ULEZ Charges in London for Foreign Registered Cars
In the news lately, perhaps you have become aware of the enlargement of the ULEZ – Ultra Low Emission Zone being introduced by the Mayor of London scheduled for August 2023. For foreign registered cars this means that they have to be explicitly registered in advance. UK based cars are known by virtue of Swansea.
For those readers that may be impacted by this, there are a few links below which will lead to further information. In summary, the ULEZ standards are:
- Euro 3 for motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles and quadricycles (L category)
- Euro 4 (NOx) for petrol cars, vans, minibuses and other specialist vehicles
- Euro 6 (NOx and PM) for diesel cars, vans and minibuses and other specialist vehicles
The object of this post is to give you an idea of the registration experiences you may encounter. Be aware, that it is advisable to register for both ULEZ and LEZ – Low Emissions Zone in order to cover all bases.
Registration Experience of Gary Brooks
My son lives in Battersea and so in 2021, following the advice of Nigel (below), I undertook registering my 2018 BMW X3 SDrive which has a Diesel engine with ADBlue to reduce NOx levels . It is important to understand that there are two organisations involved. One is the TFL, Transport for London and the other is their subcontractor, the EPC, Euro Parking Collection responsible for collecting the ULEZ and LEZ charges for non-compliant vehicles, that will be encountered on entering the zone (e.g £12.50/24 hours).
Whilst you can create an account with TFL and/or ask for information via them, my experience was it created more problems than resolutions.
My advice is to register your vehicle direct with the EPC by going to Euro Parking Collection plc (epcplc.com)
The information you are asked to provide is fairly straightforward. However, the registration provides for the upload of only one proof of emissions compliance. This is where I hit early problems. To cut a long story short, enquiries to the TFL on providing this proof resulted in my being asked to provide a BMW Certificate of Conformance for my vehicle (BMW required 178€, with no guarantee that this would be accepted). The reason I entered this loop was believing I had to show both CO2 and NOx emissions compliance.
In fact, ignoring TFL’s requirements, (emails available on request) and just uploading the Carte Grise was sufficient for the EPC. The EURO6 compliance required for Diesel Cars is shown in box V.9 on the Carte Grise. This box will also be used for other vehicles as well. After a delay, EPC registration was accepted, see screenshot opposite.
Finally, allow a couple of months for the process in case of issues, if you are planning on travelling to London. I started the process in October 2021 for a visit in December. However, you will see on registering again with Carte Grise it only took days as with Nigel below. More information available here:
Registration Experience of Nigel Bond
In addition to Gary’s extensive explanation above, I would add that I went online in 2020 and registered my French car for free using my Carte Grise in less than 5 minutes for both ULEZ and LEZ with no problems and these are valid for the lifetime of my vehicle.
To note that the ULEZ has been around since 2019, but only in the last month have Transport for London (TFL) started sending out fines to owners of French plated cars that have driven in the zone (as far back as 2021) without being pre-registered – we know of at least one BBC member who has received a fine. These fines can be contested by going to:
A final note is that it is not just London that has emission zone restrictions – you are likely aware of France’s own Crit’Air sticker scheme introduced in 2017, now covering 28 towns and due to be extended to more cities including Bordeaux in 2025.
Other European cities also have emissions control schemes – sometimes requiring pre-registration to avoid fines e.g. Brussels and Berlin. For a helpful guide on what is where: