October 25, 2017 at 9:24 AM
Vehicles plying through London’s congestion zone already bear the brunt of a £11.50 congestion charge, which was introduced earlier in an effort to regulate traffic flow and curb air pollution. Despite best efforts, air quality in the capital continues to deteriorate, reportedly causing premature death of nearly 9,000 residents each year and severely affecting the health of both adults and kids. In a measure to further control pollution, a new “toxicity charge” aka T-Charge has been recently slapped on cars, vans, buses, coaches and HGVs that do not conform to Euro 4 emission standards.
You will have to pay a T-Charge of £10 in addition to the £11.50 congestion fee (a total of £21.50) when entering the congestion zone, only if your vehicle does not meet the Euro 4 emission standards. It is important to note that petrol and diesel vehicles registered before 2006 most likely will not comply with the said standard. The T-Charge, therefore, could be applicable to first-hand owners of pre-2006 vehicles, as well as second-hand owners of used cars from the pre-2006 period. Even select vehicle models from the most reliable and trustworthy brands may now prove an overhead. The easiest way to check if your vehicle complies with the Euro 4 emission standards is to use TFL's T-Charge checker. For more details on T-charge, simply look up https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/emissions-surcharge.
If you’ve driven into Central London from Kent for a short day trip to the Capital during the holidays, you most likely would’ve paid the congestion fee, which by itself is pretty high. The next time you plan to use your old car in the congestion zone, be fully prepared to cough up double the amount, for T-charge has become effective since 23rd October 2017.
While Kent is indeed a safe 40 miles away from London’s congestion zone, many motorists using the M25 at Dartford reportedly misinterpret the “C” signage indicative of the ‘dart charge’ as the congestion charge. Such confusions do prove costly as the Dartford crossing toll is hardly £2.50, but the penalty charged is £70. Navigating the capital’s motorways without being penalised is indeed becoming a challenge! Do take care to understand the traffic charges applicable to the traffic zones and motorways you regularly use or new routes you plan to navigate – be it the M25 or others.
The T-charge is just the first in the list of measures taken up to improve air quality in London. A more stringent ultra-low emission zone in 2020 is expected to succeed the T-charge, costing pre-2015 diesel car owners £12.50 in addition to the existing congestion charge. Cars and vans plying on South and North Circular roads are also likely to be affected by such charges in 2021. The series of new charges lined up simply means that people planning to buy used cars must pay more attention to Euro 4 emission standards compliance, apart from the standard checks carried out to determine the roadworthiness of the vehicle. Make sure to contact a reliable and trustworthy used cars dealer to get the best deal for your money!