Big Congestion Charge changes in January

* Charge increases by 2 to 10 * Fundamental change in exemption rules * Westward extension will be scrapped...

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What Car? Staff
21 October 2010

Big Congestion Charge changes in January

A huge shake-up of the London Congestion Charge will come into force on January 4, it has been confirmed.

The changes mean:
• the Congestion Charge will increase from 8 to 10
• the westward extension of the zone scrapped
• big changes to the rules governing which vehicles can claim exemption.

Instead of an Alternative Fuel Discount (AFD) there will be a Greener Vehicle Discount (GVD), which will give 100% exemption to all vehicles with CO2 emissions of 100g/km or less and that meet Euro 5 emissions standards.

That means conventional petrol- and diesel-powered cars will gain the exemption, while hybrids with emissions of more than 100g/km will lose it. All-electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles will also get the discount.

However, if you register a hybrid that emits more than 100g/km under the AFD rules before December 24 this year, you will continue to get the exemption until December 2012.

In 2012, London Mayor Boris Johnson says he will also launch a consultation process looking into lowering the exemption threshold to 80g/km.

The move to a 'technology neutral' exemption was suggested by What Car? and Volvo to Boris Johnson after he presented our Green Car of the Year Award to the diesel-powered S40 DRIVe at City Hall in 2009.

You can see our full list of the congestion charge winners and losers, with links to their road tests here

Increases in charges
The westward extension of the zone will be scrapped. A detailed map showing the changes to the charging zone can be found here.

The charge for entering the zone increases to 10 if paid in advance or 12 if paid by midnight the day after entering the zone.

You can also register your car for 10 and get a 1 reduction on the daily charge to 9.