ULEZ exempt cars: Every car and vehicle exempt from ULEZ costs as area expands

Sadiq Khan discusses expansion of London's ULEZ area

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London’s ULEZ is a 24 hour, seven days a week circular perimeter that extends around the city centre. Motorists driving inside will incur costs unless their car meets emission standards. The zone is due to expand next week, meaning more people will want to check whether they can run their vehicle unimpeded.

Which cars are ULEZ exempt?

From October 25, Transport for London (TfL) is expanding the ULEZ to encompass a wider area.

At present, it covers the same area as the Congestion Charge.

The revised zone will include areas up to the North and South Circular at the A406 and A205.

People will have to pay to drive in the area unless they meet emissions standards.

TfL applies Euro standards that incur emission limits for polluting nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) expelled by engines.

Not meeting these standards will mean people have to pay £12.50 for most vehicle types.

But lorries, buses, vans and “specialist heavy vehicles” weighing over 3.5 tonnes – which pay the LEZ charge – do not.

The only cars that don’t meet emissions criteria allowed to operate without incurring the ULEZ charge are those with specific exemptions.

The full list of cars exempt from ULEZ charges are –

  • Vehicles built before January 1, 1981, not used for commercial purposes
  • All vehicles built before January 1, 1973
  • Vehicles with a specialist purpose (for agriculture or military use etc.)
  • Taxis registered in London that are 15 years old or fewer
  • Designated wheelchair-accessible private hire vehicles (until October 26, 2025)
  • Vehicles that meet Euro 6 – introduced in September 2015 for cars and September 2016 for vans – are exempt, as are some models that met the standard earlier
  • Almost every petrol car registered from 2005 and some registered between 2001 and 2005
  • Petrol cars registered after 2006
  • Motorcycles sold after July 2007
  • All electric vehicles – since they are zero-emission, making them ULEZ exempt.
  • Vehicles with a historic tax class

You can also check your vehicle using TfL’s license plate checker here. Check your Vehicle

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When the new boundaries come into effect, some people will find their ULEZ exemption expires.

Those currently living within the area can drive around without the threat of incurring penalties.

But from October 25, they will have to pay a full fee unless they meet exemption criteria or have a low emission vehicle.

Some people may be able to adjust their non-compliant car, however.

If a car doesn’t meet the emissions criteria, it may be possible to retrofit them.

The procedure would typically require car owners to replace non-compliant parts of their car.

They may require a new engine or an exhaust upgrade, which can prove expensive.

Those who successfully make their car compliant will have to pay again to have it certified, incurring further expenditure.

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