Drivers 'left stranded' by complicated Ulez scheme law changes and broken systems

A Ulez sign

Motorists can be charged £12.50 for driving in the Ulez with a non-compliant car

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 12/09/2023

- 08:32

Updated: 12/09/2023

- 08:33

Only 56 per cent of drivers knew what the requirements were to enter the Ulez before the expansion

New data has found that a majority of drivers do not know whether their vehicles adhere to the latest Ultra Low Emission Zone expansion.

London's Ulez was expanded on August 29 with the emissions-based charging zone now covering Greater London.

Owners of non-compliant petrol and diesel vehicles will now be charged £12.50 to drive in the capital.

Research has uncovered that a staggering 81 per cent of motorists do not know what their car's Euro emissions standard is.

A Clean Air Zone fine

A number of cities around the UK have now launched a Clean Air Zone


The London Ulez and Clean Air Zones around the country use the Euro emissions standards to assess whether cars will surpass the suitable levels of pollution.

To drive inside the Ulez without being charged, motorists must ensure their vehicles are Euro 4 petrol or Euro 6 diesel standards.

The same poll, from car management app Caura, found that only 56 per cent of drivers surveyed the week before the expansion knew what the requirements were to enter the Ulez.

Experts are now calling on local authorities and officials to act and ensure all drivers are aware of any incoming changes that may affect them.

Dr Sai Lakshmi, founder and CEO of Caura, said motorists needed to have a reliable service where they know their payments are being protected.

He added: “On 29 August, the day the expansion came into effect, TfL experienced a wave of hurdles after its website struggled to manage overwhelming traffic, leaving motorists stranded and unable to verify their vehicle’s eligibility for the latest set of regulations.

“Incidents like these highlight exactly why drivers in the UK require a streamlined and capable platform, that takes the stress out of maintaining and owning a car, which has already proved difficult with increasing environmental pressures.

“More worrying, the results from our study conducted by YouGov are shocking.”

On the day that the Ulez was expanded, many drivers looking to pay the charge or check their eligibility were met with errors on the Transport for London website.

Outside of London, only 19 percent of drivers were aware of the stringent rules laid out in Oxford's Zero Emission Zone which charges all non-zero emissions vehicles to drive in the city centre.

Two in three drivers said they would rather use an app to remind them to pay for a Clean Air Zone or Ulez rather than use a website, with 58 per cent of elderly drivers supporting the use of an app.

Dr Lakshmi continued, saying: “This should be a wake-up call to drivers in the UK who aren’t embracing the benefit of technology to help make their lives easier.


A Zero Emission Zone sign

Oxford's ZEZ launched in 2022


“This is possible through using an app like ours where it can not only tell you whether your car is subject to be charged for a range of city and emissions-based daily charges, but also pay for them in the same app, with just a couple of taps.”

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