These changes include:
- The introduction of a new Ultra Low Emission Discount (ULED) to replace the Greener Vehicle Discount (GVD) and Electric Vehicle Discount (EVD)
- Removing the option to pay the charge in shops and petrol stations
- Increasing the penalty charge from £120 to £130
The Ultra Low Emission discount
The ULED will be introduced on Monday 1 July 2013 and will provide a single 100 per cent discount from the Congestion Charge for all electric vehicles and for ultra low emission cars and vans.
To qualify for the new ULED, vehicles will have to be either electric or be cars and vans that emit 75g/km or less of CO2 and meet the Euro 5 emission standard for air quality. Plug-in hybrid cars and vans have additional electric range and top speed criteria and TfL will publish a list of eligible vehicles.
|Eligible vehicles||Qualifying criteria|
|Pure electric vehicles||Electric cars, vans, lorries or quadricycles that run solely on batteries. Eligible vehicles will have the fuel type recorded as 'electric' on the V5C car registration document issued by the DVLA or be exempt from Vehicle Excise Duty because they are electrically propelled vehicles.|
|Ultra low emission cars||Passenger cars that emit less than 75g/km of CO2, as recorded on the V5C car registration document, and meet the Euro 5 emissions standard.|
|Ultra low emission vans||Vans (light goods vehicles not exceeding 3.5 tonnes) that emit 75g/km or less of CO2 and meet the Euro 5 emissions standard.|
The new ULED will replace the GVD and EVD. The GVD is closing because the increasing number of cars qualifying for the discount will erode the congestion and emissions benefits of the Congestion Charging scheme.
Vehicles registered for the Electric Vehicle Discount will be automatically transferred to the new ULED on 1 July 2013.
The GVD will close to new registrations on Friday 28 June 2013. Cars currently registered for the GVD will not meet the tighter CO2 criteria for the new ULED. However, in recognition that drivers have invested in low emission cars, the current owners of cars registered for the GVD will continue to receive a full discount for that vehicle for a further three years until 24 June 2016. This 'sunset period' for the GVD was extended from the original two year period in response to comments received in the consultation.
The ULED will incentivise use of the cleanest vehicles available. Currently only electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles meet the ULED criteria but in the future any hybrid, petrol, diesel or hydrogen car or van that became available that emitted 75g/km or less of CO2 would qualify.
Removal of the option to pay the charge at shops and petrol stations
TfL will also be removing the option to pay the Congestion Charge in shops and petrol stations from Friday 26 July 2013 as a result of fewer people paying using this method. From this date, drivers will no longer be able to pay cash for the Charge.
Just 6% of payments of the Congestion Charge are now made in shops or petrol stations as the vast majority of customers pay the Charge through the automatic payment method, Congestion Charge Auto Pay.
Congestion Charge Auto Pay account holders pay £9 per day (rather than £10) and are protected from receiving Penalty Charge Notices. Register up to five vehicles for an annual fee of £10 per vehicle and you will be billed each month for the days you drive in the zone.
Drivers will still be able to pay the Congestion Charge using a wide range of other means including online, by phone, by text message or by CC Auto Pay. Drivers can also pay the charge in advance by post using cheque or postal order (TfL needs to receive postal payments 10 days before the date of travel).
Removing the retail payment channel would reduce the cost of operating the Congestion Charging scheme. Any increase in TfL's net revenue as a result of the change would continue to be reinvested in improvements to transport in London.
Penalty Charge increaseThe penalty charge for the Congestion Charge will increase from £120 to £130 on Monday 20 May 2013 (reduced to £65 if paid within 14 days and increased to £195 if not paid within 28 days). This will be only the third increase in the penalty charge since the Congestion Charge was introduced in 2003 and will bring the penalty charge in line with other moving traffic, bus lane and parking penalty charges within London.
Schedule of changes to the Congestion Charge
|Change to the scheme||Date|
|PCN increase from £120 to £130||Monday 20 May 2013|
|Closure of the GVD and EVD to new registrations; start of sunset period for existing recipients||Friday 28 June 2013|
|Introduction of Ultra Low Emission Discount||Monday 1 July 2013|
|Retail payment channel closure||Friday 26 July 2013|