Does going green defeat the new London Congestion Charge?

london-cc-sign-f.jpg You may think just because you drive a green vehicle you will be exempt from paying London’s Congestion Charge , sadly this is no longer the case. The green vehicle discount scheme that used to allow vehicles emitting 100g/km CO2 or less has now been scrapped. What does the new scheme involve?

The new scheme is the ultra-low emission discount which provides a concession to vehicles that emit 75g/km of CO2 or less. It is believed there are around 20,000 motorists who are currently on the greener vehicle discount that could be at risk. A spokesperson for Transport of London said they will be granted a three year period before they are made to pay a full congestion charge. To make matters worse there has been a raise in the penalty meaning failure to pay could result in you forking out £130.00.

The current congestion charge for cars entering the central London zone is £10.00. If you are registered to pay via an automated payment method then you pay £9.00. Either way this can prove to be very costly if you make regular trips to the city centre.

This now means that cars such as the Toyota Prius and the Fiat 500 Twin Air are no longer free but full electric cars like the Nissan Leaf and plug-in hybrids are. This may result in dealerships such as Bristol Street Motors promoting new car deals
on full electric and plug-in hybrids to appeal to London’s city goers.

Friday the 28 th of June was the last day to qualify for the three years London congestion charge exemption. However you still may be able to apply if your car emits between 75g/km and 100g/km and not already registered as exempt. This could result in you saving up to £7,500 in charges over the next three years. For more information and to apply visit the Transport for London
website.

According to the Mayor’s environment and political affairs advisor Matthew Pencharz, introducing ultra-low emission zones by 2020 will give manufactures the “hefty shove” they need to improve emission standards. Pencharz believes that the changes will actually help drive the market. This will help encourage development of new technology to improve low emission vehicles. This new scheme also fits in well with the Mayor of London’s aim to improve air quality in London by reducing emissions from private vehicles.

If you live in London and don’t already own a green car, there is no better time than the present to make that investment. Having a green car means you are doing your bit for the environment and it could have some great money saving benefits. You don’t have to buy new you can get many great second hand cars at Bristol Street
that are in the low emission categories in order to skip the congestion charge!