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If you’re a frequenter of London’s roads, you’ll know all about the Ultra Low Emission Zone. For those that don’t, this zone was introduced to the city in April of 2019, in a bid to make a positive impact on the air pollution in the city.

With the number of cars riding on the roads before the ULEZ was brought in, the levels of nitrogen dioxide along the pavements were influencing the health of London’s residents and visitors. Since the ULEZ was created, this level of pollution has decreased drastically, which is why the zone is growing on 25th October 2021!

The existing ULEZ

The Ultra Low Emission Zone exists in Central London, covering the same area as the Congestion Charge. It operates 24/7, 364 days out of the year. The only exception is Christmas Day, 25th December. This won’t be changing! If a vehicle that doesn’t fit in with the ULEZ standards drives into the zone, they will have to pay a daily charge of £12.50. For heavier vehicles, such as lorries and buses or coaches, the charge is £100. The vehicles that are not compliant are often older with more harmful, polluting properties.

The expanding ULEZ

Following the success of the initial ULEZ, the zone will be expanding on 25th October of this year. It will be covering the whole area up to the North and South Circular Roads, meaning areas such as Hackney, Brent, Hammersmith and Fulham, and Waltham Forest will now have to make sure their vehicles are compliant or pay a daily charge. This begs the question, are there any exemptions from paying the charge?

Discounts and exemptions

There are a small number of circumstances that will mean that you don’t have to pay the daily charge. Currently, some vehicles that will be exempt will be London-licensed taxis, vehicles with historic vehicle tax class and military vehicles. You can find more information on the TFL website with detail about who will be eligible for discounts or exemptions. At the moment, it looks like residents in the ULEZ area will have to pay the charge, so investing in a compliant car could be more cost-effective.

What happens if I don’t pay the charge?

If you fail to pay the daily charge after driving into the ULEZ, you will receive a Penalty Charge Notice. This could be up to £160, but this panic-inducing number could be reduced to £80 if you pay it within 14 days. You should never be caught off guard driving into the ULEZ, as every entrance point is sign posted. This should mean that you can avoid it, if needed.

Saving you money

If you frequently drive into London, and therefore the ULEZ, the daily charge (as well as the Congestion Charge if you’re driving centrally) could pile up and become overwhelming. In order to reduce the amount of money spent on daily charges, it would make sense for your vehicle to be ULEZ compliant. The standards are:

  • Euro 3 – motorbikes, mopeds, motorised tricycles and quadricycles
  • Euro 4 – petrol cars, vans, minibuses (up to and including 5 tonnes) and other specialist vehicles (up to and including 3.5 tonnes)
  • Euro 6 – diesel cars, vans, minibuses (up to and including 5 tonnes) and other specialist vehicles (up to and including 3.5 tonnes)

If you’re unsure about whether your vehicle is compliant with the ULEZ standards, check it with TFL’s online tool. Here at CVS Van Hire, you don’t have to worry about paying the ULEZ charge. All of our vans are ULEZ compliant – we’ve been working hard to update our fleet. Whether you need a minibus to take a group into London or a small van to move some belongings, you can drive into the zone knowing that you won’t have a fine coming your way.

To hire a van of your choice from CVS Van Hire, call us on 020 8003 1184 or email [email protected] A member of our team will be more than happy to help you, as well as answer any ULEZ questions you have in the back of your mind.