How to check your vehicle is ULEZ compliant to avoid fines

London may carry the moniker of ‘The Big Smoke’ but the city’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) has done much to address this image since opening in April 2019.

The scheme targets the city’s worst polluting vehicles through a daily charge and has had a transformational impact, reducing emissions by 26%.

Currently, the zone covers all areas within the North and South Circular roads. But with Mayor Sadiq Khan planning to expand the scheme to encompass all London boroughs, many more motorists will be pausing to consider how this will affect them.

Road transport is the single biggest producer of nitrogen dioxide per year with toxic air killing 4,000 Londoners prematurely per year and thousands more at risk of developing illnesses such as cancer, asthma and lung disease.

Van Ninja outlines which vehicles are compliant as well as the charges motorists will be forced to pay if not.

Is my vehicle compliant?

Motorists can check on the TFL website whether their vehicle meets emissions by keying in their vehicle number plate.

In order to avoid paying charges, drivers need to meet the required Euro emissions standards for their vehicle and emission type. These are as follows:

  • Euro 3 for motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles and quadricycles (L category)
  • Euro 4 (NOx) for petrol cars, vans, minibuses and other specialist vehicles
  • Euro 6 (NOx and PM) for diesel cars, vans and minibuses and other specialist vehicles.

Those working with heavier commercial transport or van leasing should also check their weight of their vehicles. Lorries, vans and specialist heavy vehicles over 3.5 tonnes alongside buses, minibuses and coaches over 5 tonnes don’t need to pay the charge.

How can I pay?

Currently the charge is £12.50 per day for non-compliant cars, motorcycles, vans and specialist vehicles (up to 3.5 tonnes) and mini-buses (up to 5 tonnes).

If you drive within the zone, you’ll have to pay by midnight on the third day following a journey. Failure to pay will incur a penalty charge notice. Drivers can pay directly on the TFL website via this link.

You can also elect to pay via Auto Pay which automatically bills you for any congestion charges or ULEZ charges you may owe. There are no registration or renewal fees and drivers can set up via this link.

Finally, drivers can also opt to set up payment via the TfL Pay to Drive in London app which can also be used to pay penalties, save vehicle details and check if a postcode is in an ULEZ charging zone.

How much will this cost me over a year?

Naturally, amid the current cost-of-living concerns, penny-prudent drivers will be wary of accruing hefty charges once these new measure are in play. Over a typical five-day working week, drivers will rack up £62.50 in charges which amounts to £3,250 over the course of year. Responsible drivers will ensure their current cars comply or will likely have to use their vehicles more sparingly going forward.

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