After January 4, you will no longer be forced to pay the Congestion Charge in London if your automobile emits CO2 of 100g/km or less. At present, only hybrid cars or alternative fuel vehicles are qualified for the discount, which saves a driver £8 that they would ordinarily have to turn over to Transport for London. New rules recently announced that TfL will remove its Alternative Fuel Discount and replace it by the Greener Vehicle Discount.
So, if you car meets Euro 5 air quality standards and the new CO2 standards, you will no longer be obliged to pay the £8 per day Congestion fee, which is, by the way, being raised to £10 per day.
Other new rate gimmicks will apply if your vehicle does not qualify for exemption. These have no doubt been created to make up the TfL £55 million reduction by making the standards more equitable. Officially the Congestion Charge rises to £9 from the former £8, but only if you arrange automatic payment through a system called CC Auto Pay. If you don’t, the daily Congestion Charge is £10 paid on the day of or in advance, and £12 if not paid until the next day.
Authorities explain that while it was only fair to change the original standards to allow more green cars to operate without paying a Congestion Charge, the Congestion Charge must be maintained in order for it to carry out its mandate. Its main function is to act as a restriction to all but indispensable auto trips into the city.
Some motorists, who cannot afford new cars or to bring their autos up to Euro 5 standards but are forced to journey into the city daily for work or other unavoidable reasons, naturally deem it an unfair penalty.