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Vans and the London Congestion Charge

In 2003, the London Congestion Charge (LCC) was introduced to try to cut traffic jams and snarl ups in the heart of the city and to reduce pollution for residents and visitors alike. Since then, anyone driving in the congestion charge area has been charged a fee for doing so.

Where is the London Congestion Charge area?

The London Congestion Charge area extends from Euston and Finsbury in the North to Kennington in the South, and from Hyde Park and Belgravia in the West to Tower Bridge in the East. It includes most of Central London, including the City, Covent Garden, the West End and Westminster. All Congestion Charging areas are clearly marked and there is a congestion charging map available online.

Who pays the London Congestion Charge?

All drivers pay the charge if they drive into the designated area. This includes commercial and private vans, regardless of their size. You can claim a 90% reduction on the London Congestion Charge if you live within the LCC zone, or if your van meets strict environmental standards.

You will get a full exemption if:

  • Your van is under 3.5 tonnes gross
  • Your emissions are under 75g/km
  • AND

  • Your van meets Euro 5 standards (your van must have been registered after 1st January 2012 to qualify
  • To claim exemption, you must register your van with Transport of London. To find out more, visit the TFL website.

    How much is the London Congestion Charge for vans

    The amount you pay will depend on how and when you pay it.

  • £9 via Autopay – this is automatically deducted from your bank when you enter the LCC zone.
  • £10 paid same day – you can pay online, by phone, or in local shops.
  • £10 paid in advance – you can pay up to 90 days in advance
  • £12 paid next charging day – you can pay the next working day after you have entered the LCC zone.
  • There are additional fees and charges if you fail to pay by the next working day after you use the congestion zone, so you are advised to pay on the day or in advance.

    What is fleet autopay

    If you have a fleet of six or more cars and vans, then you can cut the cost of the London congestion charge with fleet autopay. Not only will you benefit from a £1 per day discount, you can also pay all your congestion charge fees in one go by monthly direct debit. Fleet autopay makes it much easier to administer your fleet congestion charges, with online account management listing every vehicle and charge.

    Can I get round the London Congestion Charge

    There is no way of avoiding the London congestion charge if you use your van in Central London, but you can reduce what you need to pay for entering the LCC by carefully planning your trips. For example, fitting all your deliveries into four days instead of five will cut your charges by over £500 per year. Similarly, buying a larger van will reduce the number of trips you need to make, and there is no extra charge for bigger vans.

    On the positive side, at least the congestion charge has reduced traffic volumes, so you should be able to get around your customers that much quicker, so it’s not all bad news.

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