See if your postcode or address is in the ULEZ zone.
To make London a greener city, the ULEZ has been implemented and is in place to reduce the amount of high-emission cars entering certain areas of London.
Still very much in its infancy, as it’s not been in use for too long, residents and frequent travellers to London have been looking for guidance and information about the ULEZ to minimise its impact on their commute.
One thing you can do to help prepare for the ULEZ is to check if any of your common destinations or home address falls into the ULEZ zone. Knowing if these locations are in the ULEZ area will provide helpful information to better plan your journeys and consider alternative options.
At Car Adviser, we’ve put together a helpful tool that allows you to search various London postcodes to see if it falls in the ULEZ zone. Our tool uses the most up-to-date information to make sure that you’re getting accurate results.
If you need more resources about the ULEZ or any other information about car maintenance and care, we have countless articles that can be found here on Car Adviser.
The Ultra Low Emission Zone, also known as ULEZ, is an area within London where certain vehicles that do not meet current emission standards are charged to enter the area. It was introduced in 2019 to help improve the air quality and pollution within the city and is a scheme that operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
If you enter a ULEZ area with a car that isn’t compliant with the regulations, you’ll get charged £12.50 for the entire day. This means that if you need to enter the ULEZ area often, such as for work, you could be losing out over £3,000 for the year. This is why you must check if your destination or route goes through the area.
When it was first introduced, the ULEZ shared the same area as the congestion charge, which focused initially on the more central areas of London, such as Westminster, Soho, Lambeth, and Finsbury.
However, the zone has since expanded and now covers all of London.
In late 2023, the ULEZ zone has expanded. From the 29th of August 2023, all of Greater London is part of the ULEZ area, including the suburbs. This may make it much harder to figure out what areas are part of the ULEZ zone, making it even more important to use a postcode checker to see if your home or destination falls within the new zone.
To make it easy for you to find out if your destination is within the ULEZ area, we’ve designed our ULEZ Postcode checker to be simple to use and quick.
To get started, all you need to do is enter the postcode of the address you want to search. For more accurate results, include the house number and street name of your destination so that we can pinpoint the exact location that you’re searching for.
Once you’ve inputted your address, our tool will then be able to inform you whether the address is inside the ULEZ zone or not.
If it is in the area, our tool also highlights the zone so that you can easily see nearby stations that are inside or outside the area. This makes it much easier for you to search for and find alternative routes into the ULEZ area.
The ULEZ zone operates across all London boroughs and the City of London. This means that now a lot of destinations fall within the ULEZ zone, and it will mean that you’ll be charged if you enter the location with a car that isn’t compliant.
That’s why checking the postcode of your location can be helpful, as it will let you know if you will need to consider alternative routes to get to your location. Driving in London now requires a lot of planning as many people still aim to avoid the ULEZ areas. Checking a postcode is the first step of your planning before you work out the best route for your situation.
Although most modern cars will have low enough emissions not to be charged when entering a ULEZ area, many drivers still have vehicles that will be charged. This means that working out if your destination is in the ULEZ area can help you budget and prepare for the charge, and it can also inform you that you may need to make alternative travel arrangements if you want to avoid it.
Checking the postcode of your destination is a great way to be prepared and ensure that there are no nasty charges and surprises you may have yet to expect.
One of the first things that you should check once you’ve seen that your destination is in the ULEZ area is to see if your car is compliant or not. Vehicles that exceed certain emission limits are the only ones that need to pay a charge when entering a ULEZ area, so if your vehicle is efficient, you likely won’t have to pay.
Most modern cars meet the requirements, and you should be fine if you have a petrol or diesel car that was made after 2015. However, it’s best to check online just to be sure and to avoid any unexpected bills.
We have a ULEZ checker here on Car Adviser that you can use, where all you need to do is enter your registration plate to see if you can drive in the Ultra Low Emission Zone free of charge.
The ULEZ uses cameras around the zone’s perimeter to monitor what cars and vehicles enter and exit the area. These cameras will review your number plate and then search their database to see if your vehicle is compliant and if you need to be charged.
Knowing where these cameras are located can help you avoid making accidental turns that lead you down a road with one of these cameras. It can be very annoying when you take a wrong turn and go into a ULEZ area without initially needing to.
Here at Car Adviser, we’ve put together a map of all the known locations of the ULEZ cameras that you can check here.
It’s one thing knowing if your final destination is within the ULEZ zone; however, it can also be helpful to see where exactly the ULEZ area covers to ensure that you’re not going through the area as part of your journey.
For example, even if you’re travelling from one side of the capital to the other, and both start and endpoints are not inside the ULEZ area, your navigation app may try to take you through the area, as it could be the fastest way.
That’s why you should also look at the entire ULEZ area, as it allows you to plot your route in the best way possible. Many apps and navigation devices have settings that will suggest ULEZ-free routes, and you can also check a map of the ULEZ area here on Car Adviser to help you get a better idea of the area that it covers.
Thankfully, only some cars have to pay ULEZ charges. In fact, most modern cars younger than seven years old will likely be okay and have emission levels that pass the regulations. Of course, it's always best to check to see if your vehicle is exempt or not.
If you drive a diesel car, your vehicle will need to be no lower than Euro Emission level 6. It needs to be Euro Emission level 4 or higher for petrol cars. Your emission level is allocated to your car when it’s registered with the DVLA and can be found in your owner's manual. You can also use a checker to see if your car model is fine.
In addition to petrol and diesel cars at these emission levels, vehicles that are fully electric or powered by hybrid technology will also be ULEZ compliant, and that's why you'll find many of these types of cars within central London recently, and it could be something worthwhile for you to upgrade to as well.
If you're driving to and from a location in the ULEZ zone multiple times a day, you don't have to worry about racking up numerous charges.
This is because the ULEZ charges you for a single day rather than for each journey. This means you'll be charged the same £12.50 if you make 1, 2 or even 5 journeys through a ULEZ area in a day.
Despite this, you are encouraged to limit the amount you drive in these areas to keep pollution and emissions down.
Of course, you'll only have to pay if you enter the ULEZ area in a car that doesn't meet regulations. Also, be aware that although driving in a ULEZ zone at 11:00 PM one day and 03:00 AM the day after is within 24 hours, because these times are for different dates, you will get charged twice.