ULEZ-compliant cars

The London Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) is an area in London that sees cars which do not meet emissions standards charged to enter. The zone was recently expanded to include almost all areas inside the M25 oribital motorway, and other cities have their own Clean Air Zones (CAZ). This mostly affects older cars, motorcycles and vans, with owners having to pay £12.50 per day to drive within the zone. If you want to switch to a greener, ULEZ-compliant car, carwow can help.

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You can browse ULEZ-compliant cars that won’t face a daily charge. It’s important to note that while the cars in this list should be compliant based on their age, you should use our online ULEZ checker to confirm.

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What cars are ULEZ-compliant?

For a car to be ULEZ-compliant and not face the daily charge for driving within the zone, it has to meet certain emissions standards based on its fuel type. The idea is to keep the most polluting cars from entering heavily populated areas and, as a result, improve air quality for residents.

These are emissions standards that have been set by the European Union to encourage car manufacturers to reduce exhaust emissions. Euro 1 was introduced in 1992, with the latest version being Euro 6. These are the standards that ULEZ compliance works from.

ULEZ-compliant petrol cars

The minimum emissions standard for petrol cars to be ULEZ-compliant is Euro 4. This means that most petrol cars registered from January 2005 should not be charged the daily fee for entering the zone.

ULEZ-compliant diesel cars

It’s a bit stricter for diesel cars, which have to meet Euro 6 standards. This means that cars registered after September 2015 should be ULEZ-compliant. The down side to this is that if you want a diesel car, the most affordable options will likely be more expensive to buy than a ULEZ-compliant petrol car as they’re so much newer.

ULEZ-compliant hybrid and electric cars

Hybrid vehicles are largely unaffected by ULEZ zones. They are categorised by their fuel type, with most using petrol and already complying with Euro 4 (or newer) standards. Diesel hybrids are few and far between, but these will have to comply with Euro 6 standards.

It’s even easier with electric vehicles. Because they produce zero tailpipe emissions, all electric vehicles are ULEZ-compliant.

How do I know if my car is ULEZ-compliant?

Although you can use a car’s age as a guide for whether it’s ULEZ-compliant, it’s also a good idea to double check. Fortunately, carwow has you covered with our online ULEZ checker. You simply type in your registration plate and our tool will tell you if your car should be exempt from the ULEZ and Congestion Charge fee. You can also browse our handy map to see which areas are covered by the ULEZ if you’re planning a trip.

Can I make my car ULEZ-compliant?

If your car is not ULEZ-compliant and you want to hold onto it, you can modify it by upgrading the exhaust and/or engine to reduce its emissions. The car would then have to be recertified by the DVSA to become ULEZ-compliant.

This can be a lengthy and very costly process, though. The simpler answer is to sell your car and buy something that is compliant. While this might sound alarmingly expensive itself, with most post-2006 petrol cars being ULEZ-compliant, it doesn’t have to be particularly costly.

ULEZ-compliant cars FAQs

ULEZ-compliant means that a car meets emissions standards that will not require its driver to pay a charge to enter the zone.
Aside from cars that meet the relevant emissions standard, electric vehicles are exempt because they have zero tailpipe emissions. Classic cars over 40 years old that fall into the historical tax class will also face no charge for driving in the zone.
If you receive Child Benefit, or certain low income or disability benefits, there are grants to help you swap your car, motorcycle, or wheelchair accessible car or van.

ULEZ guides