How to avoid paying ULEZ expansion charges – without havi

How to avoid paying ULEZ expansion charges – without having to give up driving

  • Find out the alternatives available to public transport or scrapping your motor 

Sadiq Khan’s plans to grow London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone across all London boroughs have officially come into force on August 29.

The plans which were originally announced by former Mayor of London Boris Johnson, has been pushed all the way out to Zone 6 by Sadiq Khan. 

And although there will be a grace for some with non-compliant ULEZ cars period until October 25, 2027, most have to dish out the £12.50-a-day charge, if they don’t meet the standard.

So who has to pay the daily charge? What vehicles are exempt and do you have to give up driving to avoid it altogether?

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ expansion plans came into force across all 33 London boroughs on August 29 

If you want to continue driving but avoid ULEZ charges there are alternatives to the scrappage scheme available. Equally your car could be ULEZ compliant. Pictured: Sadiq Khan with an air quality monitoring station sign during a visit to Mums for Lungs community group in South Woodford, London

Who doesn’t pay the ULEZ fee?

The ULEZ expansion which is now in affect across the whole of London, except for the M25, will require that vehicles which are not ULEZ compliant pay £!2.50 a day fee.

The plans have been introduced with the intention of making London’s air cleaner by discouraging drivers with highly pollutant cars from the roads.

To avoid the ULEZ charge you vehicle must be ULEZ compliant and meet the following standards set out by Transport for London: 

  • Euro 3 for motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles and quadricycles
  • 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 

The majority of diesel cars under six and petrol vehicles under the age of 16 tend to meet the criteria in order to be ULEZ compliant. 

To ensure your motor meets the ULEZ standards enter your number plate here. 

Eligible road users and vehicles will be given a grace period until October 24, 2027. Pictured: Transport for London ULEZ sign

What vehicles are exempt? 

When the plans were initially discussed there were fears disabled Londoners as well as those on low incomes would be disproportionately affected.

Initially a scrappage scheme was introduced for these cohorts to exchange their non-compliant motors, in exchange for grants and travel passes, which is now open to all Londoners.

However, there are still grace periods in place for community transport providers as well as those are disabled, so they get a chance to prepare for the changes that will come with the expansion.

Vehicles with disabled passengers, wheelchair accessible vehicles as well as those who receive disability benefits may be eligible for the grace period. 

Scrappage Scheme Grant Payment Options

  • Scrap a car – £2,000
  • Scrap a car – £1,600 plus one adult-rate Annual Bus & Tram Pass
  • Scrap a car – £1,200 plus two adult-rate Annual Bus & Tram Passes
  • Scrap a motorcycle – £1,000
  • Scrap a motorcycle – £600 plus one adult-rate Annual Bus & Tram Pass
  • Scrap a motorcycle – £200 plus two adult-rate Annual Bus & Tram Passes
  • Scrap a wheelchair accessible vehicle (car or van) – £10,000
  • Retrofit a wheelchair accessible vehicle – £6,000

Source: Transport for London

Those who meet the criteria will not have to shelf out for the £12.50 charge until October 24, 2027. 

It will still be compulsory for blue badge holders to pay the ULEZ fee if they do not meet the criteria for any of the three categories and are not eligible for the grace period.

However, certain blue badge holders will still be required to hand over the daily fee if they do not fulfil criteria for any of the three grace period categories, according to TfL. 

What is the ULEZ scrappage scheme? 

Initially, Khan introduced a scrappage scheme that was only open to Londoners with disabilities, or on a lower income as well as small businesses and charities in London.

This meant only those eligible within this cohort would receive a travel pass and grant in exchange for their non-compliant ULEZ motor. 

But after pumping another £50 million, into the already £110million pound scheme. the London Mayor opened it up to all Londoners.

As a result everyone living in London can trade in their non-compliant ULEZ vehicle in exchange for two TfL travel pass and a partial grant of £1,200.

A partial grant of  £1,600 alongside one TfL travel pass, or alternatively a one-off grant of £2,000.

Certain Londoners could stand to get £1,000 for even shopping in their non-ULEZ compliant motorcycle. 

Enterpise and Zipcar give Londoners the option of renting a ULEZ compliant vehicle hourly. However, not all rent-a- car companies are guaranteed to supply ULEZ compliant motors. Pictured: New Ulez on the M4 near Heathrow Airport making drivers aware they will shortly be within the ULEZ zone

Do I have to give up driving?

Although, TfL and Sadiq Khan are offering up Londoners  public transport passes and one off grants for shopping in their non-compliant ULEZ vehicle, you don’t have to take public transport to avoid the £12.50-a-day fee.

There is the option of becoming a part of a car club or hiring a car. There are several car clubs which have 4,000 cars readily available in England’s capital.

These could serve as an alternative option to paying the ULEZ fee on a non-compliant vehicle, according to CoMoUK, a national charity which champions shared transport.

Both Zipcar and Enterprise allow you to rent a ULEZ-compliant motors for £5 to £6 an hour.

It will cost you £10 to join Zipcar and give it a go. From there you can hire cars for £9 every hour.

Then if you come to the conclusion it is your cup of tea you can join as a member. This subscription will allow you to get your hands on cheaper hourly rentals.

Equally, if they have a centre near your home could cost considerably less than owning and paying for its tax, insurance and up-keep.

It is advised that you always check if the vehicle you are driving is ULEZ compliant.

Although, Enterprise and Zipcar provide customers with cars that meet the ULEZ standards, other rental car companies are not guaranteed to do the same.

To check if the motor you are driving is ULEZ compliant enter the registration of the vehicle here. 

It is also recommended that if you decide to go down the rent-a-car route, that you get the excess insurance, in the event an accident happens while you are out and about.

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