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Understanding the ULEZ expansion

  • Understanding the ULEZ expansion

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has expanded, so if you’re a regular commuter by car or van to and from the city, read on to find out how the changes will affect you... 

What is ULEZ?

ULEZ is a scheme initiated by the Mayor of London to help clean up toxic air in the city. London’s pollution levels sadly lead to the early deaths of thousands of people every year who live in the capital. 

ULEZ operates all day and night every day of the year, the only exception being on Christmas Day. Originally operating within central London only, as of Monday 25th October 2021 the zone has been greatly expanded.

All but a few vehicles are required to meet ULEZ emission standards in order to enter the zone without charge. If your vehicle doesn’t meet ULEZ standards, then you’ll be penalised by paying a £12.50 charge to drive inside the zone.  

How far does ULEZ stretch?

As of Monday 25th October 2021, ULEZ expanded 18 times its previous size and now covers all areas within Greater London’s North and South Circular roads. The North Circular (A406) and South Circular (A205) roads are not currently included in the zone.

Will your vehicle be affected by the ULEZ changes?

Around 90% of vehicles travelling within ULEZ meet the necessary standards to travel free of charge. Vehicles currently meeting the emission standards fall into four main groups, these are:


  • Petrol cars first registered after 2005 that meet the Euro 4 standard.
  • Diesel cars first registered after September 2015 that meet the Euro 6 standard.

Vans, Minibuses & Lighter Specialist Vehicles

  • Petrol vans first registered from January 2006 that meet the Euro 4 standard.
  • Diesel vans first registered from September 2016 that meet the Euro 6 standard. 

Motorcycles & Mopeds

  • All motorcycles and mopeds first registered after July 2007 that meet the Euro 3 engines standard.

Lorries, Coaches & Other Large Vehicles

  • Breakdown and Recovery Vehicles
  • Caravans
  • Concrete Mixers
  • Fire Engines
  • HGVs
  • Horseboxes
  • Gritters
  • Lorries
  • Refuse Collection Lorries
  • Removal Lorries
  • Road Sweepers
  • Snow Ploughs
  • Tippers
  • Vans

Although these vehicles are exempt from the ULEZ charge, they may still be required to pay the original LEZ (Low Emission Zone) fee should they not meet its criteria.

Check if your vehicle meets the ULEZ requirements via the official Transport for London website. Simply enter your registration plate into the designated box by clicking here