Check for a cleaner vehicle

FAQs: T-Charge and the ULEZ

Why are taxis exempt from paying the T-Charge?

The Mayor is tackling emissions from taxis through a number of measures outlined in his Taxi and Private Hire Action Plan. This includes ensuring that all new taxis licensed from 1 January 2018 have to be zero emission capable. You can read more about his plans on our Green Transport page.

Why are motorcycles exempt from paying the T-Charge?

As the T-Charge is a surcharge of the Congestion Charge, most exemptions remain the same. However, motorcycles will be included in the new Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) which will replace the T-Charge in 2019, and will include all vehicles (cars, motorcycles, vans, minibuses, buses, coaches and lorries). All will need to meet exhaust emission standards or pay a daily charge to travel.

Am I exempt from paying the T-Charge?

As the T-Charge is a surcharge of the Congestion Charge, all exemptions remain the same.

However, buses that are exempt from the Congestion Charge because of their tax class are not exempt from the T-Charge. If your vehicle does not meet the emissions standards you will need to pay the T-Charge value (£10) to drive in the zone.

Additional exemptions include:

  • Showman’s vehicles (excluding trailers or semi-trailers)
  • Vehicles not constructed or adapted for general use on roads
  • Vehicles with “Historic” DVLA Tax Class 
  • Vehicles manufactured before 1 January 1973
  • Visiting forces vehicles
  • Embassy vehicles

Find out more from Transport for London (TfL).

Will the charge affect the poorest car owners in London?

The poorest Londoners are often subjected to the worst air quality so it is fair that the Mayor takes the difficult decisions needed to tackle this public health crisis.

The Mayor has recently announced a £23 million scheme to help smaller business owners scrap older, more polluting vans and switch to cleaner vehicles. He is currently lobbying central Government to match this funding and go further to introduce a national diesel scrappage fund that would enable further support for other Londoners, including those on low incomes, taxis and charity vehicles.  

How will money raised from the T-Charge be spent?

The T-Charge is intended not to raise revenue but to improve air quality and to change behaviour. The Mayor says he wants those who drive the most polluting cars to move away from those cars, and that any revenue that is raised will be ring-fenced for initiatives to improve air quality.

Why are some larger, newer cars exempt from paying the T-Charge?

The Euro standards are a set of limits for air quality emissions. These emissions are controlled by a variety of methods such as:

  • catalytic convertors
  • lean NOx traps
  • particulate filters

Greenhouse gas emissions are directly influenced by fuel consumption.

This means that a heavier, larger vehicle which may have a higher fuel consumption will still have lower levels of air quality emissions than an older, smaller car. They all have to meet the same limits for air quality.

I live outside the T-Charge zone, will drivers using our streets to avoid the T-Charge cause an increase in emission levels in our neighbourhood?

Reducing concentrations within the zone will mean that the number of people exposed to high pollution levels will reduce across London, and in many areas fewer people will be exposed to pollution levels above the legal limit values.

As a result, the general population and sensitive groups like children, the elderly and those with underlying conditions will benefit from better air quality earlier.


What is the Ultra Low Emission Zone and how will it affect me?

The Central London ULEZ starts 8 April 2019. It will operate in the existing central London Congestion Charge Zone, 24 hours a day, every day of the year. 
Vehicles must meet strict emission standards to drive in the ULEZ area, or pay a charge.

The emissions standards are:

  • Euro 4 for petrol cars and vans (roughly more than 14 years old in 2019)
  • Euro 6 for diesel cars and vans (roughly more than four years old in 2019)
  • Euro 3 for motorcycles and mopeds 
  • Euro VI for lorries, buses and coaches

The charges are:

  • £12.50 per day for cars, motorcycles and mopeds, and vans
  • £100 per day for lorries, buses/coaches 

It replaces the Toxicity Charge (T-Charge) in central London, and is in addition to the Congestion Charge. There are some exemptions and a grace period for residents.

All revenue raised will be used by TfL to help clean-up and maintain a greener transport fleet and reduce pollution across the transport network.

For more information about the ULEZ and to check whether your vehicle meets the emission standards, please visit TfL's website.