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London's Ultra Low Emissions Zone is here

Non-compliant cars will be charged an extra £12.50 to drive in the capital

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People of England, driving into Central London has just got more expensive. An ‘Ultra Low Emissions Zone’ (ULEZ) has come into force, meaning drivers of affected cars will need to pay an extra £12.50 to drive into the nation’s capital. That’s on top of the £11.50 ‘Congestion Charge’ you have to pay if you drive into London between 7am and 6pm Monday to Friday. You need to pay the ULEZ charge, which replaces the ‘T-Charge’, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

You’ll be affected if you have a motorcycle that does not meet the Euro 3 standard, a petrol car/van that doesn’t meet the Euro 4 standard or a diesel car/van that doesn’t meet the Euro 6 standard. In practice, this means you’re probably screwed if your motorcycle was built before 2007, your petrol car/van before 2006, or your diesel car/van before 2015. Unless it’s a proper classic - cars over 40 years old are exempt from the charge just as they are road tax.

You have until midnight on the day of your journey to pay-up, and the fine for not doing so is £160.

If your car was built after ‘06, if it’s a petrol, or ‘15 if it’s a diesel, you’re all good. Yep, even if said car is a Bugatti Chiron, which produces 516g/km of CO2 on the old NEDC cycle. Not a penny to pay beyond the normal Congestion Charge. But a 1.4-litre petrol Ford Fiesta built 15 years ago, which doesn’t? You’re out of luck.

And the ULEZ is set to get even bigger in 2021, stretching right the way out to London’s North and South Circular roads. Other cities are bound to introduce similar schemes, too. For the moment, London’s ULEZ is exactly the same as the Congestion Charge zone.

What say ye, Internet? Good idea? More info at the link.

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