Greater London has different schemes in place:
A NEW, additional cost: the Emissions Surcharge will be active from 23. October 2017 in the Congestion Charge area.
Low Emission Zone from 3 January 2012:
ULEZ from 8 April 2019:
Those not meeting the standards are subject to a charge (£12.50 (~16€) light duty, £100 (~130€) heavy duty vehicles).
Diesel-engined lorries over 3.5 tonnes, buses, coaches, large vans and minibuses.
It also affects other specialist vehicles that are derived from lorries and vans, including motorised horse boxes, breakdown and recovery vehicles, refuse collection vehicles, snow ploughs, gritters, road sweepers, concrete mixers, tippers, removals lorries, fire engines, extended-cab dual purpose pick-ups and some light utility vehicles. Motor caravans, ambulances and large hearses (over 2.5 tonnes) are also included.
The LEZ applies to all vehicles, irrespective of whether they are used for commercial or private use. Cars, motorcycles and small vans (under 1.205 tonnes unladen weight) are not included in the LEZ.
The LEZ covers most of Greater London and all public roads, however the M25 is not included within the LEZ even where it passes within the GLA boundary. The ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) will operate in the central congestion charging (CS) area.
Vehicles registered in Great Britain
All GB registered vehicles under-going modification will need to be inspected by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) that they have fitted an approved modification. After a successful test, VOSA will issue a Low Emissions Certificate (LEC) or Reduced Pollution Certificate. Holders of an LEC (or RPC) will not need to register their vehicle with TfL as their details will be passed on to TfL by VOSA.
Vehicles registered outside Great Britain (including Northern Ireland)
Operators need to submit evidence to TfL of any modification from a recognised certification authority in their country of registration.
• Upgrade your vehicle to a new or newer vehicle
• Reorganise your fleet so only vehicles meeting the LEZ emissions standards are driven within the LEZ
• Convert your vehicle to run on pure gas with a spark ignition using an approved conversion.
• Some lorries, buses and coaches are classified as having Eligible Engines, see here for more details.
• Pay the daily charge - if you have no other option, pay the daily LEZ charge for each day you drive within the zone, see below.
Vehicles registered outside of Great Britain, including Northern Ireland need to register with TfL - Click here to register with TfL in English or visit the Euro Parking Collection website for a form in your chosen language, or call 0845 607 0009 or from abroad +44 (0) 207 310 8998.
All vehicles affected by the LEZ (including those which are exempt or entitled to a 100% discount) have to be registered with TfL, even if they meet the required emissions standards and are to be driven in the LEZ. Operators of showman's vehicles that are entitled to a 100% discount will also need to register with TfL to qualify for the discount.
Except for showmans vehicles, vehicles registered in Great Britain will not have to register their vehicles with Transport for London (TfL), including those that are exempt, as TfL has access to data from DVLA, VOSA and SMMT to determine whether a vehicle meets the LEZ emissions standards.
There are also a number of other options available to meet the LEZ emissions standards.
• Fit a full diesel particulate filter to improve your vehicles emissions standards. TfL will only accept vehicle modifications that have been certified by an approved body as reducing the particulate matter emissions sufficiently to meet the required LEZ standards. How to obtain certification depends on where a vehicle is registered.
There are currently no retrofit options for the ULEZ.
The LEZ operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year including weekends and public holidays.
Enforcement is with fixed and mobile cameras which read your vehicle's number plate as you drive in the zone and check it against a database of registered vehicles that:
If you drive an affected vehicle in the zone and it does not meet the required emissions standards, is not exempt or entitled to a 100% discount and you do not pay the daily charge, you may be liable for a Penalty Charge. This will be issued to the registered keeper of the vehicle. The charges are given in the table below for the penalty charge for entering the LEZ without meeting the emissions standards or paying the daily charge.
There is no national scheme in the UK. The other LEZs in the UK are focused on local buses.
A small number of vehicles are eligible for an exemption or 100% discount from the LEZ.
The following vehicles will automatically be exempt from the LEZ if registered in Great Britain. These will not need to be registered with TfL and are not subject to the LEZ charge:
• Specialist non-road going vehicles designed and built for mainly off-road use, but which may use the road for limited purposes (including agricultural and forestry tractors, mowing machines, agricultural and farm machinery and equipment, mobile cranes and road and building construction machinery).
• Historic vehicles (constructed before 1 January 1973).
• Vehicles operated by the Ministry of Defence.
Eligible vehicles registered outside Great Britain (including Northern Ireland) will need to register with TfL for an exemption.
Discounts Certain showman's vehicles are eligible for a 100% discount from the LEZ. This will only apply to vehicles which are registered to a person following the business of a travelling showman and have been custom modified or specially constructed. Operators of such vehicles will need to register with TfL to qualify for the discount.
The ultra low emission zone will have exemptions for the same historic and specialist vehicles as the low emission zone. Until September 2023 it will also have exemptions for residents and disabled vehicles.
Low Emission Zone or LEZ. Ultra Low Emission Zone or ULEZ.
Transport for London (TfL)
London's press release about the changes in January 2012 for vans and heavy duty vehicles, available in English, Czech (CZ), Danish (DK), French (FR), German (DE), Italian (IT), Lithuanian (LT), Hungarian (HU), Dutch (NL), Polish (PL), Spanish (ES).
Phone (within the UK): 0845 607 0009
Phone (from outside the UK): +44 (0) 207 310 8998
Text phone: 0207 310 8999
Write to: Low Emission Zone, PO Box 4784, Worthing BN11 9PU.
An information leaflet is also available in other languages. To obtain your copy visit the TfL's Euro parking website or call (+44) 0845 607 0009
Proposed ULEZ further information.
There was a consultation until January 2015, see ULEZ Consultation.
A summary of the impacts of the London LEZ can be found London air quality impacts page.
There is also a Cleaner Construction Scheme in London, where Off-Road Construction vehicles also need meet emissions standards. For more information see the NRMM register website, or the London Mayor's Construction Scheme webpage.