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