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What is the London T-Charge?

What is the London T-Charge?

From October 2017 drivers of any car, minibus, van, coach, or heavy goods vehicle which does not meet minimum exhaust emissions will be required to pay £10 to drive in central London. 

This charge has been named the toxicity charge (T-Charge) and will apply alongside the existing congestion charge.

What is the T Charge?

The T-Charge will apply to all vehicles, regardless of whether they are petrol or diesel.  If your vehicle does not meet Euro 4 emissions standards, or Euro 3 for motorised tricycles and quadricycles, you will be required to pay £10 to drive in Central London.  For vehicles that also qualify to pay the congestion charge of £11.50, this will create a total of £21.50 for 1 day driving in Central London.  Generally, this will apply to all vehicles registered before 2005 with an estimated 10,000 vehicles that visit the capital. 

Which areas are covered by the T-Charge?

The area covered by the T-charge is the same area that is already covered by the existing congestion charge and can be seen on the map below.

Congestion Zone in London

Charges will apply Monday-Friday between the hours of 7am and 6pm.

Charges will not apply on weekends, bank holidays or the period between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

How do I know If I need to pay the T-Charge?

To know if you will be required to pay the T-charge you will need to know which Euro Emission standard your vehicle complies with.  For drivers with newer vehicles this information can be found on your registration (V5C) document in section D.2.  For those will older vehicles the date of registration can be found on your registration document in section B.  If you are still unsure you can use the Transport for London Vehicle Compliance Checker .

What do I do if my vehicle does not meet emissions standards?

There are several options available to you if your vehicle does not meet emission standards required by the t charge you can choose to -

  • Pay the charge and drive into central London

The payment options for the T charge are the same as those for the congestion charge

Auto pay – signing up to auto pay means payments will be taken automatically using your nominated debit/credit card once you have driven in central London.  If you already us the auto-pay service to pay the congestion charge, the t-charge will automatically begin to be taken from October 23rd.

Pay online – you can pay the t-charge online on the Transport for London website from October.  You are required to pay in advance or up to mid-night on the day of travel. 

Pay by Telephone – You can choose to call an automatic telephone service to pay the T-charge on 03453 222 2222

  • Upgrade your vehicle to meet emission standards and so avoid paying the T-charge
  • Use public transport, walk or cycle in central London

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What happens if I don’t pay the T-charge?

Cameras throughout the T-Charge zone will read number plates and check if the T-Charge has been paid if necessary.  So, if you drive in central London in a vehicle that qualifies for the t-charge payment and you have not paid a Penalty Charge Notice will be issued to the registered owner or operator of that vehicle.  The Penalty charge will be for £130, which can be reduced to £65 if paid within 14 days. 

T-Charge Driver Costs

Vehicle TypeMinimum EmissionsT-ChargeCongestion chargeTotal Cost 
Motor Tri/Quad CyclesEuro 3£10£11.50 / £10.50£21.50 / £20.50*
Cars / small vans < 1205kg (unladen)Euro 4£10£11.50 / £10.50£21.50 / £20.50*
Vans > 1205kg (unladen) and < 3500kg (gross)Euro 4£10£11.50 / £10.50 £21.50 / £20.50*
Minibuses < 5000kgEuro 4£10£11.50 / £10.50 £21.50 / £20.50*
HGV > 5000kgEuro 4£10£11.50 / £10.50 £21.50 / £20.50*
Buses /Coaches > 5000kgEuro 4£10£0£10.00
Vehicle registered for residents discountAs above  £1£1.05 £2.05

* £1 discount applies when using Autopay
Charges accurate of 13/04/2017

What happens if I live in the T-Charge zone?

If you are a resident with a vehicle that does not meet emissions standards in the T-Charge zone you will be eligible to apply for a Resident’s Discount.  This will reduce your T-Charge payment to £1.00 per day.  For residents who already qualify for a discount on the Congestion Charge, the residents discount for the T-Charge will automatically be applied.

Are any vehicles exempt from the T-charge?

Yes –

  • Any emergency or Ministry of defence vehicle is exempt. 
  • Vehicles who have a historic tax class 40 years and older and any commercial vehicle that was manufactured before 1973.  However, both types of vehicle will still be required to pay the congestion charge.
  • Any 2 wheeled mopeds, motorbikes, road side recovery vehicles, accredited breakdown vehicles, taxi and private hire vehicles who are exempt from the Congestion Charge will also be exempt from the T-Charge.
  • Specialised off road vehicles such as cranes or tractors will be exempt.
  • Blue badge holders will be exempt as will vehicles that have disabled taxation class.

What will the T-Charge achieve?

The main aim of the T-Charge is to reduce the amount of air pollution in central London by discouraging the use of older, more polluting vehicles. 

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New statistics suggest up to 50,000 people across Britain are dying prematurely each year due to the effects of air pollution.  The figure just in London is thought to be as high as 9,000 deaths a year.  The Government is repeatedly taken to court due to failure to comply with EU Air Pollution Standards and has admitted meeting these rules may not be possible until 2025 with the current level of pollution in our air.

When will the T-Charge End?

The T-Charge will remain in place until the start of the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ), due in 2019.  The standards vehicles will need to meet in central London will become tougher.  All diesel cars will need to meet Euro 6 Standards, petrol cars Euro 4, motorcycles Euro 3 and Euro VI for buses, coaches and lorries.  All vehicles that do not meet these standards will be required to pay the ULEZ charge.  London Mayor Sadiq Khan has plans to further extend the ULEZ in the future. 

Sadiq Khan quote on London Air Pollution

What do you think of the T-Charge?  Is it an unfair punishment for those who cannot afford a newer vehicle or a step in the right direction to clean up our air?

The comments above do not necessarily reflect Rivervale's views unless clearly stated.

Car related news
11 April 2017
Written by Natalie Faughy
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