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All you need to know about the new ULEZ charge in London

As if driving in London wasn’t complicated enough with bus lanes, one-way systems, congestion zones, yellow boxes, red routes, lane cameras, you name it – along comes a new zone restriction. The Ultra-Low Emission Zone (or ULEZ as it’s been nicknamed) came into effect in April of this year. We want you to know the important information even though as an Easirent customer – you won’t be charged for using it.

Why do we need it?

The new ultra-low emission zone is a measure that the mayor of London is enforcing to tackle the capital’s poor air pollution, which affects many. There are reported to be over 400 schools that are in areas exceeding legal air quality levels. In extreme cases, there are also Londoners that die from exposure to air pollution, as everyone living in the capital resides in an area exceeding World Health Organization guidelines for the most dangerous toxic particles.

The problem comes from the emissions from road traffic and nitrogen oxides (NOx) contributing to illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and particulate matter. The ULEZ which has been brought forward to 2019, rather than 2020 was strongly supported by over 18,000 Londoners, with nearly 60% strongly in favour of it and 63% agreeing to earlier implementation. The measures will protect children from lung damage and reduce the risk of breathing illnesses and heart disease.

Are all vehicles affected?

The short answer is no. Only those that don’t meet the European Union emissions standards. The following vehicles will have to pay the ULEZ charge:
Motorbikes registered before January 2001.
Petrol cars and vans registered before January 2001.
Diesel cars older than September 2015.
Diesel vans older than September 2016.

How much does it cost?

The daily charge is £24 for vehicles under 3.5 tonnes such as cars, motorcycles and vans, which comprises of £12.50 ULEZ and £11.50 congestion.

If you are hiring a vehicle that is over 3.5 tonnes such as the motorhomes available from our Preston, Wigan and Blackburn branches then it is £100. You can check for yourself using the REG CHECKER at

Is anyone exempt?

Yes, the usual exemptions apply for disabled and blue badge holders as well as controversially, London’s black cabs.

How do they measure it?

ANPR cameras are set up at each entry point to the zone and the fines are processed via the council’s PCN systems. There are no tolls nor booths and you pay it online by midnight on the day of using it.

How will you know if you’ve entered the zone?

The area covered by the ULEZ is clearly signposted with road signs showing where it applies.

Does this mean less road traffic overall?

Transport for London predicts that there will be a 5% cut in overall car traffic in central London after ULEZ comes into action. The introduction of the congestion zone 15 years ago, has resulted in 30% fewer private vehicles entering into the city and the mayor of London will hope these measures will reduce traffic further.

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