Congestion Charge Exemption-Things You Need To Know
Have you heard the word London Congestion Charge? Well, it is the fee which is charged on the motor vehicles operating within the Congestion Charge Zone. This charge is applicable in Central London around the time between 07:00 and 18:00 between Mondays and Fridays.
In February 2003, the charge was introduced and the public holidays, weekends, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day are the days on which you won’t be charged. And at present, London Charge Zone is one of the largest congestion charge zones all over the world. From 2025, it is expected that the charge exemption will only apply to pure electric vehicles like Electric scooters, bikes, etc.
The main focus of the charge was to reduce high traffic flow along with pollution in the main area. It also helps to raise investment funds in support of London’s transport system. The standard fee charged is £11.50 per day which is to be paid by midnight on the day of travel. If you pay the next day, then the charge will increase up to £14.00.
At present, the Ultra Low Emission Discount introduced more strict emission standards. It states that the free access to the congestion charge zone is limited to all-electric cars, electric scooters, and some plug-in hybrids too. It also includes the vehicles that emit less of Carbon Dioxide (75g/km) and meet the Euro 5 standards specified for Air-quality.
Luckily, there are some other exceptions to this charge. The system gives 100% discount to the cars or vehicles which are registered under the Euro 5 emission standard and emit less than or equal to 75g/km carbon dioxide. Vehicles with nine or more seats, two-wheeled motorcycles and sidecars, motor tricycles, mopeds, companies, and roadside recovery also get the discount.
The good thing is All-electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles also qualify for the 100% congestion charge discount. A plug-in electric scooter or bike qualify for the discount if it is registered with the DVLA, i.e. Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. It will also be eligible for the OLEV grant.
From February 2016, PHEV includes the extended range vehicles like BMW i3 Rex, and hybrids such as Audi A3 Sportback e-tron, Mitsubishi Outlander P-HEV, BMW i8, Volkswagen Golf GTE, and Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid.
The taxis and private hire vehicles were also exempted from the charge but it is removed after April 2019. The charge is foldable as there is also a refund policy. People who pay the charge on a monthly or annual basis, they get reimbursements. The refund policy is also available for the NHS patients which are considered too ill to travel by public transport. Even the residents who live close to the Congestion charge zone are also eligible for a 90% discount and it is charged via CC Autopay.
Some other vehicles aside from electric scooters and bike which are exempted from the charge include HM Coastguard and Port Authorities, Royal Park Agency, Breakdown organizations, armed forces, and certain operational vehicles used by the London boroughs.