This year the Mayor of London has announced that a new emissions surcharge will apply to all vehicles that fail to meet certain standards:

From 23 October 2017, cars, vans, minibuses, buses, coaches and heavy goods vehicles (HGVs) 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). This will be in addition to the Congestion Charge.

However assuming I will drive my own foreign vehicle into London it is unclear how the system will work. Assuming my car does fit the right Euro standard, how am I supposed to prove this to UK authorities? Is there a sticker one should buy like in the German Umweltzones?

I presume UK vehicles are in a central database so the government knows their ecological footprint based on their license plate number. But the TfL website doesn't mention how it would work for foreigners.

  • 5
    I don't have a direct answer to your question, but can comment that driving in central London is so unpleasant that a good strategy might be to park outside the congestion zone, and take public transit to your destination. This would avoid the congestion and emissions charges. Commented Oct 15, 2017 at 15:34
  • @JimMacKenzie maybe with the new congestion charge the roads will free up? :)
    – JonathanReez
    Commented Oct 15, 2017 at 16:33
  • 3
    a person can dream :) Commented Oct 15, 2017 at 17:05

1 Answer 1


Apparently it's currently unclear. There is a tool on the TfL website to check if your car is liable for the T-Charge, but it returns a strange response for foreign vehicles:

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I presume that TfL considers all foreign vehicles exempt by default and only starts charging them if their registration for the London Low Emission Zone shows they're also liable for the T-Charge.

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