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Best ULEZ Exempt Cars

| In Motoring Advice

With the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expanding, more and more of us look for the best alternatives on the market that meet the zone’s standards and save you hefty daily charges. But let’s start at the beginning: 

What Cars Are Allowed in ULEZ?

The ULEZ is enforced based on the declared emissions of the vehicle. For petrol cars the ULEZ standards are Euro 4, for diesel they are Euro 6.

Euro 4 means petrol cars allowed in the ULEZ can’t produce CO above 1.0g/km, Total Hydro Carbon (THCs) above 0.10g/km and NOx above 0.08g/km. In general, this refers to petrol cars first registered with the DVLA after 2005.

Euro 6 means diesel cars allowed in the ULEZ can’t produce CO above 0.50g/km and ​​NOx above 0.08g/km. In general, this refers to diesel cars first registered with the DVLA after September 2015.

Cars that are fully electric or do not produce any emission are automatically exempt for the ULEZ change. This includes cars such as the Tesla Model 3 or Nissan Leaf. Depending on the engine of a hybrid car, these also need to be have a Euro 4 or Euro 6 engine type. 

London ULEZ Expansion 2021

As of October 2021, the ULEZ in London expanded to all areas in the North and South Circular. The goal is to reduce the number of high polluting vehicles in the capital, thus reducing nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide emissions.

It can be frustrating having to change your vehicle due to the ULEZ expansion so we’ve put together our top 8 picks for your new car allowed in the ULEZ. 

ULEZ Compliant Cars

When travelling within the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), cars need to meet minimum emissions standards or pay a daily charge of £12.50.

Before making any tips into the ULEZ, it's important to check whether you need to pay or your car is exempt. To check, use the TFL ULEZ checker. Fines for not paying the ULEZ can range from £80 to £160. 

Some of the most popular ULEZ compliant cars include: 

Classic cars can also be ULEZ exempt. They may be exempt if they fall into the historical vehicle tax. This often includes cars that were built over 40 years ago. It's important to check that your classic car falls under the category before making any trips to the ULEZ. You may also need to register your classic car to make sure that you will not be charged. The exemption can also apply to vehicles that are used for commercial purposes that are also over 40 years old. This included coffee vans and food trucks. 

To avoid those added costs, here are our top picks for the best ULEZ exempt cars.

For those looking for a small, efficient, all-around car with good value for money, Cargiant experts recommend the Seat Ibiza and the Ford Fiesta

Ford Fiesta

For anyone in need of something bigger but still manageable in the busy city streets, the BMW 3-Series and the Tesla Model 3 are both great choices.

Tesla Model 3

Not a fan of having a saloon-type car? If you prefer the shape of a 5-door hatch but want to be driving at a slightly higher up angle, the Volvo XC40 and the Nissan Qashqai are your ideal picks.

Volvo XC40

If you want to drive around with some more presence, a bolder vehicle that also allows a comfortable drive, both the Land Rover Discovery and the BMW X5 will check all your boxes.


There you have it, our top picks for ULEZ compliant cars. We’ve also put together a list of the best electric and hybrid cars to consider, take a look.