Driving in London isn’t exactly cheap. Even without the Congestion Charge, the sheer number of vehicles in and around the capital usually results in greater fuel usage and let’s not even get into the cost of parking.
Unfortunately, it’s only going to get more expensive, due to the introduction of a new T-Charge, designed to penalise older vehicles that fail to meet new emissions standards.
From October 23rd, cars, vans, minibuses, buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles in central London will need to meet minimum exhaust emission standards, or pay a daily £10 Emissions Surcharge, also known as the Toxicity Charge or ‘T-Charge’.
Effectively, all petrol and diesel vehicles will need to be Euro 4, or Euro 3 for motorised tricycles and quadricycles. This will be on top of the Congestion Charge and takes effect between 7am and 6pm on weekdays. The T-Charge will be suspended on bank holidays and the period between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.
Existing C-Charge Autopay customers will be automatically charged, but those who fail to cough up risk facing a £130 fine, which is halved if paid within two weeks.
Motorcycles, mopeds and scooters that are exempt from the Congestion Charge won’t need to worry about the T-Charge either. The same goes for taxis and private hire vehicles licensed with Transport for London (TfL), while residents with vehicles that don’t meet the new emissions standard will just need to pay £1 a day.
What this means for fleets
For fleet managers with vehicles operating in London, this new charge acts as further incentive to ensure they run the most efficient and low-emitting vehicles possible, especially as costs could really add up.
Any fleet vehicle that didn’t meet the new emissions standard would hit company coffers for £21.50 per vehicle per day – the combined cost of the C- and T-Charge.
Fines on the up?
In addition to the new T-Charge, fines for offences such as entering a bus lane, parking in a restricted area or non-payment of the C-Charge are set to be increased by almost a quarter from early 2018.
This means penalty charge notices (PCNs) will jump from £130 to £160 under the measures. Paying within 14 days will still halve the fine.
Steve Gooding, director of motoring research charity the RAC Foundation, said motorists will need to be persuaded that “£160 is a proportionate penalty”.
He commented: "No-one condones the actions of those drivers whose selfish actions clog up bus lanes or block junctions, but TfL needs to be taking a hard look at locations where PCNs are being generated to see whether the solution is really to be found in better road engineering and junction design rather than the threat of higher fines."
Molly Benton, brand manager at Fuel Card Services, adds: “It’s good to see that TfL is taking further action to improve the air quality in central London.
“The efficiency of petrol and diesel cars is always moving in the right direction and fleet managers now have added incentive to ensure their vehicles are as efficient as possible.”
Posted on 8th September 2017
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