Congestion charges in London

To help reduce the emissions in the capital, there are several congestion charges in London that you need to be aware of. If you’re going to drive here, you’ll need to make sure you pay the appropriate congestion charge whenever you cross into one of the regulated zones. 

London congestion zone 

If you drive in the London congestion zone between 7am and 6pm, Monday to Friday, you’ll need to pay the congestion charge. This is £11.50 per day your vehicle is in the zone. 

You don’t have to pay this charge if you’re in the zone during the weekend, or if you’re driving outside the specified hours. Vehicles are also exempt from this charge on public holidays and on all the days between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

You can view and download a map of London’s congestion zone and use a postcode checker to find out if you have to pay on the Transport for London site. 

Check the congestion charge zone here

traffic that will all have to pay congestion charges in London

Low emission zone 

London’s low emission zone is in place to encourage heavy polluting diesel vehicles to become cleaner.  It operates 24 hours a day, every single day of the year and covers most of Greater London.

You can find out where the low emission zone operates here

Check if your vehicle will need to pay the emissions charge here 

In 2020, the low emission zone is set to change and match the current ultra low emission zone. 

Ultra low emission zone 

The ultra low emission zone (ULEZ) is a new charge brought in to further control the amount of vehicle pollution in the city. It covers the same area as the London congestion zone, but adds an additional charge if your vehicle doesn’t meet certain ultra low emission standards. 

The ULEZ operates every day of the year, 24 hours a day. If your car, van or minibus doesn’t meet emission standards, there is a charge of £12.50 per day for cars, motorcycles and vans. This is increased to £100 for heavy vehicles, including lorries over 3.5 tonnes and buses or coaches over 5 tonnes. 

Check whether your vehicle meets ULEZ standards here

cars sat in traffic waiting to drive

Pay to drive in London 

It’s really simple to pay to drive in London. You can do it through an online account quickly and easily. 

Pay to drive in London 

If you’re planning lots of trips into the London’s congestion and low emission zones, you can set up an auto pay. This auto pay keeps track of the number of chargeable days your vehicle enters the zones and bills you once each month. Setting up auto pay also entitles you to some discounts too.

Set up auto pay here

Some exemptions and discounts are in operation for these charges. These include:

  • Residents’ discount 
  • Blue badge holders
  • Accredited breakdown companies 
  • Vehicles with more than 9 seats 
  • Cleaner vehicle discount 
  • Motor tricycles 
  • Roadside recovery vehicles 

Find out more about discounts and exemptions here

Don’t get caught out with the congestion and emissions charges as you drive around London. Make sure you plan your journey ahead of time and know what fees you’ll be expected to pay.

Need to hire a vehicle for your next London trip? We can help. 

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