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Driving a petrol or diesel car could cost thousands more to use within a few months

Diesel cars ULEZ

Diesel cars face thousands in charges under new ULEZ charges (Image: GETTY)

Diesel car owners could face paying thousands of pounds of charges each year to keep using it on the roads.

A new “pollution tax” will impose charges on motorists who own an older ‘dirtier’ diesel car. The fee replaces the toxic T-Charge introduced by London Mayor Sadiq Khan.

Drivers will be charged £12.50 each day when they enter the zone if their vehicle does not meet the minimum emissions standards requirement.

The charge is enforced 24 hours a day, seven days a week meaning there are no respite periods for motorists. Drivers of pre-2015 diesel cars and petrol vehicles made before 2006 will be required to pay the fee.

Motorists could face paying over £60 a week extra to travel to work and £4,562 annually if you used it every day. It’s not just the cost of the new Ultra-Low Emissions Zone that you will have to shell out either.

Due to the fact the zone will initially be in operation in the Congestion Charge Zone motorists will have to pay both fees costing £24 a day.

The Congestion Charge operates between the hours of 07:00 and 18:00, Monday to Friday, meaning the max annual charge is £2,990. The absolute maximum a motorist could face paying is an extra £7,552 a year to run their vehicle – enough to buy a new one.

By 2021, it will get worse for motorists living in the capital as it will be extended to the areas encased in between the North and South Circular.

ULEZ map

ULEZ map (Image: PH)

London is not the only city considering these charges either with Manchester, Oxford and Birmingham looking to introduce similar fees.

The charge is thought to send the value of these vehicles plummeting and there is no scrappage scheme subsidy that motorists can take advantage of to help ditch the vehicle.

Gareth Bacon, Tory leader of the London Assembly, said: “More than 3.5million people live inside this zone and many more pass through it daily.

“Residents will suddenly find short trips to do the weekly shop or take their child to school will cost them an additional £12.50.

“This is Sadiq Khan’s poll tax as the people hit hardest will be the poorest. Many simply won’t be able to afford to upgrade their vehicle.”

Cameras will scan the car’s number applies when they enter the zone and any driver that fails to pay the charge will be fined £160.

SMMT figures estimate that the zone could affect a whopping 1.6 million UK motorists.

Howard Cox, founder of pressure group FairFuelUK, told The Sun: “Families least able to ­afford a newer vehicle will be hardest hit.

“The Mayor of London has ­unilaterally devalued the UK’s diesel fleet by £35billion. They have made millions of vehicles unsaleable. It’s highway robbery.”


2021 extension of the ULEZ (Image: PH)

Roger Lawson, of the Alliance of British Drivers, another pressure group, said: “The Ulez is a giant con to raise more taxes to fix the Mayor’s budget problems. In reality, many people don’t even know about the plan, and many more simply can’t afford to buy a newer car.”

Shaun Bailey, the Tory London mayoral candidate for 2020, said: “London’s air quality needs to improve, but Khan’s rush to implement the first wave of his Ulez this April over the ­complaints of small businesses makes it look like a cash grab to cover for his awful mismanagement of the TfL budget.

“Even worse, it’s a cash grab that will hurt those who can least afford it.”

To be able to monitor vehicles entering the zone affectively, especially when it expands to the North and South Circular new infrastructure would need to be introduced.

Around 700 new cameras are thought to be needed to make this possible, with it expected that automated number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras are to be used.

TfL is reportedly “currently” assessing how many more camera it will need.

A spokesman said: “TfL ­estimate that the set-up costs of the expanded Ulez will be between £90million and £130million — a price worth paying to help tackle the air quality crisis that costs ­London £3.7billion a year and increases the risks of premature death, asthma and dementia and damages children’s lung growth.”

Paul Cowperthwaite, General Manager for Road User Charging at TfL, added: “We expect to add to the existing 1,000 TfL cameras when the Ulez expands to the North and South Circulars in 2021.

“We are currently assessing how many additional enforcement ­cameras will be needed and looking at the most efficient means of deploying them.”

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