The London ULEZ Expansion 2023 Explained

Everything you need to know about Londons ULEZ Expansion In 2023.

If you live in London or plan to visit the city, you may have heard of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). But did you know that it is expanding across all London boroughs from 29 August 2023? In this article, we will explain what the London ULEZ is, why it is important, when it applies, the charges involved, and the emissions standards required.

Quick-fire ULEZ Expansion 2023 Answers

  • When is the 2023 expansion?
    • 29th August 2023
  • Where does the expansion include?
    • All London Boroughs - a good rule of thumb is if you head inside the M25, you will likely drive in the ULEZ
  • How much is the ULEZ Charge for a non-compliant vehicles?
    • £12.50 per day driven in the ULEZ
  • When does it apply?
    • Every day of the year, except Christmas Day (25th December)
  • How quickly do I have to pay?
    • You have to pay by midnight on the third day following the journey
  • What is the penalty for not paying?
    • Increased to £180 (reduced by 50% if paid within 14 days)
  • I am a resident inside the ULEZ, does it apply to me?
    • Yes, the ULEZ applies to all vehicles that do not meet standards
  • Are there discounts and exemptions?
    • Yes, see the section section below or TFL website for details
Don’t forget – 4 out of 5 cars driving in London are compliant with the emissions standards, so have a quick check, and you might not need to worry!
 

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London City Centre Road With Vehicles And A ULEZ Sign

What is the ULEZ?

The ULEZ is an initiative to improve air quality in London by discouraging the use of polluting vehicles. It requires certain vehicles to meet strict emissions standards, or else pay a daily charge to drive within the zone. The ULEZ was first introduced in central London in April 2019.

When and where is the ULEZ expansion happening?

Previously the ULEZ extended to the north and south circular roads, however, this is changing in August 2023 to include most of Greater London. The new ULEZ extension 2023 will effectively include all London boroughs. A good rule of thumb, is if you drive inside the M25, there is a good chance you will drive in the ULEZ. There should be plenty of signposts, but its always worth double-checking!

 

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Why is the ULEZ expansion important?

Air pollution is a significant health concern in London, with emissions from road transport being a major contributor to the issue. Exposure to air pollution is associated with various serious health problems such as asthma, cancer, and lung disease, and it is estimated that thousands of Londoners die prematurely each year due to its effects. The purpose of the ULEZ is to mitigate the harmful effects of vehicle emissions and promote public health.

Are there any days when ULEZ does not apply?

The ULEZ applies 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including weekends and public holidays. The only exception is Christmas Day.

If you drive within the ULEZ, including the expanded area from 29 August 2023, and your vehicle does not meet the emissions standards, you could face a daily charge of £12.50. This charge applies to all drivers, including residents of the ULEZ, unless you are parked inside the zone and don't drive.

If you are parked in the ULEZ but do not drive your car, the charge does not apply for that day.

Which vehicles does ULEZ apply to?

The following vehicles will all have to meet ULEZ emission standards or pay the daily fee:

  • Cars
  • Motorbikes
  • Vans
  • 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.

 

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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 quadri-cycles: Euro 3 (NOx)
London Skyline View With River And Smog

How much does it cost to drive into ULEZ?

If your vehicle does not meet the emissions standards, you will have to pay a daily charge of £12.50 to drive within the ULEZ. This charge is in addition to any congestion charge or parking fees that may apply. The daily charge applies to each day that your vehicle is within the ULEZ, from midnight to midnight.

It's important to note that more than four out of five vehicles already meet the emissions standards. To see if your vehicle meets the 2023 ULEZ emission standards, you can use the vehicle checker provided by Transport for London (TfL).

Are there any discounts or exemptions?

Yes, TFL and the government have allowed discounts and exemptions - some drivers qualify for a temporary discount or extension of the deadline, while others are entirely exempt.

Examples include:

  • Drivers with a disability
  • NHS patient reimbursement
  • Taxis
  • Wheelchair-accessible private hire vehicles
  • Minibuses for community transport
  • Historic vehicles

For a full list and more details, head to the TFL website

What is the ULEZ scrappage scheme?

Londoners receiving certain low-income or disability benefits can apply to the Mayor of London's £110 million scrappage scheme. Eligible applicants could receive a payment to scrap their vehicle, or choose a lower payment plus one or two TfL Annual Bus & Tram passes worth more than the payment alone. London-based sole traders, micro-businesses (10 or fewer employees), and registered charities will also be able to apply to scrap or retrofit a van or minibus.

Can I set up Auto-pay for the ULEZ?

Yes, and the £10 annual fee to register a vehicle for Auto Pay has been removed. Auto Pay lets drivers who register their vehicles avoid the risk of forgetting to pay the daily ULEZ charge and incurring a penalty charge - handy for drivers regularly heading into the ULEZ in vehicles not meeting the standards.

How to Avoid the ULEZ

There are a few ways to avoid having to remortgage to pay your ULEZ charges! Here are a couple below that might help:

1 – Park outside the ULEZ

An obvious one, but worth mentioning – don't drive into the ULEZ, but park just outside and get public transport in! See our comprehensive list below for the best places to park outside the ULEZ!

2 – Get a ULEZ-compliant car

Again, pretty obvious, but if you can afford it, it is definitely worth investing in a ULEZ-compliant car! And why not try a Hybrid or Electric Car – even better for the planet and might save you a pretty penny on fuel and parking! Not only could you drive in not paying the ULEZ charge, but could even get free parking!
 
 

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Where to park outside the ULEZ

North

  • Cheshunt
    • Cheshunt sits at the end of an Overground line and just outside the M25 and new ULEZ zone. National rail trains also head into London Liverpool Street regularly

North East

  • Chigwell / Loughton
    • Central Line trains head into the centre of London from these stations which sit right on the edge of the new ULEZ zone

East

  • Purfleet
    • Just north of the river, Purfleet is just inside the M25, but outside the ULEZ zone with trains heading into London Fenchurch Street every half hour
  • Dartford
    • Just south of the river, and inside the M25, Dartford has much more regular services into London Charing Cross and London Victoria.

South East

  • Sevenoaks
    • Slightly further away from the ULEZ but trains regular trains into London Bridge in just 25 minutes makes this a great place to park outside the new ULEZ

South

  • Caterham
    • Trains into London Bridge from every half hour here taking roughly 50 minutes
  • Reigate / Redhill
    • Trains into London Victoria in 50 minutes, but stopping at Clapham Junction

South West

  • Epsom
    • With regular trains into London Victoria, London Bridge and London Waterloo make this a great place to park and jump on a train into London.

West

  • Slough / Maidenhead
    • The new Elizabeth Line stops in Slough and Maidenhead, easily into the centre of London - including Bond Street, Paddington, Liverpool Street
  • Windsor
    • South Western train lines head into London Paddington from Windsor regularly in just 35 minutes

North West

  • Watford
    • Has both Overground line trains and National Rail services heading into London Euston in just 25 min
 

That is everything you need to know about the ULEZ expansion 2023! A quick check should show you there is nothing to worry about, and your car hopefully meets the emissions requirements.

If you are looking for somewhere to park, inside or outside the ULEZ before or after the expansion, we will be sure to have a space for you!

 

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Elliot

Updated 13th Apr 2023

Written 17th Feb 2023

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