The Low Emission Zone in London

08 July, 2019 in Destinations, Tips for Travellers, England & Environmental Zones and Vignettes

The various London low emission zones can be daunting, and the fear of heading in blind and having fat bills arrive at your door is a common one. But fear not, in this blog we will teach you everything you need to know about low emission zones in the UK and Europe! So read on, check whether they apply to you in the low emission zone checker and travel carefree.

Goboony London Emission Zone H2 City

How does the zone work?

The Low Emission Zone (LEZ) is an initiative to reduce air pollution in urban regions already affected by it. It aims to encourage the most polluting heavy diesel vehicles driving in London to become cleaner. The LEZ covers most of Greater London, and is in effect 24 hours a day throughout the entire year. Be aware that the London Low Emission Zone differs from the Ultra Low Emission Zone and Congestion Charges, which are discussed further below. You must pay your Low Emission Zone charges by the end of the next day to avoid severe penalties!

Low Emission Zone Charges

Vehicle Type


Charge per Day

Larger vans, specialist vehicles, pick-ups

1,205 tonnes or over


Motorhomes, ambulances

2.5 - 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight


Mini-buses (with eight of more passenger seats)

Up to 5 tonnes gross vehicle weight


Lorries, motorhomes, fire engines, etc.

Over 3.5 tonnes gross vehicle weight


Buses, coaches (with more than eight passenger seats)

Over 5 tonnes gross vehicle weight


Here you can check whether your vehicle qualifies for the zone by number plate or by vehicle type.

Goboony Campervan H2 City

What is the Ultra Low Emission Zone?

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) further aims to improve air quality, and operates within the same area of central London as the Congestion Charge. Most vehicles, including cars and vans, will need to meet the ULEZ emission standards to avoid paying a daily charge. The daily charge is £12.50 for most vehicle types (including cars, motorcycles and vans, up to 3.5 tonnes, and £100 for heavier vehicles. It operates 7 days a week all year long, check a postcode to find out if it is affected. Find out how to avoid the charge through meeting their standard.

The Congestion Charge

Another charge! The congestion charge is applicable to all vehicles between 7am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. It is an £11.50 daily charge for driving within the congestion zone. The easiest way to tackle it is Autopay, which also reduces your payments by £1 per day. There is an annual registration charge of £10 for each vehicle registered. Be cautious of websites that claim to be payment providers for the Congestion Charge or Ultra Low Emission Zone, these are fraudulent so only pay through the Government approved website.

What are the perimeters of the London Emission Zones?

The following map demonstrates the perimeters of the Low Emission Zone (green) and Congestion Charge/ Ultra Low Emission Zone (red). If in doubt, use the Low Emission Zone Checker.

Goboony Low Emission Zone H2 EnvironmentalOther Low Emission Zones in the UK

Currently, London is the only low emission zone in the UK that charges private drivers, as the others focus on buses. But these are the other zones to keep an eye on, as this could change…

  • Nottingham
  • Brighton
  • Norwich
  • Oxford

However, Scotland is discussing plans to introduce charges there, said to be stricter even than the London ones. Better start saving if you’re planning a trip to Edinburgh 2020 onwards!

Environmental Zones in Europe

Going abroad and prefer to avoid European Low Emission Zone charges? A good choice! Over 200 cities in Europe have similar schemes in place, and this is how you can find which ones do:

  • To search for the specific zones within a city, you can use this search function.
  • You can also use the Green Zones app, a Low Emission Zone checker ideal for checking the regulations and environmental tolls and vignettes for a country.

Goboony Environmental Zone Europe H2 Vignette

Once you’ve done your research on Low Emission Zones, you are ready to hit the road and cherish the freedom of motorhome travel! Now all you need is a motorhome to hire, a road trip plan and a great playlist.