How to avoid paying the London Congestion Charge – buy a Porsche

porsche-panamera-hybrid-000.jpg The threshold for exemption from the London Congestion Charge has recently dropped to 75g/km CO2, and there are very few cars that currently qualify for the exemption, but Porsche is one manufacturer that offers cars that are eligible for free driving in the capital.

The new Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid has 91mpg official combined fuel economy and a CO2 output of just 71g/km. As well as exemption from the London Congestion Charge, that means free road tax, and a company car tax liability of only 5%. What’s more, this is a proper Porsche as far as performance is concerned – its 3.0-litre V6 petrol engine and electric motor work together to produce a total power output of 410 bhp and 435 lb/ft of torque, all of which is sent to the rear wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox.

The result is a car that will reach a top speed of 167mph and go from 0 – 62mph in just 5.5 seconds and 0 – 100mph in 12.2 seconds – not supercar territory, but Porsche Boxster territory at least.

On the road, the car is composed, if a little wide, according to Green Car Guide
, who took it for a spin up the Wrynose Pass and the Hardknott Pass in the Lake District. According to Newcastle’s Bristol Street Motors car service
, the Panamera is a fantastic long distance cruiser, with a comfortable ride and lots of interior space to sink into.

So how much does it cost? Well, the asking price is £89,000, but it’s eligible for the government’s Plug-in Car Grant, which means in reality it’s only going to cost motorists £84,000.

Despite the generous equipment and government grant, though, the Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid is still expensive, especially when you consider that the non-hybrid petrol V6 model costs more than £20,000 less, at £63,893.

There’s actually one other Porsche that has emissions of less than 75g/km CO2, which is the Porsche 918 Spyder. This even betters the Panamera S E-Hybrid, with 70g/km CO2, 94.1mpg, 0-60mph in 2.5 seconds, and a top speed of 215mph. All sounds good, but it does cost €853,155.

Don’t worry, other Porsches at lower prices with plug-in capability will be coming, to allow drivers in London who can afford to buy them to avoid the Congestion Charge and to enjoy 5% benefit in kind company car tax rates.