London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)


The London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) was implemented in April 2019 to discourage the use of high-polluting vehicles on roads in central London.  Originally launched by Boris Johnson during his tenure as Mayor of London, the ULEZ initially covered the Congestion Zone area.

In October 2021, the ULEZ was expanded to cover the entirety of the North Circular Road (A406) and the South Circular Road (A205).  According to research conducted in 2020, the daily charge associated with the ULEZ has successfully reduced roadside nitrogen dioxide levels by an impressive 44%.

Since the expansion, nearly 94% of vehicles within the ULEZ have met the stringent emission standards on a typical day.  This is a significant increase from the previous figure of 87% before the zone’s expansion and a substantial improvement from 2017, when ULEZ-associated impacts were first observed, where only 39% of vehicles met the standards.

On August 29, 2023, the Ultra Low Emission Zone was extended to cover all boroughs of London, further contributing to improving air quality throughout the city.  The expansion provides cleaner air for five million people residing in outer London.

The ULEZ primarily targets older, high-polluting vehicles, particularly diesel cars and vans, which face more stringent penalties compared to petrol vehicles.  Diesel cars that meet the ULEZ standards are generally those registered with the DVLA after September 2015, while compliant petrol vehicles are typically those first used after 2006.  Vehicles that fail to meet the emissions standards are subject to the daily ULEZ charge.  An estimated 9 out of 10 cars observed in outer London meet the ULEZ standards.

By implementing the ULEZ and extending its coverage, London is taking significant steps to improve air quality, mitigate pollution, and promote healthier living environments for its residents.

When does the ULEZ operate?

The ULEZ operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year, including weekends, public and bank holidays, excluding Christmas Day.

The Low Emission Zone (LEZ) which applies to lorries, vans, specialist heavy vehicles (all weighing over 3.5 tonnes) operates operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year, including Christmas Day.

Who is affected?

Cars, motorcycles, vans and other specialist vehicles such as motorised horseboxes and pickups (up to and including 3.5 tonnes) and minibuses (up to and including 5 tonnes), whether petrol or diesel, need to meet the ULEZ emissions standards or a daily charge will need to be paid.

ULEZ standards are based on Euro emissions standards that set limits for vehicle exhaust emissions.  Generally, all new diesel vehicles sold from September 2016 and all new petrol vehicles sold from January 2006 meet the emissions standards.

Drivers of lorries, vans or specialist heavy vehicles (all over 3.5 tonnes) and buses, minibuses and coaches (all over 5 tonnes) do not need to pay the ULEZ charge.  They will need to pay the LEZ charge if their vehicles do not meet the LEZ emissions standards.

What if my car doesn’t meet the emissions standards?

Should your vehicle not meet the emissions standards, you must pay the ULEZ charge.

Are any cars exempt from the ULEZ charge?

The government has announced that all electric and hybrid cars will be exempt from the zone’s charges.  Cars with petrol engines that meet the Euro 4 emissions standard and the stiffer Euro 6 standard for diesels are exempted from ULEZ.  More information on their website includes a list of compliant vehicles for both new and older models to keep up with emission standards.  Additionally, several other types of exemptions are available, including for taxis, community transport minibuses and historic vehicles.

What if I don’t live in London and need to pay?

If you enter the charging zone, you will need to pay by midnight on the third day afterwards – or face a fine.

Do I still have to pay the Congestion Charge?

Yes, the charge is in addition to the Congestion Charge and applies irrespective of whether your vehicle is ULEZ compliant.

Transport for London (TfL) plans to install 2,750 cameras across outer London to monitor the new zone.  Advance warning signs notify drivers as they approach the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), allowing them to divert if desired.  Entry points along the boundary feature road signs, reminder signs and advance signage to guide drivers within the zone.  There are no barriers or toll booths.  The cameras will scan your number plate, cross-referencing it with the DVLA database to determine if your vehicle meets emissions standards and if you have paid the daily charge.  This proactive approach ensures improved travel speed and performance while promoting environmental sustainability.




Most vehicles driving in outer London on an average day meet the ULEZ standards, exempting their drivers from paying the charge.  However, if your vehicle does not meet the ULEZ emissions standards, you may face a daily charge when driving within the zone.  It’s important to note that parking your vehicle throughout the day does not require payment of the ULEZ charge.  Nevertheless, even for short trips, the daily charge is applicable.  Keep in mind that charging days run from midnight to midnight, meaning that if you drive within the ULEZ area across two days, you will need to pay two daily charges.

Lorries, vans, specialist heavy vehicles (all weighing over 3.5 tonnes), buses, minibuses, and coaches (all weighing over 5 tonnes) are exempt from the ULEZ charge.  These vehicles are subject to the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) charge unless they meet the emissions standard set by the LEZ.

You can also find out if your vehicle meets the emissions and safety standards required to drive in London here.


Cars must meet minimum emissions standards when travelling within the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), or the daily £12.50 charge must be paid.
Minimum emissions standards:
Petrol: Euro 4 (NOx)
Diesel: Euro 6 (NOx and PM)

Source TFL

Vans and More

  • Small vans (up to 1.205T unladen)
  • Larger vans, 4X4 light utility vehicles, pickups (over 1.205T unladen and up to 3.5T GVW)
  • Motorcaravans (2.5T to 3.5T)
  • Minibuses (more than 8 passenger seats, not over 5T)

Minimum emissions standards:
Petrol: Euro 4 (NOx)
Diesel: Euro 6 (NOx and PM)
Daily fee: £12.50

Source: TFL

Vans, Lorries & HGVs over 3.5T

£100 for vans or specialist diesel vehicles (over 1.205T unladen & up to 3.5T GVW) not meeting Euro 3.

£100 for HGVs, lorries, vans and specialist vehicles over 3.5T which do not meet Euro VI (NOx and PM) standards but meet Euro IV (PM).

£300 for HGVs, lorries, vans and specialist vehicles over 3.5T which do not meet Euro IV (PM).

Source: TFL


London’s air quality is a pressing concern, which is why the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has recently expanded to include all London boroughs.  This initiative aims to tackle air pollution across the city, not just in central London.  Operating 24/7, 365 days a year (excluding Christmas Day), the ULEZ covers all London boroughs, excluding the M25.

To determine if your vehicle complies with the ULEZ emissions standards for driving in London or if you’re liable to pay a daily charge, use the TFL ULEZ postcode checker

The map displayed indicates the coverage of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).  You can switch the map to view the Congestion Charge zone and the ULEZ.


If you’re one of the few whose vehicle does not meet the emissions standards, support is available through the Mayor of London and TfL’s scrappage scheme.  Every London resident with a vehicle that does not meet the emissions standards can apply.  You can get:

•£2,000 to scrap a car

•£1,000 to scrap a motorcycle

•Alternatively, you can choose up to £1,600 plus one or two TfL Annual Bus and Tram Passes, with a higher total value than the grant payment alone


London-based small businesses with under 50 employees, sole traders and registered charities can apply to scrap up to three vans or minibuses.  Eligible businesses and charities can get the following:

•£6,000 to retrofit a van or minibus

•£7,000 to scrap a van

•£9,000 to scrap a minibus

•£9,500 - £11,500 to scrap a van or minibus and replace it with an electric vehicle




We may have a solution to meet your needs if you are looking to replace your commercial vehicle - the all-electric Goupil range.  The Goupil G2 and G4 are ideally suited for low-emission zones, cities, and towns, as they produce zero emissions, making them both sustainable and cost-effective.  Not only that, but charging is simple - all Goupil models can be charged via a standard 3-pin socket, eliminating the need for costly and complicated charging infrastructure.  With a wide range of body options, Goupil vehicles are perfect for various applications such as waste collection, watering, leaf collection, deliveries, and many more.  Discover the versatility and eco-friendliness of  Goupil!

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