most notably London, have had ULEZ zones in place for several years.

In recent years, the Mayor of London decided to either expand London's ULEZ zone beyond the M25 perimeter in an attempt to push motorists towards driving cleaner, less polluting vehicles.

Other UK cities including Birmingham, bath and Portsmouth have also introduced very similar clean air schemes, with many more signally their intent to follow suit in the near future.

But what does ULEZ mean and how might this affect you?

In the chapters below, we answer all the common questions surrounding the ULEZ scheme, who's affected and how to avoid receiving a daily charge.

What is ULEZ?

Street with ULEZ Sign
All of London will soon be fully ULEZ compliant. Image credit: Pixabay

ULEZ stands for "Ultra Low Emission Zone."

It's a traffic pollution reduction measure that's been implemented in Greater London to help improve air quality and reduce harmful emissions in the city centre.

The ULEZ zone operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and requires drivers to pay a daily fee of £12.50 if they own an older, more polluting vehicle.

Vehicles that meet certain emissions standards, including most petrol and diesel cars registered after 2015, are exempt from the ULEZ charge.

The aim of the ULEZ is to encourage the use of cleaner, more environmentally friendly vehicles, and to help reduce air pollution in London.

What Does ULEZ Compliant Mean?

A vehicle that's ULEZ compliant means it meets the emission standards required to drive in an Ultra Low Emission Zone without incurring a daily charge.

These standards typically require vehicles to emit lower levels of harmful pollutants, such as nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM), and meet specific Euro emission standards.

In London for example, the ULEZ standards require that petrol cars and vans meet Euro 4 emissions standards, while diesel cars and vans must meet Euro 6 standards.

Failure to do so could result in a daily charge for drivers entering the zone, which is designed to encourage the use of cleaner, low-emission vehicles.

Electric vehicles are 100% ULEZ compliant, since they do not emit any emissions whatsoever.

What Cars are ULEZ Compliant?

Parked EV On Street Charging
Fully electric (BEV) cars are automatically ULEZ compliant. Image credit: Unsplash

Vehicles that are exempt from the daily Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) charges in London are as follows:

  • Fully Electric vehicles (BEVs)
  • Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEVs) that meet the ULEZ emission standards and have a minimum electric range of 20 miles
  • Petrol cars and vans that meet the Euro 4 emissions standards (generally registered with the DVLA after 1st January, 2006)
  • Diesel cars and vans that meet the Euro 6 emissions standards (generally registered with the DVLA after 1st September, 2015)
  • Motorcycles and mopeds that meet Euro 3 emissions standards and above (generally registered with the DVLA after 1st July, 2007)

It is important to note however, that the above exemptions only apply to London's ULEZ charges and not the city's Congestion Charge, which has different exemption criteria.

Are Classic Cars ULEZ Exempt?

If you own a classic car that falls into the historical vehicle tax class, it may be classed as ULEZ exempt.

This rule generally applies to vehicles built more than 40 years ago in any given year.

The rules do vary, so ensure you check you vehicle to see if this exemption applicable.

Furthermore, you may need to register your vehicle in order to ensure it is not charged if used inside the ULEZ zone.

The exemption also applies to vehicles used for commercial purposes aged 40 years or more, including food trucks and coffee vans.

How Can I Check My Vehicle is ULEZ Exempt?

The Transport for London (TFL) website has an online ULEZ checker facility.

it will also tell you if you need to pay the congestion charge as well s the ULEZ daily fee.

What is ULEZ Compliant?
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What is ULEZ Compliant?
What is ULEZ Compliant? With London & other cities soon to expand ULEZ zones, we uncover what this means & how this affect motorists.
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