Due to a number of changes to the London Congestion Charge, the above question has possibly crossed your mind. As the criteria for exemption tightens, so the vehicles that qualify for exemption have altered over the years.
The following is your straightforward guide to the London Congestion Charge, and whether your Toyota qualifies for exemption.
What is the London Congestion Charge?
The London Congestion Charge is a daily fee for driving a vehicle through central zones of London. These zones are set and monitored by Transport for London, also known as TfL, and applies between 07:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday.
Charges do not apply on the following occasions:
- UK public holidays
- Any time between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day
- Any weekday between 18:00 and 07:00
What is the T-Charge?
The T-Charge is a toxicity surcharge that is applied in addition to the London Congestion Charge. Enforced from 23 October 2017, all vehicles driving in central London now need to meet a minimum emission standard, or pay a daily £10.00 emissions surcharge in addition to the London Congestion Charge.
The T-Charge zone is the same as that of the London Congestion Charge and it operates at the same times and days.
What exemptions are available?
Every driver of every vehicle has to pay the London Congestion Charge (and additional T-Charge, if applicable), unless the vehicle has been successfully registered for exemption. All exemptions are awarded at the discretion of Transport for London.
The primary exemption applicable to passenger cars is under the Ultra Low Emissions discount scheme. This can apply to a vehicle that meets all of the following criteria:
- Combined cycle CO2 emissions of 75g/km or less
- Plated gross vehicle weight of 3.5 tonnes or less
- Meets or exceeds the Euro 5 air quality standard
Do any Toyota cars qualify for exemption?
Under the current regulations, two Toyota models qualify as Go UItra Low vehicles and are therefore exempt from the London Congestion Charge and T-Charge after approval and registration by Transport for London.
When is the next change in qualifying criteria?
On 8 April 2019 an Ultra Low Emission Zone will come into force. Most vehicles will need to meet new, tighter exhaust emission standards or pay a daily charge when travelling within the zone. These standards will be enforced 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.