T-charge comes into effect in London today – here’s everything you need to know…

Motorists who driver older, more polluting petrol and diesel cars in London are now subject to extra £10 T-charge as well as congestion charge.

VW emissions car exhaust fumesDrivers who own high polluting vehicles must now pay a charge of up to £21.50 per day to drive in central London. From Monday 23 October a £10 T-charge has to be paid by those who drive older and more polluting diesel and petrol vehicles, in addition to the £11.50 congestion charge.

The T-charge (also known as the Emissions Surcharge) has been introduced in a bid to improve the air quality in London, where the legal limits for pollution are regularly exceeded. The mayor, Sadiq Khan, said it was time to start preparing Londoners for the ultra-low emission zone that is set to be introduced in April 2019.

He said:

“As mayor, I am determined to take urgent action to help clean up London’s lethal air. The shameful scale of the public health crisis London faces, with thousands of premature deaths caused by air pollution, must be addressed.

“Today marks a major milestone in this journey with the introduction of the T-charge to encourage motorists to ditch polluting, harmful vehicles.

“London now has the world’s toughest emissions standard with older, more polluting vehicles paying up to £21.50 a day to drive in the centre of the city. This is the time to stand up and join the battle to clear the toxic air we are forced to breathe.”

The T-charge came into effect at 7am on Monday 23 October 2017, and is applicable to vehicles made before the Euro 4 emissions laws and covers all of central London – to the south of King’s Cross station, west of the Tower of London, east of Hyde Park and north of Elephant and Castle.

What cars have to pay the T-charge?

Pre-Euro 4 vehicles are generally those built and registered before 2006, but Transport for London recommended that anyone who owns a vehicle registered before 2008 should check if it is liable for the T-charge.

If drivers register to pay the congestion charge automatically, then the total amount they pay can be reduced by £1. It might not sound like much but if you drive through central London regularly then it can add up to a decent saving. Also, if you live within the T-charge zone you will be eligible to pay as little as £11.05 per day in total for the T-charge and congestion charge.

Sadiq Khan, speaking to Sky News on Monday morning, said that the T-charge is expected to cost about £7m per year to implement, which he described as a “price worth paying”. He went on to say that the when the ultra-low emission zone is introduced it would make money that would be ring-fenced for further clean air initiatives.

Mike Hawes, the chief executive of the Society of Motor Manufacturers, said:

“Industry recognises the air quality challenge and wants to see London and other cities meet their targets.

“Investment made by the industry into new diesel and petrol technologies has resulted in the most recent cars being unaffected by this new charge in London and, indeed, exempt from any other charges across the UK.

“This new T-charge will affect a very small number of older vehicles so the impact on air quality will be marginal whereas bigger improvements could be achieved by policies which incentivise the uptake of the latest, lowest emission vehicles.”

For more information about the T-charge and whether you have to pay it, visit https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/emissions-surcharge/compliance-checker

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