If you’re driving around London
in a rental car, as of 08 April 2019 the new ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) comes into force and you as the renter will be liable for any charges. Much like the London Congestion Charge, it is the driver who is liable for any fees and not the owner of the car, in this case the rental agent. However, as the vast majority of rental cars are new or nearly new models, they will undoubtedly already meet the minimum emission standards required by ULEZ so no fees will be due. Petrol rental cars must meet Euro 4 emission standard and diesel rental cars must meet Euro 6 emission standards.
- Petrol: Euro 4 - Generally all petrol cars registered after 2005 were required to meet this standard
- Diesel: Euro 6 – Generally all diesel cars registered after 2016 were required to meet this standard
If in doubt, you should check with the rental agent on arrival that the car meets the required standards to drive within the ULEZ zone as much like any other speeding fine
, parking fine
or congestion charge in a rental car, you as the driver are liable for any fees and the rental agent will charge an admin fee to process any charges.
How does ULEZ Work?
The Ultra Low Emissions Zone is the same as the London Congestion Charge zone and the same automatic number plate recognition technology is used. Cameras bordering the zone detect the cars number plate when entering and exiting the zone, unlike the congestion charge however which only applies between 7am and 6pm Monday – Friday, it is active 24/7, every day of the year. Any car driving within the ULEZ not meeting the standards will be charged.
What are ULEZ Charges?
Cars driving within the ULEZ will be charged £12.50 per day. You can pay using the TFL Auto Pay platform, pay online or use the TFL Pay to Drive app, pay by phone. You cannot pay in petrol stations as you can with the congestion charge. Charges are based on 24 hours that run from midnight each day. Failure to pay will result in a fine of £160, although if paid within 14 days this is reduced to £80.
Where is the ULEZ?
From 9th April 2019, the Ultra Low Emission Zone reflects that of the London Congestion Charge, however from 25th October 2021, it will be extended significantly. The current zone accounts for approximately 8 square miles (21 sq. km), just 1.3% of all of greater London’s 600 square mile reach. The extended ULEZ zone increases that to approximately 80 square miles (400 sq. km) to account for nearly 25% of all of London’s road network.