Almost 700,000 more drivers face paying £12.50 fee each DAY as ULEZ expands

The motoring group RAC has warned that the expansion will have a ‘massive financial impact on motorists and businesses’, as many will be forced to switch or scrap their vehicles

ULEZ or Ultra Low Emission Zone is a term that has gained much popularity in the UK, especially in London. It is an initiative that was introduced to improve air quality by encouraging the use of low-emission vehicles. In this article, we will delve into what ULEZ is, its objectives, and the impact it has on the environment and drivers.

What is ULEZ?

The ULEZ is an area in London where vehicles are required to meet specific emissions standards to enter the zone. It was introduced in April 2019 and covers the same area as the Congestion Charge Zone. However, unlike the Congestion Charge, the ULEZ operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, including weekends and public holidays.

The ULEZ emission standards are Euro 4 for petrol cars and Euro 6 for diesel cars and vans. The ULEZ charges £12.50 per day for non-compliant vehicles, which is in addition to the Congestion Charge for those who are also liable for it.

Objectives of ULEZ:

The primary objective of ULEZ is to reduce air pollution in London. According to research by King’s College London, over 9,000 premature deaths occur in London each year due to long-term exposure to air pollution. The ULEZ is a measure aimed at improving air quality in London and reducing the number of premature deaths caused by air pollution.

The ULEZ also aims to encourage the use of low-emission vehicles and to help reduce carbon emissions in the city. The UK government has set a target of net-zero emissions by 2050, and the ULEZ is a significant step towards achieving this goal.

Impact on the Environment:

Since its introduction, the ULEZ has had a positive impact on the environment. According to data from Transport for London (TfL), there has been a 44% reduction in nitrogen dioxide (NO2) levels in the ULEZ zone. Additionally, there has been a 13% reduction in particulate matter (PM) emissions.

The ULEZ has also encouraged the use of low-emission vehicles. In 2020, over 77% of vehicles entering the ULEZ met the emissions standards, compared to 39% in 2017.

Impact on Drivers:

The ULEZ has had a significant impact on drivers, especially those who own older diesel vehicles. According to research by TfL, there are around 2.5 million non-compliant vehicles in London, and these drivers are now required to pay the ULEZ charge.

However, the ULEZ has also encouraged drivers to switch to low-emission vehicles. According to data from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT), sales of electric vehicles increased by 157% in 2020, compared to the previous year.


In an attempt to reduce pollution, London has been implementing an Ultra Low Emission Zone since 2019. Any vehicle that emits too much pollution will need to pay a charge. 

The ULEZ area covers a vast space of London, meaning that many popular tourist destinations, businesses, residential areas, parks, and more fall within this zone. This means that if you don’t have a compliant car, you could have to pay more just to go to these locations. 

To prepare you for your journey into London and to see if where you’re going falls in the ULEZ zone, it’s a good idea to use a ULEZ postcode checker. This tool will allow you to search any London postcode so that you know if you’re able to avoid the ULEZ zone or not.

ULEZ expansion map 2023


ULEZ expansion map 2023: To keep car emissions down, the Major of London in 2019 announced the Ultra Low Emission Zone. This is an area where cars and other vehicles will be charged if they enter the zone without being compliant. 

To enter the zone with a car that produces too much CO2, you’ll be charged a daily fee of £12.50. This means that if you need to enter the zone for work, you could be looking at a bill of around £3,000 just for commuting in a vehicle that doesn’t meet standards. 

Thankfully, the ULEZ area does not encompass the entirety of London. It only currently spans central London areas, but with its growth in recent years, there is potential for it to swell even larger and encompass even more city boroughs. 


The ULEZ is a programme designed to enhance London’s air quality and lessen the number of premature fatalities brought on by air pollution. With a notable decrease in NO2 and PM emissions, it has had a favourable effect on the ecosystem. The ULEZ has affected drivers, but it has also promoted the use of low-emission cars and helped the city cut down on carbon pollution. The ULEZ will surely have a significant impact on the future of transportation in London and beyond. It is a necessary step in achieving the UK government’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050.

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