The 2021 ULEZ Expansion Explained: Where to Park to Avoid ULEZ
One of the few perks of lockdown was that the air quality in Central London improved - and we mean big time. If there is any drawback to life returning to some semblance of normalcy, it’s that emissions are creeping back towards their pre-lockdown levels.
With serious sustainability goals still at the front of the city’s mind, the UK government has decided to take action quickly. The first step in their plan is to expand the current Central London Ultra Low Emission Zone (or ULEZ, which is much less of a mouthful).
This means that more people who drive and park in the city centre will be affected. Anybody driving in the area in a vehicle that doesn’t meet emission standards will have to pay hefty daily fees. As a result, it’s useful to know what your options are when it comes to finding London parking spaces for rent outside of the expanded ULEZ boundary.
What You Need to Know About the 2021 ULEZ Expansion
If you own a car, it’s always a good idea to stay on top of any changes to driving and parking laws, no matter where in the world you are. But the ULEZ expansion is not only a big change, but a potentially disruptive and costly one, especially if you don’t have your ducks in a row.
Here’s everything you need to know to make it easier to navigate the upcoming changes.
When and where is the ULEZ expansion happening?
The ULEZ expansion kicks off on 25 October 2021. Roughly speaking, the area will be expanded up to, but not including, the North Circular (A407) and South Circular Road (A205). You can learn more about the specific boundaries here.
Why is the ULEZ expansion important?
There are still many areas across London that exceed the legal limits for air pollution, with traffic emissions one of the biggest culprits contributing to the problem.
Since ULEZ was first introduced in 2019, the number of cars meeting emissions standards in London has risen significantly and the ULEZ expansion hopes to keep building on this. Ultimately, encouraging greener transport will lead to greener cities which, in turn, will contribute to a greener planet.
Now that gets the green light from us!
Are there any days when ULEZ does not apply?
The newly expanded ULEZ will operate around the clock every day of the year, with the exception of Christmas Day (25th December). This shows that the government clearly means business — not even the Queen’s birthday will get you a free drive through the area.
Which vehicles does ULEZ apply to?
The following vehicles will all have to meet ULEZ emission standards or pay the daily fee:
- Minibuses (up to 5 tonnes)
- Specialist vehicles (up to 3.5 tonnes)
Try the government’s online tool to see if your car sizes up.
What are the emissions standards for ULEZ?
The existing ULEZ emissions standards will stay the same:
- Petrol cars, vans, minibuses (up to 5 tonnes), and other specialist vehicles (up to 3.5 tonnes): Euro 4 (NOx)
- Diesel cars, vans, and other specialist vehicles: Euro 6 (NOx and PM)
- Motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles, and quadricycles: Euro 3 (NOx)
How much does it cost to drive into ULEZ?
Driving through the area in a vehicle that doesn’t meet emissions standards will set you back £12.50 per day, from midnight to midnight.
There’s no dodging the ULEZ fees either, as cameras will check your number plate as soon as you enter the zone. The technology can identify the make and model of your vehicle and charge you automatically.
Auto-payments can be set up with TfL’s Pay to Drive app, which charges £10 a year per vehicle registration. You have three days to make payment after any trip, otherwise penalties are applied.
Remember, if you also drive in the congestion charge zone in Central London between 7am and 10pm, an additional £15 daily charge applies.
How to Avoid ULEZ
According to our rough calculations, if you drive in the congestion charge zone five days a week with a vehicle that doesn’t meet ULEZ standards, it will set you back more than £550 a month in extra fees. Ouch!
We can’t blame you for wanting to avoid this, so here are a few ways to make things a little easier on your bank balance.
1 – Rent a parking space outside of the ULEZ zone
The best way to avoid ULEZ charges is to rent an affordable parking space outside of the ULEZ zone with Stashbee. That way, you can just commute into work from there every day.
Our platform saves you time, stress, and money by giving you thousands of spaces to choose from. We’re talking preset prices, secure payments, and no hidden fees. Enough said.
2 – Use London car parks outside of the congestion zone
Another option is to consider London car parks that sit outside of the ULEZ zone. This might initially seem like a good idea, especially if you’re after a safe space in an area where someone keeps an eye on the cars.
But here’s the kicker: you’re never guaranteed a parking space in a public car park - once it’s full, it’s full. They can also be very expensive, and you may end up paying just as much as if you chose to drive into the ULEZ zone to begin with.
Forget about expensive parking garages and get exactly what you’re looking for with Stashbee instead. Your space will be reserved, it will cost you a fraction of the price, and you may even enjoy the good morning wave to your Host before you head off to work every day.
3 – Buy a new car
As a last resort, you could consider buying a new car that meets emission standards… but during a global pandemic, this might not be financially viable. The last thing you want is to carry a new load of debt when things are already quite tight economically.
If you’re not keen or able to part with the “old faithful” just yet, a parking space rental with Stashbee is a good short-term alternative.
Uhh, unless this is Old Faithful… then we recommend a new car yesterday!
Where Can I Park to Avoid ULEZ?
Parking with Stashbee can be way more affordable than driving into London every day and paying the associated charges, but the proof is in the pudding. Now that the ULEZ has expanded to both the North Circular and South Circular, there are plenty more suburban areas of London where you can park to avoid the zone. Here are some of Stashbee’s parking options, complete with their average listing prices, to help you get around the fees.
NB: Average listing prices accurate as of June 2021.
- Brent sits close to the ever-popular Brent Cross Shopping Centre, meaning that you could even take in a quick trip to the shops once you’ve commuted back to your car.
- Average listing price: £149.96 per month
- Nearest station: Brent Cross (Northern line)
- Edmonton offers links to Liverpool Street in under 30 minutes via the Overground, making it an ideal suburban parking location for anyone working in the city.
- Average listing price: £115.50 per month
- Nearest station: Edmonton Green (London Overground)
- Finchley is another London suburb beloved by families, so you’ll be sure to find your perfect parking spot in a driveway or garage.
- Average listing price: £141.73 per month
- Nearest station: Finchley Central (Northern line)
- Neasden is a hidden gem within Zone 3, making it quick, cheap, and easy to commute into Central London via the Jubilee line.
- Average listing price: £131.33 per month
- Nearest station: Neasden (Jubilee line)
- Wembley is just outside the ULEZ boundary. Forget about busy car parks near the stadium and get a spot of your own.
- Average listing price: £156.90 per month
- Nearest stations: Wembley Central (Bakerloo line, Chiltern Railways, London Overground, London Northwestern Railway, Southern Rail), Wembley Park (Metropolitan line, Jubilee line)
- Chingford is a picturesque suburb with convenient Overground access to Central London.
- Average listing price: £114.18 per month
- Nearest station: Chingford (London Overground)
- Ilford sits between London and Essex, making it a perfect midpoint for people from either side looking for somewhere to park.
- Average listing price: £151.08 per month
- Nearest station: (TfL Rail, Crossrail - under construction)
- Redbridge is one of the leafier East London suburbs, making it particularly popular with families, many of whom will have driveways to spare.
- Average listing price: £107.33 per month
- Nearest station: Redbridge (Central line)
- Woodford is an undersung historical gem, but for our purposes, its main draw is its abundance of parking options and the (just over) 20 minutes it takes to commute to Liverpool Street.
- Average listing price: £93.67 per month
- Nearest stations: Woodford (Central line), South Woodford (Central line)
- Beckenham offers incredible green space and a 2000-capacity cricket ground, as well as fantastic opportunities for parking throughout the area.
- Average listing price: £119.58 per month
- Nearest stations: Beckenham Junction (Southeastern Railway, Southern Rail, Tramlink), Beckenham Hill (Thameslink)
- Bermondsey is so close to Tower Bridge, you can see it from nearly every building in the area, but it’s still outside the ULEZ zone!
- Average listing price: £149.22 per month
- Nearest stations: Bermondsey (Jubilee line), South Bermondsey (Southern Rail)
- Dulwich has three different stations, giving park-and-ride commuters a wealth of different, easy ways to get into the city centre.
- Average listing price: £116.75 per month
- Nearest stations: North Dulwich (Southern Rail), East Dulwich (Southern Rail), West Dulwich (Southeastern Railway)
- Eltham is another up-and-coming area that is already extremely popular with young commuters, with parking space to spare.
- Average listing price: £114.42 per month
- Nearest station: Eltham (Southeastern Railway)
- Kennington is best known as the home of the Oval cricket ground, so there’s already high demand for parking there as it is. And, as it’s a location outside of ULEZ, it’s doubly useful to have a guaranteed space.
- Average listing price: £167.83 per month
- Nearest station: Kennington (Northern Line)
- Kew may be best known for its beautiful Royal Botanic Gardens, but the range of parking options is just as breathtaking!
- Average listing price: £125 per month.
- Nearest stations: Kew Bridge (South Western Railway), Kew Gardens (District Line)
- Plumstead isn’t far from Woolwich, but offers its own charms, as well as varied parking options to suit anyone situated in the southeast.
- Average listing price: £139.92 per month
- Nearest station: Plumstead (Southeastern Rail)
- Putney is often considered one of the most family-friendly areas of Greater London, but it’s also ideal for anyone looking to park outside the ULEZ.
- Average listing price: £132.83 per month
- Nearest stations: Putney (South Western Railway), Putney Bridge (District line), East Putney (District line)
- Richmond - and Richmond Park in particular - is a great place for long-term parking, with plenty of options for getting into work from its scenic surroundings.
- Average listing price: £167.81 per month
- Nearest station: Richmond (South Western Railway, North London Line, District Line)
- Streatham is another area of southeast London with three stations to choose from and plenty of parking opportunities to boot!
- Average listing price: £148.09 per month
- Nearest stations: Streatham (Southern Rail, Thameslink), Streatham Hill (Southern Rail), Streatham Common (Southern Rail)
- Sydenham has long been in demand with young families and plenty of new housing - which means new parking opportunities - is put under construction each year.
- Average listing price: £105.17 per month
- Nearest stations: Sydenham (Southern Rail, London Overground), Sydenham Hill (Southeastern Railway)
- Thamesmead is primarily made up of residential streets and housing estates, giving commuters a range of possibilities for ULEZ-compliant parking.
- Average listing price: £112.50 per month
- Nearest station: Abbey Wood (Southeastern Rail, Crossrail - under construction)
- Tooting has great links via Thameslink to London Blackfriars and the Northern line to both Waterloo and London Bridge, making it an ideal parking hub.
- Average listing price: £128.20 per month
- Nearest stations: Tooting (Thameslink, Southern Rail), Tooting Bec (Northern line)
- Wandsworth offers easy access to the London Victoria and Waterloo stations in about 10 minutes, making it the ideal place to park outside ULEZ for commuters.
- Average listing price: £147.24 per month
- Nearest stations: Wandsworth Town (South Western Railway), Wandsworth Road (Southeastern Railway, London Overground)
- Wimbledon might make for a longer commute if you work in the heart of the city. However, the safety of the area will make up for the inconvenience.
- Average listing price: £142.46 per month.
- Nearest station: Wimbledon (South Western Railway, Thameslink, District Line, Tramlink)
- Woolwich sits on the bank of the Thames, so once you’ve parked your car, why not consider taking the Thames Clipper down the river to work instead?
- Average listing price: £151.16 per month
- Nearest stations: Woolwich Arsenal (Southeastern Rail, DLR), Woolwich (Crossrail - under construction)
- Ealing is also on the outskirts of the ULEZ expansion. While there are many car parks in the area, you’re better off taking advantage of a Stashbee space in this area, as parking garages around here can be expensive.
- Average listing price: £147.65 per month
- Nearest station: Ealing Broadway (Great Western Rail, District line, Central line)
Now that you know everything there is to know about the 2021 ULEZ expansion, you can start to prepare for the changes.
First, check the status of your vehicle. Then rent a short-term, long-term or hourly parking space through Stashbee on the outskirts of the expanded zone to avoid what can quickly become a costly daily commute. Finally, think about what you want to do with all of that money you’re saving!
21st Jun 2021