Drivers could land a fine of £160 for failing to abide by the rules of the new Ultra Low Emissions Zone which is set to be introduced this year.
The all-new ULEZ will come into effect on April 9th replacing the toxic ’T-Charge’ introduced by London Mayor Sadiq Khan last year.
It will initially cover the existing Congestion Charge zone in London and will operate 24 hours a day, 365 days a year meaning that there are no grace periods where drivers can dodge the fee.
This is a contrast to the Congestion Charge zone which is only chargeable between the days hours of 07:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday.
To be able to enter the zone motorists must pay £12.50 each day on top of the Congestion Charge fee, meaning it could cost £24 a day for some motorists in London.
Any driver that fails to pay the charge can be fined £160, which will be halved to £80 if paid within a certain timeframe.
Data revealed earlier this year suggested that it could affect up to two million motorists across the country.
Transport for London says that 1.5 million diesel cars, 500,000 petrol cars, 55,000 HGVs and 10,000 coaches fail to meet the ULEZ standards in the Congestion Charge Zone last year.
To be able to avoid the charger diesel cars must meet Euro 6 emissions standards while petrol vehicles must get Euro 4.
What this should mean is that diesel cars registered before 2015 will be charged and petrols before 2006 will face the fee.
The new zone could add thousands on to the running costs of a vehicle for motorists.
It would cost drivers that use the zone every day for a year £4,562. The Congestion Charge operates between the hours of 07:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday, meaning the max annual charge is £2,990.
What this means is the absolute maximum a motorist could face paying is an extra £7,552 a year to run their vehicle, if they used the zone every day.
Ahead of the zone coming into force, new signage is being put up across the city to warn motorists of the change.
There is also a new ULEZ checker which motorists can use to see if they face paying the charge or not. To use it drivers must simply input their number plate information.
You can use the tool here.
Are there any exemptions from paying the daily charge?
There are a number of exemptions to the ULEZ fee when it launches. One group is residents who qualify for the Congestion Charge discount giving them a 100 per cent discount off the total fee which will give them a grace period to change their vehicle. The ‘sunset period’ will apply from 8 April 2019 to 24 October 2021.
Keepers of vehicles registered with a ‘disabled’ or ‘disabled passenger vehicles’ tax class will benefit from a sunset period after the ULEZ starts. They’ll be exempt from the ULEZ charge until 26 October 2025 as long as their vehicle doesn’t change tax class.
Controversially, London black cabs, which are some of the most toxic vehicles in the capital, are exempt from the charge. You can check the full list of vehicles to be exempt from the charge here.