Updates To London's Congestion Charge Zone

With the recent changes to London’s City Congestion Charge zone, we break down the recent updates, where the map is placed, what vehicles are affected, eligibility for exemptions and the possible implications of penalties.

How Does The New Congestion Charge Work?

The daily congestion charge to drive in London is £15 per day. The London congestion charge only has to be paid daily, allowing patrons to drive across the congestion charge zone repeatedly without the risk of a further penalty.

  • The charge can be paid online, with the option for next day advanced payment. 
  • By choosing next day payment, you will be eligible to pay an extra £3.50 to the total charge, totalling £17.50.
  • If payment hasn’t been made by midnight the next day, a penalty charge notice (PCN) will be given at a charge of £160. However, if this is paid within 2 weeks, you will only be required to pay £80.

Car To Scrap In London?

The introduction of a permanent congestion charge zone, which has been extended to include weekends, has led many motorists to question whether it is viable to continue using their high emission petrol or diesel vehicles in London.

Thankfully, Scrap Local’s award-winning vehicle recycling team are on hand to assist if you need to remove your car in London. Our scrap car collection agents across London provide a convenient, reliable and effective car recycling service.

To receive one of the best prices for your scrap car or salvage vehicle in London, simply fill in our form to receive a free and complete quote!

London Congestion Charge Map

Under the ULEZ expansion in central London, a larger congestion charge zone map has been created. The zone runs across North Circular Road (A406) and South Circular Road (A205). However, the North and South Circular Roads themselves are not included in the zone.

To see if you’re impacted by the congestion zone, you check your postcode by entering a street name, area or landmark in the search box to see its location in relation to the charging zones. To see if an address is inside or outside the zones, use the postcode search instead.

London Congestion Charge Times
  •  Congestion charges within London’s inner-city zone apply from 07:00AM BST and 8:00PM all year round excluding Christmas Day.
  • The timings for London’s congestion charge were changed during the pandemic, as they only applied from 07:00am to 6:00PM on weekdays.
  • Under Transport London, the charges will be reverted back to the normal scheme hours, meaning that the congestion charge will be payable 7 days a week.
Congestion Charge Vehicle Checker

The London congestion charge applies to certain vehicles, & also excludes certain ones too. These include:

  • Most petrol and diesel cars, vans and 4x4s, as well as plug-in hybrids, will have to pay the daily congestion charge in London during its hours of operation.
  • Electric vehicles are exempt from the congestion charge as zero-emission driving becomes more popular & mandatory amongst motorists in the city. 
  • Historic vehicles and military vehicles are exempt from the congestion zone charge.
  • Plug-in hybrids aren’t fully exempt and are required to produce CO2 emissions under 775g/km, with 20 miles of only electric power. A plug-in hybrid has to be registered with the TFL before you start driving in the zone as you could be fined. 

Check your vehicle eligibility below

Congestion Charge Exemptions

Certain exemptions within the congestion charge zone are available. These apply specifically to hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles. These vehicles do not have to pay a charge and instead would pay a reduced fee.

It was only since August 2020 that residents within the congestion charge zone were able to apply for a discount from the Transport Of London. Certain criteria had to be met, which included proof of vehicle ownership and residency, although the discount is now unavailable. 

  • Blue badge holders aren’t required to pay any congestion zone charge in London. With other exemptions, the vehicle in question would have to be used by the holder of the blue badge, with a maximum of two people per badge. They would also have to be registered with the TfL to qualify.
  •  Breakdown recovery vehicles, blue badge holders, motorcycles & vehicles with 9 seats or more are also exempt.
Congestion Charge Penalties

Under the congestion charge zone in London, certain penalties and enforcement policies have been put in place. 

  • If you drive in a congestion charge zone in London, without paying by midnight the following day, you will be issued a Penalty Charge Notice.
  • The initial penalty charge is £160 which will be discounted to £80 in 14 days.
  • If unpaid, a further charge certificate will be issued at £240.

You are able to contest a penalty charge notice under certain grounds, which include:

  • You would not be the vehicle keeper at the time
  • You have paid the congestion charge
  • Your vehicle was exempt from the congestion charge
  • Your vehicle was taken without your knowledge 
  • The vehicle was hired by someone else
We advise that under correct procedures, you should follow the guidelines to remove the chance of being penalised for entering a congestion charge zone. By checking your postcode, your vehicle and paying the initial congestion charge if eligible, you can remove any unnecessary legal implications.
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The Congestion Zone Charge has been reverted back to normal scheme times although will now also include weekends. 

The zone was extended on 22 June 2021 to cover a similar area used in the ULEZ.

The congestion zone charge area will now follow suit with the ULEZ, and will now run from North Circular Road (A406) and South Circular Road (A205).

You can see whether your postcode falls under the congestion charge zone via the Transport of London’s postcode checker

There are a few exemptions for certain vehicles & individuals. These include:

  • If you own an electric vehicle with zero emissions, you would not have to pay a charge.
  • If you are a Blue Badge Holder, you would not have to pay a congestion charge if you register your vehicle with Transport of London.
  • Other vehicles include breakdown recovery vehicles, motorcycles & vehicles with more than 9 seats. 

View further vehicles exceptions here. 

The congestion charge in London should be paid the same day, at a rate of £15, otherwise for an additional £3.50, you can pay the next day.

You can pay online here.

If your vehicle does not meet low emissions standards and poses a repeated issue of paying a daily congestion zone charge in London, you can remove your car as a better option.

Our team at Scrap Local can provide a reliable & convenient scrap car removal service across London, with our network of car breakers who buy scrap cars, at the best possible price, on hand to help you find vehicle recycling easy.

Get a free, complete scrap car quote today!

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