Congestion Charge London – Understanding the Costs

Everyone knows that you’re charged for driving in and around central London. Did you know though, that as of April 8th this year, there was major changes introduced? If you’re looking to find out more about these changes, you’ve come to the right place. In the following post we will discuss what the congestion charges mean, how much they cost and anything else relevant.

What Are the 2019 Charges?

Initially, there will be no change to the amount you are charged. However, from April 8th, the charge will be in effect 24-hours a day and 7-days a week. The next change, crucially, be will be in October 25th, 2021 and will cover an even wider area than before that encompasses the south and north circular roads.

How Much will the New Charge Cost?

The owners of any vehicles, whether that’s cars, motorbikes, vans and anything else that do not meet the strict standards for exhaust emissions will be legally obliged to pay £12.50 a day they run that vehicle through the ULEZ. From April, this will apply to the city centre charge, whereas in October 2021 this will apply to the wider area and they will be charged a further £11.50 if they drive within the centre of London anytime from Monday through to Friday, 7am until 6pm. If they don’t pay, they will be fined of £160. Lorry drivers will be charged the higher amount of £100 a day and then be issued with a fine of £1,000 if they don’t make their payment on time.

How Do You Know if You’ve Entered the ULEZ?

Although there’s not going to be any toll booths or barriers in the city, there will be cameras reading number plates and checking to see if those corresponding vehicles meet the required standards for the ULEZ. Transport for London will be erecting many hundreds of warning signs on roads telling motorists where the ULEZ starts.

What are the Specific Emissions Standards Your Vehicle Must Meet?

The charges for the ULEZ will be put into force based on the emissions declared for vehicles rather than the age of vehicles. A general rule of thumb is in place that affects diesel vehicles that were manufactured before 2015 and petrol vehicles that were made before 2006.

All petrol vehicles must adhere to the Euro 4 standards on emissions in order to be allowed to drive within the ULEZ, while diesel vehicles must meet the Euro 6 emissions standards.

Will it Actually Cut Traffic in Central London?

It has been forecasted by Transport for London that there’s going to be a reduction of 5% in the car traffic through central London by the time the ULEZ comes into effect. The original congestion charge zone was established 15 years ago and has reduced the number of private vehicles driving through the city by 30%. However, that number has been offset by the increase in use of Uber and private hire cabs etc, which rose from 4,000 to a staggering 18,000. Although they didn’t before, from April 8th they will have to pay it.

So, basically, it will make a huge difference.

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