The London congestion charge is a charge applied on the majority of cars and motor vehicles driven within the Congestion Charge Zone in Central London between 7:00 am and 6:00 pm, Monday through Friday, and between 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm, Saturday and Sunday.
The charge was implemented for the first time on 17 February 2003. It was inspired by Singapore’s Electronic Road Pricing (ERP) system after officials from London visited the country.
Despite the abolition of the Western Extension, which ran between February 2007 and January 2011, the London charge zone is among the largest congestion charge zones in the world.
The charge also minimizes air and noise pollution in the central London area and generates investment funding for London’s transportation system.
Transport for London (TfL) is in charge of the charge that IBM has run since 2009.
Ten years after the scheme’s inception, gross revenue had reached approximately £2.6 billion at the end of December 2013.
Between 2003 and 2013, around £1.2 billion was invested in public transportation, road and bridge improvement, and walking and cycling initiatives.
A total of £960 million was invested in the expansion of the bus network.
This guide has answers to all of your inquiries. So, keep reading.
- 1 What Is The Congestion Charge?
- 2 How Much Is The Congestion Charge?
- 3 When Do You Have To Pay It?
- 4 Who Has To Pay The Congestion Fee?
- 5 Who Doesn’t Have To Pay It?
- 6 How Do You Pay The Congestion Charge?
- 7 What Happens If You Don’t Pay It?
- 8 How Do You Pay Your Congestion Fee Fine?
- 9 Can A Congestion Charge Fine Be Appealed?
What Is The Congestion Charge?
The Congestion Charge is a cost charged for driving in central London during certain hours of the day.
Its objective is to reduce traffic congestion and, consequently, air pollution by encouraging individuals to rethink their car usage.
It roughly encompasses the region between Kings Cross in the north and Vauxhall in the south, as well as Paddington in the west and Whitechapel in the east.
Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras monitor all roadways surrounding the border of the zone.
Approximately 136,000 people reside within the Congestion Charge zone, out of Greater London’s total population of 8.9 million.
Congestion Charge refunds are possible for local government employees and charity workers that provide “particular pandemic support services in the zone.”
The congestion Charge zone is depicted on an interactive map. You can check the map on the website of Transport for London (TfL).
How Much Is The Congestion Charge?
The Congestion Charge is £15 whether paid in advance or on the day of payment.
If you pay up to three days following your trip, a slightly higher cost of £17.50 is assessed.
When Do You Have To Pay It?
The fee is applicable seven days a week between 7:00 a.m. and 8:00 p.m., Monday through Friday, and 12:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., Saturday and Sunday (and bank holidays).
However, between 18:00 and 7:00 Monday through Friday, and 18:00 to 12:00 Saturday through Sunday, there is no fee (and bank holidays). There are no fees between Christmas and New Year’s.
Also, both Christmas Day and New Year’s Day are free.
Who Has To Pay The Congestion Fee?
Drivers of automobiles with these emission standards:
- Petrol: Euro 4 (NOx)
- Diesel: Euro 6 (NOx and PM) vehicles that enter central London during the stated hours must pay the C-Charge.
This includes the great majority of cars on the road, apart from hydrogen, electric, and some plug-in hybrid versions.
Foreign-registered vehicle drivers must likewise pay or face a fine.
Who Doesn’t Have To Pay It?
If you can demonstrate that you reside within the C-Charge zone, you will receive a 90% discount.
The following are completely free from the Congestion Charge, subject to an annual registration charge of £10:
- Drivers with a Blue Badge who are disabled
- Electric car drivers (and any other zero-emissions vehicles)
- Petrol cars with emission criteria of Euro 5 or 6 (NOx) (NOx)
- Powered tricycles
- Vehicles with nine seats or more
- Motorcyclists are exempt from paying the C-Charge and registering for exemption.
How Do You Pay The Congestion Charge?
The Congestion Charge can be paid online on the TFL website or at specified newsagents and gas stations in the Greater London area.
Approximately 100 blue and red self-service devices are also located in parking lots within the zone. However, some locations do not accept cash, just credit and debit cards.
Automatic payment (Auto Pay), which provides a daily discount of £1, is also available to frequent users.
Be wary of fake Congestion Charge websites that claim they will pay the TFL on your behalf. They may demand an extra price for this service, and there is no assurance that TFL will get payment.
What Happens If You Don’t Pay It?
You will receive a Penalty Charge Notice if you fail to pay by midnight the day after driving in the C-Charge zone (PCN). The fine is £80 if paid within fourteen days.
How Do You Pay Your Congestion Fee Fine?
On the TFL website, fines can also be paid. Your vehicle registration number and PCN must be readily available.
Can A Congestion Charge Fine Be Appealed?
Yes, you can appeal a Congestion Charge fine if you believe it was imposed unfairly. The cited reasons for appealing include:
- You were not the owner at the time of the violation
- Your vehicle was exempt
- You had already paid the fine
- You had enrolled for a discount of one hundred percent
- The vehicle was used or taken without your permission
- The automobile was leased to a third party
TFL said it will, however, “consider representations made on other grounds.”
You may contest the PCN by sending a letter to Congestion Charging, PO Box 344, Darlington, DL1 9QQ.
Alternatively, you may submit your argument on the TFL website. You have 28 days to pay or appeal from the date the PCN was issued.
If you have questions regarding a PCN, you can call 0343 222 3333.
If you call from a landline, it will cost you between 2p and 10p per minute, while mobile calls cost you between 10p and 40p per minute.