Which Cars Are Exempt From ULEZ Charges?


The UK’s ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zones) can be your worst nightmare if your car isn’t compliant, with a daily charge of £12.50 in London. However, choosing a petrol car which is Euro 4 compliant, or a diesel model which is Euro 6 compliant, means you’ll be exempt from charges.

How do you know which cars fall under this bracket, though? Well, in this guide we’ll explain all about what ULEZ and the Euro 4/6 Standards mean so you know what to look for when searching for a new car. On top of this, we’ll show you a list of the most popular models that are exempt to help narrow your search.

Many of these vehicles are available as a business lease, meaning you can benefit from low tax implications for your company car while avoiding ULEZ charges. Read on to find out all about the ULEZ and which cars to turn to if you want to avoid costly charges.


Best business diesel cars exempt from ULEZ charges


As long as your diesel car meets the Euro 6 Emission Standards then you’ll be exempt from ULEZ charges. That’s because these models produce less nitrogen oxide than diesel cars produced before then. The good news is this is every diesel car produced on or after September 2016.

Here are some of the best Euro 6-compliant diesel cars you can buy.


1. Skoda Octavia

New Skoda Octavia

The Skoda Octavia has always been a firm favourite for businesses wanting a car that’s not only affordable to buy, but ticks all the boxes too. It’s spacious, well-equipped from the off and has plenty of punchy engines.

Speaking of which, we recommend the stronger 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine (badged ‘2.0 TDI 150’) as it pulls strongly from low revs and does a good job of overtaking when you need it to. More importantly, as long as you choose a facelifted third-generation model (2017) or the current fourth-generation model (2020), it will meet Euro 6 Standards and you won’t face ULEZ charges.


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*Prices for business lease deals accurate at the time of writing


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2. Kia Sportage

New Kia Sportage

A living, breathing example that sticking at a good thing can mean a pay-off in the end. That’s exactly what happened with the Kia Sportage.

First and second generations were forgettable, but then a third and fourth generation came along with major improvements. Firstly, the design was sharpened up, then Kia sured up the driving to make it more engaging than it had been in the past.

What’s great about the Kia Sportage is that its diesel engines are backed up by a 48V battery which doesn’t need charging, but instead improves efficiency. This means that you’ll get around 50mpg combined fuel economy which reduces running costs massively.

If you want to ensure your Kia Sportage is exempt from ULEZ charges, opt for the latest fourth-generation model (2016). Alternatively, you can wait until the next fifth-generation model is released in 2022.


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*Prices for business lease deals accurate at the time of writing


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3. Ford Focus Estate

New Ford Focus Estate

An ‘all in one’ type of car, the Ford Focus Estate is quite niche in that it’s a bulky estate that’s genuinely fun to drive. When you choose one of the EcoBlue diesel models it’s also very efficient too, with the option of a 1.5-litre or 2.0-litre unit. Both have a very impressive combined fuel economy of 61.4mpg.

All Ford Focus Estate models have been improved upon when it comes to rear passenger space too, which was often a criticism of these cars.

If your budget can stretch to it, we recommend opting for the more powerful 2.0-litre engine as it comes with 147bhp and is smoother.

Because all the fourth-generation Ford Focus Estates have Ford’s EcoBlue technology, they meet the Euro 6 emissions regulations.


Confused looking for a new car? Moneyshake helps you find the best Ford Focus car lease deals, simplifying your search for a brand-new estate model. Get started today and find a Ford Focus Estate diesel from just £218 per month*.


*Prices for business lease deals accurate at the time of writing


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4. BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

New BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe

The first-ever BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe – a four-door version of this popular coupe. It’s a very good-looking car too and straight away the more flexible design makes it easier for you to carry passengers in the back without messing about folding the front seats forward.

There are two brilliant diesel engines to choose from in the new BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe line-up: a 150bhp version (‘218d’) and a pokier 190bhp alternative (‘220d’). Both versions can be chosen with a very smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic gearbox.

Both engines are Euro 6 compliant, frugal and provide a good bit of punch when you put your foot down too.


Our BMW 2 Series Gran Coupe business lease deals start from just £229 per month*.


*Prices for business lease deals accurate at the time of writing


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5. Skoda Superb Estate

New Skoda Superb Estate

There aren’t many models roomier than the Skoda Superb Estate and for such an affordable price too. As a business vehicle this is perfect, because you can guarantee any clients or fellow employees you ferry about will be able to stretch out in ultimate comfort.

Besides just its whopping dimensions, there’s plenty of more things to get you excited about the Superb Estate. For starters, all the entry-level diesel engines are very good, so you won’t have to spend over the odds to get something that will shift this big car.

For this reason, we recommend the 150bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine which smooth, refined and frugal. Its low-down grunt suits the car well too and is really good for towing weights up to 2,000kg.


Like the look of the Skoda Superb Estate? Our current business lease deals on this car are available from just £214 per month*.


*Prices for business lease deals accurate at the time of writing


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Best business petrol cars exempt from ULEZ charges


The rules are more lenient for petrol cars in that all new cars from January 2006 were required to be Euro 4 compliant. This means that if you have a petrol car that was produced in 2005 or later, you’re going to be exempt from ULEZ charges.

Because all cars produced on and after September 2016 meet Euro 6 Standards, you’ll be safe in the knowledge of being exempt from ULEZ charges with these brand-new petrol cars.


1. Skoda Fabia

New Skoda Fabia

Things don’t get much more simple and satisfying in the small car class than the Skoda Fabia. It’s why it’s won some of the very best accolades in the motoring world.

As well as being one of the roomiest models in its class, the Fabia gets some neat little freebies as standard that separate it from the competition. For example, in the fuel cap you’ll find an ice scraper, while underneath the front passenger seat there’s a compartment which holds an umbrella.

Most importantly, all Skoda Fabia models from the second generation onwards (2007-present) are exempt from ULEZ charges. They’re also very cheap to insure thanks to having small engines that emit few CO2 emissions.


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2. Vauxhall Astra

New Vauxhall Astra

The Vauxhall Astra has been fighting strong at the smart side of the family car class for what seems like an eternity. This latest seventh generation version is impressive thanks to its well-equipped specs across the range, tapered style and surprisingly spacious interior.

All engines are lively and fuel-efficient too, which provides plenty of flexibility for a business car.

You’ll be able to choose from a variety of versions of the Astra while keeping your car exempt from the ULEZ charges too. Even fifth generation models (2004-2010) can qualify if you choose one that was produced on or after 2006.


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3. Hyundai i20 N

New Hyundai i20 N

Now this one might come as a surprise to you when you consider the rest of the models in our list. Who on earth would choose a hot hatch as a company car?

Bear with us on this one, because the Hyundai i20 N is a bit of an anomaly. It has much more reasonable company car tax rates compared to rivals thanks to its lower price tag and CO2 emissions.

Plus, it’s a brilliant car to have for work purposes. The 1.6-litre engine has a whopping 201bhp and is linked with a brilliant six-speed manual gearbox that shifts excellently.


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4. Toyota Yaris

New Toyota Yaris

European Car of The Year 2021. Is there any more justification needed?

Well, for context, the Toyota Yaris has come in leaps and bounds since it was first introduced in 1999.

The first three generations were never taken seriously because of their fuddy-duddy styling and inability to break out of rivals’ shadows. In particular, the driver appeal of the Ford Fiesta and comfort of the Volkswagen Polo.

But times have changed with the fourth-generation Yaris, which uses mild hybrid technology which means the car emits less than 100g/km of CO2. Toyota must be feeling pretty proud with themselves at this point, because they started the mild hybrid trend as early as 2011 with the third-generation Yaris.

In the latest fourth-generation Yaris, the engine still manages to be more powerful than previous generations at the same time, so you get the best of both worlds. If that wasn’t enough, the electrification of the engine means you can expect to get around 66mpg combined fuel economy – an extremely savvy motor at the pumps.

Want a Toyota Yaris that’s exempt from ULEZ charges? Well, you can look at a second-hand third generation model (2011-2020) or the latest fourth-generation model.

There are even variations of the latest Yaris that can suit different drivers’ lifestyles. Want something more practical? Check out the SUV-style Yaris Cross and the hot hatch champion GR Yaris.


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5. Ford Puma

New Ford Puma

The new Ford Puma made our list of most impressive car resurrections and has already won top awards for the way it balances practicality, style and a fun driving experience in a bang-on-trend SUV package.

There’s a brilliant choice of mild hybrid engines with different levels of power across the entire Puma range. Each one has a combined fuel economy of around 50mpg which is very good by SUV standards.

We recommend looking at the sporty ST-Line trim as you’ll get a tidy bodykit that includes a subtle rear spoiler. Inside there’s a flat-bottomed steering wheel and alloy pedals, while this design is all capped off with the standard sports suspension.

All this won’t be any use if you were to be charged driving through a London ULEZ. But you won’t need to worry about that, because all Puma models meet Euro 6 Standards. They’re affordable to insure too because they come with relatively low CO2 emissions (122-130g/km).


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What are ULEZ charges?

ULEZ (Ultra low emission zone) charge congestion charge Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) warning sign central London

ULEZ charges are in place to enforce the plans laid out by the UK Government to improve the air quality in London. This is essentially what the ULEZ are for. They operate 24/7 all year round (besides Christmas Day).

All vehicles must meet the ULEZ emissions standards we mentioned earlier or they will be made to pay a daily fee to drive through the zones. This is £12.50 for cars, motorcycles and vans (up to and including 3.5 tonnes in weight). Heavier vehicles such as lorries (over 3.5 tonnes) and buses/coaches (over 5 tonnes) must pay £100 per day.


What is meant by Euro 4 and 6 Standards, and how do I know if my car falls into these categories?


The Euro emissions standards were introduced as a way of improving air quality and health by restricting the amount of emissions new cars can produce from their exhausts.

The ones in question here, Euro 4 and 6 Standards, are the minimum requirement for most petrol and diesel cars passing through ULEZ in order not to be charged.

New cars registered betwteen January 2006 and January 2011 will be Euro 4 compliant, while those registered between September 2015 right through to today will be Euro 6 compliant.

There are many ULEZ vehicle checkers online that allow you to quickly check whether your car complies with the standard. This way if you plan to drive through London anytime soon you can avoid facing costly charges.


Are you looking for a brand-new business car that’s exempt from ULEZ charges? Moneyshake helps you find the best business lease deal on the latest models, with at least 50% off VAT on the monthly payments.


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