Driving Articles

ULEZ Charge Explained: What You Need to Know

Here’s what’s what and what you need to know about driving there, the ULEZ charge is unavoidable for the most part and can result in a large fine if avoided. The ULEZ charge is essentially a new tax from the ultra low emission zone in London, designed to help enforce the European environmental factors put in place to reduce air pollution and climate change. It’s a good cause, really, but it can be a serious headache if you have the wrong car (or you’re just in the wrong place at the wrong time). This is even more of an issue if you have a heavy duty vehicle like a van that you have to use on a regular basis for work, for example.

It’s just another part of what makes up the costs of driving, as it has next to nothing to do with any other form of tax or insurance, and in just the same way, is still completely unavoidable without the right emissions requirement. Rather than leaving the ULEZ charge to chance or not understanding the purpose of it, the best course of action is to actually create an understanding of the basis behind it and look into how sustainable your current vehicle will make driving under it. It’s a lot to think about.

What Does the ULEZ Charge Cost?

So, to drive a car in the ULEZ, you might not have to pay anything out of the ordinary, which is great. If you do have to pay though, you’re looking at a staggering £12.50 PER DAY. If you drive to and from work through it, 5 days a week, you’re looking at over £60. It may not sound like much from a daily perspective, but try putting that into a yearly allowance, and that’s without all of the other costs that come with a car.

The ULEZ charge actually covers a vehicle from 00:00 to 23:59 daily so you do have the full 24 hours time if you need it which is a positive for single trips, and you also have the ability to pay it up to 90 days in advance as well if you’re preparing for a trip. Otherwise, you have 3 days post ULEZ usage to provide the payment, or face an even heftier fine for the trouble.

It’s also worth noting at this point that if you’re trying to see what a car is going to cost you in the long run, it’s worth thinking about the economic factors on your car tax too. Most cars that can avoid paying car tax, for example, may well be in the right place to avoid being charged for using ULEZ and passing the euro 6 standard.

What can you drive?

So what can you drive in ULEZ zones? That’s probably the most important question after all. The answer really is most things post 2007. Practically all cars made after that time, or petrol at least, are able to use these zones without a problem. (Practically). Petrol cars are much more environmentally friendly, although may cost more to run if you do a lot of driving around the city.

If your vehicle is diesel, things get a little trickier. The standard has to be a LOT higher for you to be exempt. You need to be driving something less than 5 years old or have an extremely economical vehicle if before that. There’s no one size fits all though, so it’s worth doing your homework on the government website or speaking to a professional.

Alternatively, if you need to see about a vehicle that you already have the information for, we also have a tool here at CarExamer that can check for you in seconds.

How it will grow

In a bid to make sure that we’re doing as much as we can as time goes on, ULEZs are only going to get more common too. That means even if you aren’t affected right now, you could soon be (a lot sooner than you might think). The zones are moving to 5 other cities across the country, and become even larger in London too. If you’re living in a big city, it’s even more likely in a few years to come.

Environmental initiatives are constantly on the rise, and as more and more factors are coming into light, you need to be staying ahead of the curve to protect your assets long term. Thye will almost certainly spread to most of the country at some point or another, and getting a vehicle that is environmentally friendly is just getting more and more beneficial.

What can you do

The most important thing about this whole topic is that you are keeping yourself safe, financially at least. Knowing what you’re up against is vital in avoiding a daily fee and actually knowing what your car is going to cost you in the long run, especially when you’re trying to cut costs and buy a cheaper vehicle that may not pass these tests.

Above all else, make sure that your car is up to the mark if you’re wanting to avoid the ULEZ charges. Look at the Euro 6 Standard and ensure that you comply with the demands that it makes. If you’re not sure about what you should do to make sure you’re in the right place, get a professional to do it, or get a check ffrom services like CarExamer.

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