Does my Toyota qualify for exemption from the London Congestion Charge?

Due to a number of changes to the London Congestion Charge, the above question has possibly crossed your mind. As the criteria for exemption tightens, so the vehicles that qualify for exemption have altered over the years.

The following is your straightforward guide to the London Congestion Charge, and whether your Toyota qualifies for exemption.

What is the London Congestion Charge?

The London Congestion Charge is a daily fee for driving a vehicle through central zones of London. These zones are set and monitored by Transport for London, also known as TfL, and applies between 07:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday.

Charges do not apply on the following occasions:

  • Weekends
  • UK public holidays
  • Any time between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day
  • Any weekday between 18:00 and 07:00

What is the T-Charge?

The T-Charge is a toxicity surcharge that is applied in addition to the London Congestion Charge. Enforced from 23 October 2017, all vehicles driving in central London now need to meet a minimum emission standard, or pay a daily £10.00 emissions surcharge in addition to the London Congestion Charge.

The T-Charge zone is the same as that of the London Congestion Charge and it operates at the same times and days.

What exemptions are available?

Every driver of every vehicle has to pay the London Congestion Charge (and additional T-Charge, if applicable), unless the vehicle has been successfully registered for exemption. All exemptions are awarded at the discretion of Transport for London.

The primary exemption applicable to passenger cars is under the Ultra Low Emissions discount scheme. This can apply to a vehicle that meets all of the following criteria:

  • Combined cycle CO2 emissions of 75g/km or less
  • Plated gross vehicle weight of 3.5 tonnes or less
  • Meets or exceeds the Euro 5 air quality standard

Do any Toyota cars qualify for exemption?

Under the current regulations, two Toyota models qualify as Go UItra Low vehicles and are therefore exempt from the London Congestion Charge and T-Charge after approval and registration by Transport for London.

The Toyota models that currently qualify for exemption from the London Congestion Charge are the Toyota Prius Plug-in (opening image) and the Toyota Mirai (below).

When is the next change in qualifying criteria?

On 8 April 2019 an Ultra Low Emission Zone will come into force. Most vehicles will need to meet new, tighter exhaust emission standards or pay a daily charge when travelling within the zone. These standards will be enforced 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

38 comments

  1. Hi,

    I just bought a Toyota Prius+, Jan 2020 Registration. I bought it for Private Hire.
    Is this car zero emission capable and do I have to pay congestion charge?

  2. Hi Jackson,
    Thanks for getting in touch, and thanks for choosing Toyota! Congratulations on your new Prius+ – we hope you’re loving it! Congestion charge exemption only applies to cars that emit less than 50g/km and have an electric range of 70 miles or more. Your vehicle does not meet these criteria.
    Taxis are exempt from paying the Congestion Charge when actively licensed with London Taxi and Private Hire (TPH), but private hire vehicles are not exempt from the Congestion Charge. All this information and more can be found on the Government’s congestion charge page: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/congestion-charge
    Thanks.

  3. Hi,

    I just bought a Toyota Auris hybrid, 2017 Registration. I bought it for Personal use.
    Is this car zero emission capable and do I have to pay congestion charge?

    1. Hi Hardeep,
      Currently, only vehicles that meet Euro 6 standards (petrol and diesel), that emit no more than 75g/km of CO2 and have a minimum 20 mile zero emission capable range will qualify for the 100% cleaner vehicle discount.
      A 2017 Auris Hybrid does not qualify.
      Thanks.

      1. Hi Tina,
        Only cars with a CO2 figure of 75 g/km or less that can also travel 20 miles or more on electric only power are exempt.
        The 2009 Auris does not meet these conditions, and therefore is not exempt from the congestion charge.
        Thanks.

  4. I bought Toyota Auris in 2015 and was free of charge for congestion is hybrid half electric Hal petrol I never got tickets till last week why I got tickets? My car always was not charged

    1. Hi Dorota,
      Thanks for getting in touch with us.
      More information regarding the congestion charge can be found on the TFL website under the ‘Cleaner Vehicle Discount’ tab: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/congestion-charge/discounts-and-exemptions
      The rules surrounding this were changed in 2013 and only vehicles that produce 75g/km of CO2 or less, and have an electric only range of at least 20 miles, are exempt. There have also been some changes to the operating hours of the congestion change throughout the lockdown period. These are also detailed on the TFL website.
      Thanks.

    1. Hi Ali,
      Thank you for getting in touch.
      Currently, only vehicles that meet Euro 6 standards (petrol and diesel), that emit no more than 75g/km of CO2 and have a minimum 20 mile zero emission capable range qualify for the 100% cleaner vehicle discount, paying no congestion charge. This means your vehicle is not exempt from congestion charge.
      You can find more information here: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/congestion-charge/discounts-and-exemptions.
      Thanks.

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