London Congestion Charge – is my Toyota eligible?

Mirai in the city

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 key surcharge zones which are operational with the capital, 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. The charge applies between 0700hrs and 2200hrs every day except Christmas Day.

The charge, together with the Ultra Low Emission Zone (see below), has been introduced to combat traffic and pollution levels in the city.

Is my Toyota eligible for the London Congestion Charge?

Almost all Toyota models sold in the UK are eligible to pay the London Congestion Charge. At the time of writing, certain cars qualify for a Cleaner Vehicle Discount from the charge. To qualify, cars must fulfil these criteria:

  • Meet Euro 6 standards (petrol and diesel vehicles)
  • Emit no more than 75g/km of CO2
  • Be capable of driving for a minimum of 20 miles on zero-emissions

    Of Toyota’s current product range, this means that at present the RAV4 Plug-in, Prius Plug-in and Mirai Fuel Cell Electric Vehicle qualify for the Cleaner Vehicle Discount.

    Importantly, however, the London Congestion Charge rules are changing on 25 October 2021. From that date, only battery electric and fuel cell electric vehicles will be eligible for the Cleaner Vehicle Discount. This means RAV Plug-in and Prius Plug-in will incur the daily surcharge, unless owners are in receipt of another discount or exemption.

For more details of the surcharge, including details of exemptions and discounts, please visit TfL’s official page by clicking here.

What is the Ultra Low Emission Zone?

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is area of London within which a toxicity surcharge is applied in addition to the London Congestion Charge. The boundaries of the zone are demarcated by road signs and carriageway markings.

All vehicles driving in central London now need to meet a minimum emission standard, or pay a daily emissions surcharge in addition to the London Congestion Charge. The ULEZ is active 24 hours per day, seven days per week, except Christmas Day.

From 25 October 2021, the existing central London ULEZ will expand to create a single larger zone up to, but not including, the North Circular Road (A406) and South Circular Road (A205).

Four out of five vehicles on the UK’s roads meet the current ULEZ emissions standards, so do not have to pay this charge. TfL’s website features a ‘check your vehicle’ tool so owners can find out whether their specific vehicle meets the standard. To use that tool, and for more details of the Ultra Low Emission Zone, check out TfL’s page by clicking here.

Mirai London Congestion Charge

Details in this article were correct at the time of publication.

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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