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The UK has 3 LEZs, however only one of them, London, affects vehicles other than local buses under agreements.
The UK has 2 urban road charging schemes, in Central London and Central Durham.


Greater London has had a Low Emissions Zone in place from the 4th February 2008. From January 2012 the standard is Euro 4(PM) for vehicles over 3.5T. From January 2012, and Euro 3(PM) for PM for larger vans and minibuses.

Norwich has a small LEZ in the city centre affecting local buses, operated by an agreement with the local operators.

Oxford is planning a bus-related LEZ, with compliance by 2014 for Euro 5.

For London:

Greater London has had a Low Emissions Zone in place from the 4th February 2008.

Dates & Standards

From 3 January 2012:

Euro 4 for PM for lorries over 3.5 tonnes GVW, buses and coaches over 5 tonnes GVW.

Euro 3 for PM for larger vans weighing 1.205 tonnes unladen to 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight, minibuses weighing 5 tonnes or less gross vehicle weight plus other specialist vehicles (see vehicles affected below).

From 2015:

The LEZ will be tightened NOx for TfL buses only. This will be met by new Euro VI & hybrid buses together with SCR retrofitting.

Vehicles affected
Diesel-engined lorries over 3.5 tonnes, buses, coaches, large vans and minibuses.

It also affects other specialist vehicles that are derived from lorries and vans, including motorised horse boxes, breakdown and recovery vehicles, refuse collection vehicles, snow ploughs, gritters, road sweepers, concrete mixers, tippers, removals lorries, fire engines, extended-cab dual purpose pick-ups and some light utility vehicles. Motor caravans, ambulances and large hearses (over 2.5 tonnes) are also included.

The LEZ applies to all vehicles, irrespective of whether they are used for commercial or private use. Cars, motorcycles and small vans (under 1.205 tonnes unladen weight) are not included in the LEZ.

What is the LEZ boundary
The LEZ covers most of Greater London and all public roads, however the M25 is not included within the LEZ even where it passes within the GLA boundary. A more detailed interactive map of the zone can be found on the  Transport for London website.

UK London

LEZ road signs
Entering the LEZ:                                                Within the LEZ:

LEZ road sign LEZ sign  within zone

Vehicle registration

Vehicles registered outside of Great Britain, including Northern Ireland need to register with TfL - Click here to register with TfL in English or visit the Euro Parking Collection website for a form in your chosen language, or call 0845 607 00090845 607 0009 or from abroad +44 (0) 207 310 8998+44 (0) 207 310 8998.

All vehicles affected by the LEZ (including those which are exempt or entitled to a 100% discount) have to be registered with TfL, even if they meet the required emissions standards and are to be driven in the LEZ. Operators of showman's vehicles that are entitled to a 100% discount will also need to register with TfL to qualify for the discount.

Except for showmans vehicles, vehicles registered in Great Britain will not have to register their vehicles with Transport for London (TfL), including those that are exempt, as TfL has access to data from DVLA, VOSA and SMMT to determine whether a vehicle meets the LEZ emissions standards.

Foreign vehicles

Are included, and need to register. Click here to register with TfL in English, visit the Euro Parking Collection website for a form in your chosen language, or call 0845 607 00090845 607 0009 or from abroad +44 (0) 207 310 8998+44 (0) 207 310 8998.

Retrofitting allowed?
Yes.  There are also a number of other options available to meet the LEZ emissions standards.

  • Fit a full diesel particulate filter to improve your vehicles emissions standards. TfL will only accept vehicle modifications that have been certified by an approved body as reducing the particulate matter emissions sufficiently to meet the required LEZ standards. How to obtain certification depends on where a vehicle is registered.
    Vehicles registered in Great Britain
    All GB registered vehicles under-going modification will need to be inspected by the Vehicle and Operator Services Agency (VOSA) that they have fitted an approved modification. After a successful test, VOSA will issue a Low Emissions Certificate (LEC) or Reduced Pollution Certificate. Holders of an LEC (or RPC) will not need to register their vehicle with TfL as their details will be passed on to TfL by VOSA.
    Vehicles registered outside Great Britain (including Northern Ireland)
    Operators need to submit evidence to TfL of any modification from a recognised certification authority in their country of registration.
  • Upgrade your vehicle to a new or newer vehicle
  • Reorganise your fleet so only vehicles meeting the LEZ emissions standards are driven within the LEZ
  • Convert your vehicle to run on pure gas with a spark ignition using an approved conversion.
  • Some lorries, buses and coaches are classified as having Eligible Engines, see here for more details.
  • Pay the daily charge - if you have no other option, pay the daily LEZ charge for each day you drive within the zone, see below.

Hours of operation
The LEZ operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year including weekends and public holidays.

Enforcement
Enforcement is with fixed and mobile cameras which read your vehicle's number plate as you drive in the zone and check it against a database of registered vehicles that:

  • meet with the LEZ emissions standards, or
  • have paid the daily charge (see below), or
  • are either exempt or registered for a 100% discount.

Note: Operators of all vehicles that do not meet the LEZ emissions standards, or qualify for an exemption or a 100% discount must pay the daily charge or they may be liable for a penalty charge.

Payment
A daily charge is applicable for each day the vehicle is driven within the zone and does not meet the required emissions standards. The charging day operates from midnight to midnight. Charges apply every day of the year including weekends and public holidays.

  • Pay online: you can pay by credit or debit card online;
  • Pay by phone: simply call 0845 607 00090845 607 0009 between 06:00 and 00:30, Sunday to Friday, or between 06:00 and 22:00 on Saturdays.  Operators calling from outside the UK should call +44 (0) 20 7310 8998+44 (0) 20 7310 8998
  • To pay by post, you will need to complete a 'Paying the Low Emission Zone Charge' postal form, or call 0845 607 00090845 607 0009. Payments should be sent to Low Emission Zone, PO Box 4784, Worthing BN11 9PU.  Remember to allow at least 10 days before your date of travel to allow time for your payment to clear and make sure that you give the correct number plate and date of travel (more if posting from abroad). If you do not, you may be issued with a Penalty Charge notice.

Payment can be made up to 64 working days in advance of the day of travel, on the day of travel, or up to midnight on the first working day after driving in the zone. The charges are given in the table below for the daily charge.

Vehicle Weight Daily Charge

- Larger vans
- Motorised horseboxes
- 4x4 light utility vehicles
- Pick-ups
- Other specialist vehicles

1.205 T unladen, 3.5T GVW £100
- Motor caravans
- Ambulances
2.5 - 3.5 T GVW £100
- Minibuses (with more than 8 passenger seats) 5T or less GVW £100
- Lorries
- Goods vehicles
- Motor caravans
- Motorised horseboxes
- Breakdown and recovery vehicles
- Snow Ploughs
- Gritters
- Refuse collection vehicles
- Concrete mixers
- Tippers
- Fire engines
- Removals lorries
- Other specialist vehicles
More than 3.5T GVW £200
- Buses
- Coaches (with more than 8 passenger seats)
More than 5T GVW £200

 

Penalty
If you drive an affected vehicle in the zone and it does not meet the required emissions standards, is not exempt or entitled to a 100% discount and you do not pay the daily charge, you may be liable for a Penalty Charge. This will be issued to the registered keeper of the vehicle. The charges are given in the table below for the penalty charge for entering the LEZ without meeting the emissions standards or paying the daily charge.

Vehicle Weight Penalty Charge If paid within 14 days

- Larger vans
- Motorised horseboxes
- 4x4 light utility vehicles
- Pick-ups
- Other specialist vehicles

1.205 T unladen, 3.5T GVW £500 £250
- Motor caravans
- Ambulances
2.5 - 3.5 T GVW £500 £250
- Minibuses (with more than 8 passenger seats) 5T or less GVW £500 £250
- Lorries
- Goods vehicles
- Motor caravans
- Motorised horseboxes
- Breakdown and recovery vehicles
- Snow Ploughs
- Gritters
- Refuse collection vehicles
- Concrete mixers
- Tippers
- Fire engines
- Removals lorries
- Other specialist vehicles
More than 3.5T GVW £1000 £500
- Buses
- Coaches (with more than 8 passenger seats)
More than 5T GVW £1000 £500

National Scheme
There is no national scheme in the UK. The other two LEZs in the UK are focused on local buses.

Exemptions and discounts
A small number of vehicles are eligible for an exemption or 100% discount from the LEZ.
Exemptions
The following vehicles will automatically be exempt from the LEZ if registered in Great Britain. These will not need to be registered with TfL and are not subject to the LEZ charge:

  • Specialist non-road going vehicles designed and built for mainly off-road use, but which may use the road for limited purposes (including agricultural and forestry tractors, mowing machines, agricultural and farm machinery and equipment, mobile cranes and road and building construction machinery).
  • Historic vehicles (constructed before 1 January 1973).
  • Vehicles operated by the Ministry of Defence.

Eligible vehicles registered outside Great Britain (including Northern Ireland) will need to register with TfL for an exemption.

Discounts
Certain showman's vehicles are eligible for a 100% discount. This will only apply to vehicles which are registered to a person following the business of a travelling showman and have been custom modified or specially constructed.
Operators of such vehicles will need to register with TfL to qualify for the discount.


What an LEZ is called in the country
Low Emission Zone or LEZ.

Further information
Transport for London  (TfL)

London's press release about the changes in January 2012 for vans and heavy duty vehicles, available in English, Czech (CZ), Danish (DK), French (FR), German (DE), Italian (IT), Lithuanian (LT), Hungarian (HU), Dutch (NL), Polish (PL), Spanish (ES).

Phone (within the UK):  0845 607 00090845 607 0009
Phone (from outside the UK): +44 (0) 207 310 8998+44 (0) 207 310 8998
Text phone:  0207 310 89990207 310 8999
Write to: Low Emission Zone, PO Box 4784, Worthing BN11 9PU.
An information leaflet is also available in other languages. To obtain your copy visit the TfL's Europarking website or call (+44) 0845 607 0009(+44) 0845 607 0009

 

City website 
Londons website, Transport for London  (TfL)

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