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Published on 2019-03-18

The concept of the electric car is gradually growing as the UK government plans to eliminate diesel and petrol-powered cars by 2040.

March 14, 2019

Thanks to quickly-changing technology, the world is changing at a quick pace. Naturally, as such a large part of many people’s lives, driving is also experiencing a host of changes, particularly when it comes to concerns regarding the environment. In particular, the UK government is aiming to remove diesel and petrol-owned cars by 2040, and prior to that, wishes to establish an Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) in London. But what does that mean for you? Ford servicing supplier Lookers investigates.

The Ultra-Low Emission Zone

The ULEZ is designed to lower London’s air pollution levels. Currently, air pollution is one of the biggest challenges London is facing. As road transport is the biggest source of the health-damaging emissions in London, the government is tightening its rules regarding traffic.

In order to travel in a ULEZ zone, your car needs to satisfy certain exhaust emission standards. Failure to do so will see you needing to pay a daily charge if you want to travel inside the area of the ULEZ. This is set to come into play from 8th April this year, with the area to be expanded from 25th October 2021. This expansion will see the zone include the inner London area.

The impact on your vehicle

If your vehicle is a petrol one and was registered after 2005, it will likely meet ULEZ regulations. If you own a diesel car, it’s normally those registered after September 2015 that will be exempt from the charge. If your car doesn’t meet the criteria, you’ll face a £12.50 charge each day. This charge runs every day of the year too.

There are a few differences in regulations for other vehicles, such as vans, minibuses, or specialist vehicles. Minimum emission standards are:

  • Petrol: Euro 4
  • Diesel: Euro 6

These standards should be already met by petrol models sold from January 2006 onwards and diesel model from September 2016. Like cars, the daily fee for those which don’t meet the standards is £12.50.

Motorbike and mopeds also need to meet these regulations. Generally, motorbikes, or similar vehicles, will reach the required Euro 3 standards if they were registered with the DVLA after July 2007.

Lorries, coaches, and other large vehicles will also be subject to a fine in the event they do not meet the required standard Any that don’t meet the Euro VI standards (usually those registered before 2014) must pay a daily charge of £100.

These costs are on top of any Congestion Charges as well.

Discounts and exceptions

There will be a ‘sunset period’ for residents who live within the boundaries of the ULEZ. This entitles you to a full discount of the charges, so you have more time to have a vehicle that meets the required standards. This discount will run until 24th October 2021. After this time, residents must pay the full charge.

Drivers with a disabled passenger or disabled vehicle tax class are also to be given this sunset period. Their exemption runs until 26th October 2025, unless their vehicle changes its tax class. Blue Badge holders, however, must pay the charge from its introduction date.

Historic vehicles with historic vehicle tax will be exempt. This is the case unless the vehicle is used commercially. Agricultural and military vehicles are also exempt, as are certain types of mobile cranes.

The government is making obvious moves to improve the air quality situation in the capital city. While the ULEZ may be an issue for drivers of older cars, it’s important to remember that it has been designed to help us in our everyday life and is just another step on the government’s drive for a cleaner UK.

Lee Dover is a Senior Copywriter at Mediaworks who has experience writing in-depth research pieces and news articles for a wide variety of industries, including motoring, business, law and technology. He has a BA (Hons) in Magazine Journalism.














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