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London Congestion Charge: Buy 76-100g/km car NOW to get 3 years free of charge

Mon, 29 Apr 2013 00:00:00 -0700

Whether you think the London Congestion Charging Zone is a great way to clean up the air quality of the capital or just another way to tax motorists, you’re going to struggle even more to avoid it after the emission exemption levels are changed on 1st July so only cars emitting 75g/km CO2 or less will be exempt from the charge,

Boris says the new lower level is necessary because car makers have worked their socks off to produce small diesel cars with the ability to hit the magic sub 100g/km emissions level in recent years, and that means London is suffering from air pollution as a result. The only answer, apparently, is to drop the limit to 75g/km or less to make those ‘dirty’ diesels pay their way.

By reducing the limit to 75g/km you are effectively only allowing EVs and Plug-ins an exemption from congestion charging, thereby moving their emissions off to wherever the electricity they use is produced. But the real nonsense is basing exemption on CO2 emissions when, if they were serious about air quality, the exemptions would be based on emissions of NOx and particulates. As would company car taxation.

The problem with that method of taxation is that truly clean cars – regardless of their value – would get in free and little eco-boxes with dirty diesels wouldn’t. And if the man driving a Porsche 911 paid no congestion charge and the man in the Fiat 500 diesel did, we’d have rent-a-mob out on the streets of London protesting.

So we’re seemingly stuck with the CO2 system as a basis for taxation as governments are too frightened to do what’s right, but at least if you do want to stay in the ‘free’ congestion charging band for the next 3 years you can if you already own, or quickly buy, a car with emissions of 100g/km or less.

There’s a transnational period for cars that emit between 76-100g/km which lasts for the next three years, so if you want to make sure you can run in and out of town without paying the LCC for the next three years you can run out and grab a currently qualifying car before the deadline of  June 28th, and register it with TfL, and pay nothing until June 2016.

The DirectGov website is currently listing 170 cars with 100g/km CO2 emissions or less, so if you get a shake on you could save yourself thousands of pounds a year for the next three years.


By Cars UK