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Which cars can escape the C-charge?

Words ByWill Nightingale

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Q: I live in London and drive into the congestion zone every day. Which cars will be free or charged 8 when the revised charge comes into effect? My current car will cost me 25 to drive.
Peter Mackie

A: When the revised congestion charge levels come into play on October 27, there will be three charges: free, 8 and 25.

You may think that the charge means sacrificing style, but this isn't the case - some BMW 1 Series and Audi A3 models fit into the lowest bracket.

Cars that are exempt from the charge must emit 120g/km of carbon dioxide or less and fit into Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) bands A and B.

Cars that emit more than 225g/km, or which are in VED band G, or cars registered before March 2001 with engines over 3.0 litres, will be liable for the full 25 charge.

Any other cars pay the current 8 charge. At the moment, 17% of cars driving into London would pay the maximum 25 charge, with only 2% getting into the city for free. The rest pay the current 8 charge.

Electric, hybrid, and some LPG cars registered before October 27 this year will remain exempt from the congestion charge until January 2010, as well as disabled blue-badge holders.

Drivers of cars exempt from the charge do, however, have to register with Transport for London and pay an annual 10 registration fee.

To see which cars are greenest by category, click here.