What cars are ULEZ compliant? How do I know if my car is allowed in the ULEZ zone?

image showing the rear end of a porsche cayenne that isn't going to be ulez compliant in greater london

What cars are ULEZ compliant? How do I know if my car is allowed in the ULEZ zone?

The London Ultra Low Emissions Zone has expanded. It now means any vehicle with exhaust emissions that are too dirty will have to pay a daily £12.50 to drive inside Greater London. It’s fairly simple to work out if your car is ULEZ compliant.

Which year cars are ULEZ compliant?

Petrol cars that conform to ULEZ standards are usually registered after 2005. Diesel models are generally those registered after September 2015.

To not have to pay the ULEZ charge, a petrol car must be rated Euro 4 for NOx (Nitrogen Oxide). A diesel car must be at least Euro 6 for NOx and PM (particulate matter).

image showing 2011 porsche cayenne that's no longer ulez compliant in greater london
Lovely as it is, this 2011 Porsche Cayenne will cost you £12.50 a day to drive in Greater London

How do I know if a car is ULEZ compliant?

Its year of registration is the first clue. If you’re unsure, look at the car’s user manual. In this it should say what emissions standard the car is. The stages of emissions run from Euro 1 in 1992 to today’s Euro 6D. If your car is pre-1992, it may have to pay a charge to enter London’s ULEZ.

The higher the number, the cleaner the car in terms of Nitrogen Oxide and particulate matter emissions.

How old does your car need to be to avoid ULEZ?

Cars that are older than 40 years don’t have to pay ULEZ. As with road tax and MOTs, this is a rolling exemption. In 2023, that means cars first registered before 1983 don’t have to pay the ULEZ. These vehicles sit in the historic vehicle tax class.

ULEZ vehicle checker

There are lots of ways to check if your vehicle is ULEZ compliant. We think the best is using Transport for London’s web tool. You’ll find this on the TFL website linked to here.

Do you still have to pay if your car is ULEZ compliant?

No. If your car is newer than 2005 (petrol) or 2015 (diesel), you will not have to pay the ULEZ charge.

Who is exempt from the ULEZ charge?

Taxis are, as long as they’re licensed, historic vehicles as we explained above, and vehicles that TfL classes as disabled passenger vehicles currently don’t have to pay the charge, although that is likely to change.

How is ULEZ policed?

Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras around Greater London can recognise cars that aren’t ULEZ compliant. Their registered keeper will then receive a fine. This is £180 or £90 if they pay it within 14 days.

The charge is daily from midnight to midnight. So if you drive into the zone at 8pm and leave it at 1am the following morning, you will have to pay twice for being in the zone across two days.

Paying the charge isn’t difficult. There’s an app or you can do it on the website. Transport for London is adamant that it wants drivers to comply with ULEZ rather than pay the daily charge.

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