Major congestion charge rule change drivers need to know – or risk £160 fine

DRIVERS must now pay £15 a day to drive in the centre of London – but the operating hours have changed.

Drivers who fail to pay the congestion charge face a whopping £160 fine.

That penalty is reduced to £80 if the charge is paid within 14 days.

But there are big changes coming to what times of day the zone is active – so it's important not to get caught out.

From February 21, 2022 drivers won't have to pay the fee after 6pm on weekdays.

At weekends, there be no charge for driving through the capital before 12 noon or after 6pm.

The zone used to operate between 7am and 10pm seven days a week, except Christmas Day.

But this was changed during the pandemic to encourage business activity in the evening.

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But while the hours the congestion charge is in operation have reduced, the fee is going up.

Transport for London has permanently raised the charge from £11.50 to £15.

That's an inflation-busting hike of 30%.

However, drivers will get a reprieve over the festive period.

TfL has announced that it will be free to enter the congestion zone between Christmas Day and Monday 3 January 2022 inclusive.

London's ultra-low emissions zone (Ulez) costs another £12.50 to enter for vehicles which don't comply with strict new pollution rules.

Electric car owners don't have to pay the congestion charge or the Ulez fee, potentially savings thousands each year.

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