If you are planning a weekend in London this summer, make sure that you know your congestion charges from your low emissions charges or your break away could leave a bitter (and expensive) taste in your mouth. In this series, we look at what you need to pay, when and where.
Congestion charges are the simple bit. If you drive in the centre of London between 7 a.m. and 6 p.m. Monday - Friday you need to pay the congestion charge. The charge isn’t applicable on bank holidays or weekends. Pay £11.50 in advance or on the same day, or £14 the next day. If you fail to pay by midnight the day after you drove within the zone, you will be given a penalty charge notice (PCN).
The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) covers the same area as the congestion charge, but is payable 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. The charge is £12.50 for cars, vans and motorbikes and £100 for lorries, buses, coaches and other heavy vehicles. If you travel on a weekday, you need to pay by midnight the day after you travel. If your journey is on a Friday, Saturday or Sunday, you need to pay by midnight on the Monday after your journey (or Tuesday if the Monday is a bank holiday). You can also pay up to three months in advance.
Failure to pay your ULEZ charge will result in a PCN and a fine of £160 (£80 if you pay within 14 days of receipt of the charge).
How to pay
There are several ways that you can pay your congestion and ULEZ charge. You can pay online, set up AutoPay, which, for a £10 annual fee, will automatically bill you every time you incur a charge, or you can get the TfL Pay to drive in London app, a free app that tells you when and how much you need to pay.
Driving in London can be a daunting experience, particularly if you are not used to city driving. If you are concerned about the driving experience, why not book a couple of booster driving lessons from a local, trusted driving instructor?