ULEZ stands for Ultra Low Emission Zone. Most vehicles must meet the ULEZ emissions standards or pay a fee. It was designed to deter air-polluting vehicles from entering the zone, to help improve air quality.
Cars, motorcycles and vans up to 3.5 tonnes pay £12.50
Vehicles over 3.5 tonnes and buses and coaches over 5 tonnes pay £100
The ULEZ operates in the same area as the Congestion Charge zone. It operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.
If you live outside of London and do not enter the ULEZ, you do not need to worry about costs. However, the air in London is becoming increasingly toxic. There are currently over 300 primary schools within this zone with children inhaling polluted air every day. Air pollution can cause diseases in later life. If the initiative improves air quality, it is likely to extend to other UK cities. Everybody should be aware of emissions controls and the potential impact it has on our environment and population.
All vehicles need to meet different emission standards for the ULEZ based on their vehicle type and type of emission. The current emissions standards are based on Euro standards. First appearing in 1992, it limits nitrogen oxides (NOx) and particulate matter (PM) from engines which cause air pollution. All vehicles must meet certain standards to be approved for sale. The current standards are:
Category: motorcycles, mopeds, motorised tricycles and quadricycles (L category)
Mandatory for all new motorcycles from 2007 onwards.
Category: (NOx) petrol cars, vans, minibuses, other specialised vehicles
Mandatory for all new cars in 2005 and light vans in 2006.
Category: (NOx and PM) diesel cars, vans, minibuses, other specialised vehicles
Mandatory for all new heavy-duty engines and goods vehicles and buses from January 2014. Cars and light vans from September 2015 and larger vans from September 2016.
Category: (NOx and PM) lorries, buses, coaches, other heavy vehicles
What bikes are excluded?
If you’re unsure your bike meets the above criteria, you can check your details here:
If your bike is Pre-Euro 3, you can be exempt from ULEZ charges if you can prove your bike has a NOx emissions rating of 0.15g per km or less. Normally, these details are recorded on your bike’s V5C (logbook). If not, you can request a Homologation Certificate or a Certificate of Conformity from your bike’s manufacturer for proof.
TfL does not exempt 2-stroke engines from their controversial ULEZ charges. The reason why 2-strokes are included in the dreaded £12.50 per day fee is that most scooters and bikes which have this type of engine were not Euro-3 certified. The good news is, there has been plenty of evidence to suggest 2-stroke engines give off reduced NOx emissions.
To prove your bike should be exempt, you may have to get it tested. The cost of a test is £175. It might sound pricey but its the equivalent cost of 14 days within the ULEZ zone, so if you can get passed, it’s worth it in the long run.
TfL is refusing anyone a full list of bikes. Motorcycle website bikerandbike.co.uk has put together this list, which was last updated in June 2019.
If your motorcycle has passed the ULEZ exemption, contact us with your motorcycle’s details and we’ll add it to the database.
|Bike Model||Year||Method||NOx per g/Km|
|Fat Boy||2001||NOx test||≤0.15|
|Road King Classic FLHRCI (1450cc/88ci)||2004||CoC||0.123|
|CBR1100XX Blackbird||1996||NOx test||0.1|
|NT650 Bros||1989||NOx test||0.04|
|Pan European ST1100||2001||NOx test||0.15|
|Pan European ST1300||2004||CoC||0.088|
|Pan European ST1300||2006||CoC||0.088|
|California EV 1100||2001||NOx test||≤0.15|
|Bullet 500 Electra Lean Burn||2005||NOx test||0.11|
|ET4 (125cc)||2000||NOx test||0.15|
|GSX-R1000 (K1)||2000||NOx test||≤0.15|
Some people are actually proving the TfL wrong. For example, the Mayor of London has stated 2-stroke engines are seriously harmful but a lot of them aren’t and some have passed the ULEZ test.