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Navigating London’s Congestion Charge


London’s congestion charge was introduced in 2003 following a considerable debate in both local and national governments. It was designed to both help increase funds for development and to help decrease the amount of overall traffic from building up within the boundaries of London’s central ring. 

While the benefits of the congestion charge are debatable – and most likely will be debated for many years – the effect that it has had on drivers is obvious. Both private motorists and work crews entering the ULEZ area must pay a fee that has increased over time. 

In this article from N.D Brown, we’ll be detailing how the congestion charge works, how much you have to pay, what vehicles are exempt from the charge, and the penalties for not paying the charge. 

How Much is the Congestion Charge?

Originally, London’s congestion charge was capped at £5 per day. However, it is currently at £15 per day for all “cars, smaller vans, motorbikes and other lighter vehicles” (Transport For London).  

Importantly, according to Transport For London’s website, vehicles which weigh more than 3.5 tonnes do not have to pay the congestion charge. As a result, the majority of N.D Brown’s won’t need to worry about paying the charge within the ULEZ area. Nonetheless, it is a good idea to declare your vehicle to Transport for London ahead of time, as this will save you from having to deal with bureaucracy. 

How To Pay The Congestion Charge

If you are in a vehicle which is not exempt from the congestion charge, you must pay it within 3 days of the day of your visit. For example, if you’re visiting on a Monday, you must pay it by Thursday. If, however, you do pay on Thursday, the cost will increase to £17.50. 

There are numerous ways of paying the congestion charge. These are: 

Auto Pay

Auto Pay is an automated payment system available via an app. It records the number of days a vehicle travels through the congestion zone. The system will then subtract a payment through your chosen payment method 

Pay In Advance or By Midnight on the Day of Travel

When driving through the congestion zone, you can pay up to 90 days in advance. Alternatively, you could pay up to midnight of the day of your visit. 

By Midnight of the Third Day After Travel

Your third option is to pay by midnight on the third day following your visit. Unlike the other two options (where you £15) the charge for paying by this method is £17.50. 

All of these options are payable online. If you are paying by midnight of the third day following your journey, you also have the option to pay over the phone. 

HGV Hire From N.D Brown

N.D Brown carries a wide variety of HGVs in its modern fleet, including cage tippers, grab lorries, 4x4s, and many more. Our wide range of commercial vehicles are available for both short-term and long-term hire options. 

Our fleet of vehicles has been used in a number of different industries, including waste removal, construction, and many, many more. For more information about HGV hire, tipper hire, and grab hire in London, contact N.D Brown. 

About ND Brown

ND Brown Ltd is a specialist independent truck rental and sales company of over 40 years’ standing. Owned and operated by the same dedicated management team since its inception, ND Brown’s efforts are focused on supplying the utility, civil engineering, municipal and highway maintenance industries with high-quality modern HGV vehicles for both short and long-term self-drive hire.

From our sales division, we also sell a wide, but specialised range of new and used commercial vehicles.

Please call us on 01902 791991 or email us on