Pre-2006 cars to pay an extra £10 'T-charge' to drive in London from today
From today, owners of older, dirtier cars will be charged an extra £10 if they want to drive into London.
Saddiq Khan, who is the Mayor of London announced the "Toxicity charge" in February as part of the clean up of the capital’s "filthy air".
The "T-charge" (toxicity charge) will be introduced Today, October 23 and will be in operation from Mondays to Fridays from 7am to 6pm.
It is estimated that around 9,000 early deaths are caused in London because of long-term exposure to air pollution each year. As a result Saddiq Khan is investing £875m over the next five years to alleviate the problem.
London will launch one of the world's first "Ultra Low Emission Zone", which will mean that all vehicles, except taxis will have to adhere to minimum emission standards. These new proposals will be subject to consultation but could be in place in central London by 2019.
The £10 emissions surcharge is expected to affect around 10,000 of the oldest, most polluting vehicles. These are vehicles that do not meet the "Euro 4" standards, which are the European Union standard categories that define acceptable levels of harmful exhaust emissions.
Any vehicles that do not meet these standards will be subject to the charge,. The types of vehicles most likely to be affected besides old diesel and petrol cars will be vans and minibuses registered before 2006. You can check if a vehicle will be subject to the new surcharge with TFL's online tool.
This new £10 T-charge should not be confused with the already existing congestion charge in London as this new charge is in addition to the Congestion Charge. The Congestion Charge at the moment is £11.50 a day if you pay in advance or £14 if you pay on the same day or if you don't pay until the next day.
The Congestion Charge applies to most vehicles driven within the "charging zone" in central London between Monday and Friday, 7am to 6pm. The new T-charge will mean that motorists with cars that don't meet Euro 4 standards will have to pay £21.50 to drive in the zone of central London. Ouch!
Is there any way to reduce the cost or avoid the charges altogether? Well not really. If you drive a dirty old banger in central London you'll need to pay the £10 T-charge and that's that. Drivers can get a discount £1 off the daily Congestion Charge if they opt in to TFL's automated payment system, Auto pay.
In addition to the new charge, there is also an administration fee of £10 a year as well but if you live within the charging zone you can apply for a 90pc discount on one vehicle.
Discounts can also be obtained by Blue Badge holders, vehicles with more than nine seats and those that are considered "ultra-low emission". These are vehicles under 3.5 tonnes that produce less than 75g/km of CO2.
If you fail to pay the new charges you will be sent a Penalty Charge Notice of £130 with 28 days to pay or challenge the fine. If you pay it within 14 days the fine is reduced to £65. If you fail to do anything the charge will increase to £195, with no chance to appeal.
Justin Kavanagh is a recognised leader in automotive intelligence and vehicle data supply to the entire motor industry. He has almost 20 years experience in building systems from the ground up. As the Managing Director of Vehicle Management System, he understands the need and importance of trustworthy and reliable vehicle history and advice to both the trade and the public.
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