There have been growing concerns regarding the air quality in London for some time now, and various strategies have been put in place to try and combat this issue. However, due to pollution levels from car emissions continuing to rise to dangerous levels, the government have been forced to take stronger action in tackling the problem, and this comes in the form of ULEZ.

What is ULEZ?

ULEZ stands for Ultra-Low Emission Zone and it will be replacing the T-charge in central London from the 8th April 2019. From this date onwards, vehicles that enter ULEZ must meet the new exhaust emission standards, or otherwise face a charge of £12.50 for each day they enter the zone. This charge will be in addition to the weekday Congestion Charge and the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) charge currently in place.

Why is it happening?

It’s all too easy to see ULEZ as another frustrating expense or an ‘inconvenience’ that us motorists have to live with. And for those who are residents in the area, or regularly commuting in and out, it is a genuine concern as to how they will handle the change.

However, when you take a step back and look at the reasons why ULEZ is happening, it becomes much easier to embrace the coming change.

Nitrogen dioxide is a chemical released through car emissions and is one of the most dangerous chemicals contributing to air pollution in London, and other cities across the world. Recent studies have shown that most urban areas in the UK have illegal nitrogen dioxide levels, with children being particularly vulnerable to its exposure.

Where is it happening?

Initially, ULEZ will operate within the same boundaries as the T-Charge zone, however the area which ULEZ covers is due to expand to the inner London area bounded by the North and South Circular roads in 2021. If you are unsure whether or not ULEZ affects the area you live in or commute to, you can use the ULEZ postcode checker on the Transport for London (TFL) website.


Which vehicles will be affected?


If you own either a petrol vehicle which fails to meet Euro 4 standards, or a diesel vehicle that fails Euro 6 standards you will be subject to the charge. The vast majority of motorcycles, vans, minibuses, buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles will also be charged, however there are certain groups/vehicles that will be discounted or exempt.

Drivers should also be aware that due to the tighter emission standards, a vehicle which passed LEZ standards, may not necessarily pass ULEZ emission standards. We therefore advise using the ULEZ vehicle checker to find out whether your vehicle meets the new emission requirements.

How can you avoid the charge?

The majority of petrol cars first registered before 2006, and diesel cars registered before September 2015 will unlikely pass the new requirements. Therefore, if you’re living or commuting within the zone using a vehicle that is registered before these dates, the best solution may be to upgrade your vehicle with one which meets the required standards.

Upgrading your vehicle may be the best route financially for you when you consider the charges you would incur over an extended period of time. There are also plenty of great value vehicles available on finance which meet the required emission standards.

At Creditplus, we can even offer a part exchange for your old vehicle and can accept it as part of your deposit towards your new “greener” vehicle, reducing your costs even further! Why not check out our car valuation tool to see what fair price we could offer you on your current vehicle.

If you are in need of an upgrade then get in touch and one of our dedicated Customer Advisors will be happy to assist you and help with any queries you may have.

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