London’s new Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) creates a lot of questions, especially for our Private Hire and Chauffeur clients. We have outlined all the major changes and discussed how it differs from the Congestion Charge.
How and when is the ULEZ Changing?
The TfL have announced that from 25th October the Ultra Low Emission Zone is expanding to great a much larger area which will impact most motorists driving in London.
The expanded emission zone will result in higher polluting vehicles travelling in the centre of London having to pay an ULEZ tax and the already existing Congestion Charge. Currently, the ULEZ covers the same area of the Congestion Charge.
The Ultra Low Emission Zone operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year except Christmas Day (25th December). On the other hand, the Congestion Charge operates from 07:00 until 22:00 every day, except Christmas Day.
Where is the new Ultra Low Emission Zone?
The new ULEZ boundary will be expanded from central London up to the North and South Circular Roads.
The Circular Roads are not in the expanded zone, so will not be included within the ULEZ tax. If you are driving any petrol or diesel vehicle within the expansion you will also need to meet the tighter emissions standards or pay a daily charge.
Which vehicles qualify as Ultra Low Emission?
The current ULEZ emission standards will not change on 25th October, so if your vehicle qualifies now, it will continue to do so when the changes come into place.
Vehicles that qualify for the new ULEZ Zone:
- Euro 3 (NOx) for motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles, and quadricycles
- Euro 4 (NOx) for petrol cars, vans, and other specialist vehicles (up to and including 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight) and minibuses (up to and including 5 tonnes)
- Euro 6 (NOx and PM) for diesel cars, vans, and other specialist vehicles (up to and including 3.5 tonnes) and minibuses (up to and including 5 tonnes)
Additionally, all fully electric vehicles will be ULEZ compliant along with Plug-In Hybrids that meet the following specifications:
- Emit no more than 50g/km CO2 and be capable of being operated with no (zero) exhaust emissions for a minimum range of 10 miles; or
- Emit no more than 75g/km CO2 exhaust emissions and be capable of being operated with no (zero) emissions for a minimum range of 20 miles.
You can find out more about the ULEZ expansion on the Government website.
Key Dates for Private Hire Drivers
Between 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2022
PHVs under 18 months old must be zero-emission capable (ZEC) and meet the Euro 6 emissions standard when licensed for the first time.
PHVs over 18 months old must have a Euro 6 (petrol or diesel) engine when licensed for the first time.
From 1 January 2023
All PHVs licensed for the first time must be zero-emission capable and meet the Euro 6 emissions standard.
How much does the ULEZ and Congestion Charge Cost?
The ULEZ comes with a daily charge of £12.50 for most vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, and vans (up to and including 3.5 tonnes).
For larger vehicles, such as lorries over 3.5 tonnes and buses/coaches over 5 tonnes, there is a £100 daily charge.
The Congestion Charge costs £15 a day when paid in advance or on the same day (£17.50 within 3 days after the day of travel).
As a result, if you are driving a non-qualified car through both zones every day of the year (apart from Christmas Day) it will cost you at least £10,010.
Which Private Hire Vehicles are Exempt from the Congestion Charge?
All Taxis that are licensed with London Taxi and Private hire (TPH) are exempt from paying the Congestion Charge. Drivers will no longer be exempt once this license expires, is surrendered, or revoked.
Private Hire vehicles will not be exempt from paying the congestion charge. Drivers and operators will have to pay the daily charge during operating hours.
Private Hire Vehicles which are wheelchair-accessible will be exempt from paying the Congestion Charge, as long as they are fulfilling a private hire booking. They must also be actively licensed with London Taxi and Private hire (TPH).
Looking to get a ULEZ and Congestion Charge compliant vehicle?
Ethos Asset Finance has worked with the Chauffeur and Private Hire industry for 15 years to offer tailored finance packages that work for them. We have been assisting our clients with the finance of ULEZ compliant vehicles which fit their needs. This including Mercedes EQV, BMW 7 Series PHEV, and the upcoming Mercedes S-Class Hybrid and EQS.