Understanding ULEZ Exempt Rules: What You Need to Know
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The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is an initiative introduced to improve the air quality in central London. Currently, drivers are required to pay a fee to enter a designated area in the city if their vehicle does not meet certain emission standards. However, certain vehicles are exempt from this charge. In this blog post, we'll explore the various ULEZ exempt rules that you need to know about.
Blue Badge holders need to pay the ULEZ charge unless their vehicle meets the ULEZ emissions standards or is registered for one of the three grace periods. These grace periods include a 100% discount until October 2025 for vehicles with a disabled or disabled passenger tax class, and a discount until October 2023 for vehicles that are registered with a "disabled" or "disabled passenger vehicle" tax class.
People with Disabilities
Disabled people whose vehicles are registered with the DVLA as having a 'disabled' or 'disabled passenger vehicle' tax class benefit from a grace period which exempts them from paying the ULEZ charge until 24 October 2027. Wheelchair accessible cars and vans that do not meet ULEZ emissions standards and have been converted by mobility experts to allow a disabled person to access the vehicle as a driver or passenger are eligible for a grace period. Additionally, people receiving certain disability benefits or meeting specific medical criteria can apply for a grace period from the ULEZ charge.
Taxis and Private Hire Vehicles
London-licensed taxis are exempt from ULEZ charges, but older, more polluting taxis are subject to an age limit. Designated wheelchair-accessible private hire vehicles (PHVs) used for private hire bookings are granted a grace period until 24 October 2027, during which they are exempt from the ULEZ daily charge.
Small Businesses, Charities and Not-for-Profit Organizations
Small businesses, micro businesses, charities, and sole traders with a registered address in one of the 32 London boroughs or the City of London can apply for a short-term exemption from the ULEZ daily charge if they have a new vehicle or retrofit ordered before 29 November 2023. Not-for-profit organizations operating minibuses used for community transport can register for a temporary 100% discount from the ULEZ charge until 26 October 2025.
Historic Vehicles and Showman's Vehicles
Historic vehicles and certain vehicle types currently exempt from the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) are also exempt from the ULEZ charge. Some showman's vehicles are also eligible for a 100% discount from the ULEZ daily charge if they are registered to a person following the business of a travelling showman and have been modified or specially constructed.
ULEZ Exemption FAQS
Are charities exempt from ULEZ?
Currently, yes! There is a temporary exemption in place until October 2025 for not-for-profit organisations, including charities, but also schools and local authorities, operating community transport minibuses. Any charity can register for this regardless of whether they are registered to a London address.
Do I have to pay ULEZ if I am traveling to a hospital?
If you are an NHS patient and have been clinically assessed as too ill, weak or disabled to travel to an appointment on public transport, you may be eligible for reimbursement of the ULEZ charge. Additionally, if there is an epidemic or pandemic prevalent in Greater London, and you are assessed as being too vulnerable to infection to travel to an appointment on public transport, you may also be eligible for reimbursement.
Is travelling to a place of worship exempt from ULEZ?
There has been some confusion about whether traveling to a place of worship is exempt from ULEZ. Many individuals utilise their cars to attend religious buildings such as mosques, synagogues, or churches. There is currently no exemption for people driving to and from worship, although there is a temporary exemption is in place for minibuses providing community transport services which could be an alternative for you getting to your place of worship without paying a ULEZ charge.
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