There are some big changes afoot for drivers in London with extra charges coming soon to tackle pollution. 

So we’ve decided to take a delve into the costs that could be a nasty surprise for some motorists who drive in and around the capital.

This autumn, the ULEZ – Ultra Low Emission Zone – will be increasing its boundaries to a wider area of London. The Zone operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, except on Christmas Day. 

It currently operates in the same area as the Congestion Charge, but from October 25, ULEZ will expand from Central London to create a single, larger zone up to, but not including, the North Circular Road (A406) and South Circular Road (A205). 

Most vehicles need to meet the ULEZ emissions standards or their drivers must pay a daily charge to drive within the zone.

The cost will be £12.50 for most vehicle types, including cars, motorcycles, and vans (up to and including 3.5 tonnes). The cost for heavier vehicles, including lorries (over 3.5 tonnes) and buses/coaches (over five tonnes) will be £100 a day.

Motorists driving within the Congestion Charge zone must also pay the £15 daily charge if they are eligible to pay this, which runs from 7am to 10pm every day except Christmas Day.

There are a wide range of exemptions and discounts available to motorists, which is all detailed on the Transport for London website (TfL), where drivers can also check to see if their vehicle meets the ULEZ standards and find out where and when they might be travelling in the ULEZ zone.

Taking into account exemptions and discounts, we have estimated what it could cost a motorist to pay for the Congestion Charge and the ULEZ charge if they were eligible to pay both for every day of the year – and it could reach more than £10,000 – demonstrating the importance of investing in lower polluting vehicles. All money raised from ULEZ will be invested back into the transport network.

TfL has recently launched a consultation around the Congestion Charge, running until October 6. It proposes keeping the daily charge at £15, but changing the charging period from Monday to Friday, 7am to 6pm, and weekends and Bank Holidays from midday to 6pm. There would be no proposed charge between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day. Various discounts and reimbursements are proposed. If approved, changes would come into force on February 28 next year.
Elsewhere across the UK, cities and other built up areas continue to assess the possibility of air pollution reduction initiatives in their areas. For more information on the Congestion Charge and the ULEZ zone, discounts, exemptions and how to pay, visit: