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Which cars are ULEZ compliant? Sadiq Khan 'misled London public' about benefits of ULEZ, report claims

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be extended to all of London’s boroughs in an effort to clean up the city’s air  (Yui Mok/PA)
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will be extended to all of London’s boroughs in an effort to clean up the city’s air (Yui Mok/PA)

A row has broken out over a draft report by the advertising watchdog that claims London Mayor Sadiq Khan misled the public about the benefits of ULEZ (ultra low emission zone) .

The report by The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) is an investigation into claims made by Transport for London - that is chaired by Mr Khan - in advertisements about the Ulez.

The adverts were broadcast and published between January and June. They claimed that the existing Ulez in central London had “almost halved levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2)” and that “most air pollution related deaths actually occur in outer London”.

But a draft of the report, leaked to The Sunday Telegraph, found that the Ulez adverts were misleading because they “did not clarify” that claims about NO2 levels were based on estimates or modelled scenarios and not actual figures.

The investigators said: “In the absence of qualifying information consumers were likely to understand that the claims were based on actual figures, not estimates or modelled scenarios, and that NO2 concentrations had been seen to reduce by almost a half.”

ULEZ was introduced in 2019 to help reduce the amount of pollution in the capital. It was extended to all of London’s boroughs in an effort to promote public health and clean up the city’s air on August 29, 2023, meaning the capital is covered by a £12.50 charge for the vehicles producing the worst emissions.

More London stories - click above
More London stories - click above

A map has been released of the zone, which will not include the M25. An estimated five million Londoners will breathe cleaner air, according to City Hall, due to the likely impact of a city-wide zone further accelerating the switch to cleaner vehicles in the suburbs. More than 96 per cent of cars in the existing zone, which extends to the inner boundaries of the North and South Circular Roads, comply with the exhaust-emission rules and do not have to pay the 24/7 charge.

So, which cars are ULEZ compliant and what does the ULEZ mean?

Which cars are ULEZ-compliant?

Cars that meet certain emission standards are exempt from the ULEZ charge.

This is because the charge was designed to lessen the number of high-polluting vehicles on the road and improve air quality. It serves as a penalty for those who continue to drive heavily polluting cars, lorries, bikes, and buses through London.

If your vehicle is one of the following, it will be exempt from the ULEZ charge:

  • A diesel car that meets Euro 6 standards

  • A petrol car that meets Euro 4 standards

  • Is a full-electric car

  • Hybrid cars and mild hybrids must meet Euro 4 or 6 depending on their engine type

When driving through the ultra-low emissions zone, ULEZ charges will apply unless you are in one of the above vehicles. However, you may still be charged if you have failed to inform TFL that you are driving a ULEZ-compliant vehicle.

According to TFL, petrol cars that meet the ULEZ standards are generally those first registered with the DVLA after 2005, although cars that meet the standards have been available since 2001.

Diesel cars that meet the standards are generally those first registered with the DVLA after September 2015.

Cars need to meet minimum emissions standards when travelling within the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) or the daily £12.50 charge must be paid.

ULEZ-compliant cars are any cars that meet the emissions standards outlined above, but some popular models which are ULEZ-compliant include:

  • Nissan Leaf

  • Honda Jazz

  • Suzuki Sport Swift

  • Ford Fiesta EcoBoost

  • Skoda Octavia

  • Toyota Prius

  • Volkswagen Golf

  • Audi A3 Sportback

  • SEAT Ibiza

  • Kia Ceed

Any full-electric car model is exempt, but you should check if you are using any other type of car, including semi-electric hybrid cars.