London's Congestion Charge has gone through a few changes since its inception in 2003, but the Covid-19 outbreak in 2020 brought about radical revisions. It was dropped altogether from 23 March to 15 May, reintroduced on 18 May and, controversially, will increase in price from £11.50 to £15 per day from 22 June. The charge will also apply for more hours each day and for seven days a week instead of Monday to Friday.
How the London Congestion Charge will change from 22 June 2020:
- Daily charge rises to £15
- Operates from 7am to 10pm
- Applies seven days a week
- The price rise will remain for a year initially
- The increased hours/days are 'temporary'
The Congestion Charge changes are a result of a deal Transport for London (TFL) secured to obtain £1.6bn in emergency funding, following a massive drop-off in customer numbers. This was caused by the lockdown imposed by the UK government in spring 2020 in an effort to control the spread of Covid-19, a coronavirus.
Where does the Congestion Charge start?
Here's a map of the London Congestion Charge zone. It shows Hyde Park just to the west, The Regent's Park on its northern flank, Vauxhall and Kennington on the southern boundary and Spitalfields and Shoreditch on its eastern edge. The zone has not been affected by the latest changes.
How much Congestion Charge do I pay before 22 June 2020?
The daily charge is £11.50 (£10.50 if you opt in to Auto Pay).
What time does the Congestion Charge start and end?
Until 22 June, the C-Charge applies from 7am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.
Is the Congestion Charge free today?
If it's Saturday or Sunday, then yes, there's no charge to drive into central London before 22 June 2020 - as long as your vehicle meets the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) emissions standards.
How ULEZ works
London's ULEZ operates 24 hours a day (midnight to midnight), seven days a week, every day of the year except Christmas Day. It applies to the same area as the Congestion Charge zone.
ULEZ: is my car ok?
Petrol cars that meet the ULEZ standards are generally those first registered with the DVLA after 2005, although cars that meet the standards have been available since 2001.
Diesel cars that meet the standards are generally those first registered with the DVLA after September 2015.
What are ULEZ charges?
The daily ULEZ charge is £12.50 for cars, motorbikes and vans, which is on top of the Congestion Charge. For lorries over 3.5 tonnes and buses and coaches over 5 tonnes the ULEZ costs £100 a day.
If you don't pay the ULEZ charge (if applicable) by midnight on the next working day after the first day of travel into the ULEZ, the penalty charge is £80 is paid within 14 days. It doubles to £160 after two weeks.