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ULEZ Expansion in London confirmed from 29 August

Get up to speed with the latest ULEZ expansion coming into effect from 29 August 2023 across London.

Nimisha Jain

Words by: Nimisha Jain

Last updated on 29 August 2023 | 0 min read

London’s Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) has officially expanded meaning that, as of 29 August 2023, all 32 boroughs in London have to comply with the ULEZ requirements. Any non-compliant vehicle driving in and out of these London boroughs will be charged £12.50 daily. This charge is applicable all day long, every day of the year except for the 25th of December (Christmas Day).
Since it’s a daily charge, one day’s payment is valid from midnight to 11:59 pm. This means if you enter the ULEZ zone on the day and drive back the next day, you will be charged for the two days. It also means you could be driving as much or as little as possible – the charge would remain the same for the day. This charge also applies to residents driving within the ULEZ zone, unless the residents’ car remains parked all day. ULEZ regulations also apply to hired cars driven around London, and to European travellers coming to London with their own cars. All overseas drivers coming to London need to register their vehicles with the EPC so that Transport for London (TfL) knows whether your vehicle is ULEZ compliant or not. The expansion is designed to improve the air quality in London by limiting the number of polluting vehicles entering the ULEZ areas. To check whether your current vehicle is ULEZ compliant or not, we suggest going straight to the source and using TfL’s vehicle checker to be a 100% sure.

What to do if my car isn’t ULEZ-compliant?

If you drive in London often, you could be racking up a hefty charge with the expansion of ULEZ. For example: if you drive a non-compliant car in London five days a week, that could amount to £62.50/week, around £250/month, and approximately £3,250/year. This charge can further increase if you also drive within the congestion zone in London.
Before you decide what to do with your non-compliant car, make sure you understand ULEZ requirements properly - only petrol and petrol-hybrid cars that meet Euro 4 or higher emissions standards; diesel and diesel-hybrid cars that meet Euro 6 emission standards; and electric cars are considered ULEZ-compliant cars. Read our full guide on ULEZ-compliant cars to find out more about what these emission standards mean. So, if you’re being affected by the ULEZ expansion and you need to drive within London for your daily commute, what are your options?

1. Sell your current car and buy a new one

Your car may not be ULEZ compliant, but it can still be a great catch for those living outside London. You can use our free valuations tool to find out how much is your car worth.
If having a car is important for your day-to-day commute, you can find loads of used and new ULEZ-compliant cars on Auto Trader. Our price filter helps you find a car that fits your budget, and you can refine your search further by using our fuel type and year of registration filters to make sure your car is ULEZ compliant.

2. Convert your car to make it ULEZ compliant

You can convert a car to electric by replacing the internal combustion engine, responsible for the emissions, with an electric motor instead and adding batteries to your car. This is also known as vehicle retrofitting.
If you don’t want to convert your car to electric, you could also replace your car’s current engine with a Euro 6 engine that is compliant with ULEZ emissions requirements. The other way to make your car ULEZ compliant without turning it electric is using a selective catalytic reduction which reduces the emission of NOx. It’s important that the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS) approve of your car conversion and the supplier you get it done through to make your car ULEZ compliant.

3. Make the switch to electric

All fully electric cars are ULEZ compliant, so if you’ve been thinking of switching to a greener alternative, now may be a good time.
What’s more, fully electric cars are also compliant if you drive in cities other than London with a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) so you can avoid paying emissions charges all across the UK. There is another electric alternative for those who travel short distances and don’t want to splurge on an electric car – e-bikes. An e-bike is much cheaper than a car and it’s electric which means it helps you pedal faster and easier than a conventional bicycle. Browse from hundreds of e-bikes available on Auto Trader today.

4. Buy a car through a scrappage scheme

A scrappage scheme can be a great way to get a discount on a new vehicle in exchange for scrapping your old vehicle.
If you live in London or you're a London-based business, you may be eligible to apply for TfL's scrappage scheme. Car owners can get up to £2,000 discount, while motorcycle owners can get up to £1,000 off when they you scrap your vehicle through this scheme. While this car and motorcycle scrappage scheme was previously only available to the Londoners claiming benefits, from 21 August 2023 onwards, all Londoners will be able to apply and benefit from the savings. From 4 August 2023 onwards, TfL's van and minibus scrappage scheme in London will also expand to London-based businesses and charities, and the amount of saving available will also increase to £7,000 - £11,500. Many manufacturers also offer scrappage schemes to help you scrap your old car in exchange for a discount on new cars. You can find the full list of manufacturers who were offering a scrappage scheme here and keep an eye out on the page for any new upcoming scrappage scheme deals.

5. Pay charges for driving a non-compliant car

If you don’t want to buy, convert, or scrap your current non-compliant car, you can keep driving your current car by paying the daily charges.
You can set up AutoPay with TfL to automatically pay for the days you plan on driving your car. This helps in avoiding a penalty charge of £180 (or £90 if you pay it within two weeks) in case you forget to pay the ULEZ charges.
Remember, there’s still time for ULEZ expansion so you can make an informed decision. There are also various options available to avoid paying the daily ULEZ charge – from selling your current car to buying an electric car – so make sure you consider all your options.
There are thousands of ULEZ-compliant cars available on Auto Trader today to browse through in the meantime. Did you know we run a monthly electric car giveaway? It’s completely free to enter and you can enter every month to keep your chances of winning high. Hear from some of our past winners and see what they have to say about the giveaway. Related: Best electric cars 2023, selected by our experts