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✎ EN Driving in London is becoming too expensive

Discussion in 'London' started by Leon Maet, Oct 28, 2020.

  1. Leon Maet

    Leon Maet New Member

    Oct 11, 2020
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    Living In:
    United Kingdom
    French (FR)
    French, English
    Higher congestion charge and larger congestion zone

    1) In June 2020, the London congestion charge was increased from £ 11.50 to £ 15.00 per day, was extended to evenings and weekends.

    2) In addition, the £ 1 discount for early direct payments has been canceled. More importantly the 90% resident discount has been closed to new applicants.

    The above features were meant to be temporary, but they could remain permanent.

    3) In all likelihood, the congestion charge area will be widened to the North Circular and South Circular in October 2021.

    As a reminder, here are the descriptions of the North and South Circular Roads in London:,_London

    Impact on Car Ownership Budget

    Even if you own an ULEZ compliant vehicle, you will have to spend £15 per day as soon as you move your car from your parking slot. Doing the school run, commuting to work, going to a hospital appointment, and visiting friends will become expensive.

    Assuming you use your car 100 to 200 days per year, your annual expense for the congestion charge will be in a £1,500 to £ 3,000 bracket.

    Other annual car expenses (insurance, fuel, car park, maintenance, repairs etc.) are typically in the region of £ 2,500.

    Add to the above your annual car depreciation, say £ 2,000 if you own a second-hand vehicle, or £4,000 if you purchase a brand-new car…

    …Your total car ownership budget would range from £6,000 to £9,500 per year.

    Impact on car sharing

    For now, “the congestion charge is included as part of your Zipcar membership”, as shown here:

    However, will the London administration revisit its arrangements with Zipcar in the near future? Will Zipcar then increase its hourly and daily prices in order to recoup their costs once the congestion is enlarged?

    Impact on car rental

    In contrast with car sharing, it is up to the users to pay their congestion charge when they rent a car.

    Here are a couple of examples:

    Warning: should you fail to pay the congestion charge on time, the hire company will charge you a penalty charge.

    Impact on taxi delivery fares

    Perhaps delivery companies and taxis will increase the price of their products and services.


    We were considering buying a car as it is a safer mode of transportation during the Covid-19 pandemic, albeit less green that public services.

    Nevertheless, owning a car in Central London is becoming too expensive for our family.

    We will have to rent a car when visiting our relatives during the Christmas season, share a car for a few weekend trips, and take a taxi when meeting friends in remote areas of London.
  2. Jamie Ray

    Jamie Ray Member

    Oct 29, 2020
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    Living In:
    United Kingdom
    American (US)
    My understanding is that they have decided that new residents moving to the zone now, won't be able to apply for the discount. But the older residents still have the discount.

    The Guardian has got a very good article on that, saying:
    The proposal would hit 3 million people, nearly half of Greater London!

    A former London Transport advisor said:
    They expect the local residents within the zone to get a 90% discount (otherwise it would create an outrage!). However this means then that those residents will be able to drive to central London without paying the £15... which means more congestion into the current zone... therefore the article point out at a zonal approach, double standard... etc.
    And in any case, it won't be enough money to fill the hole in the public transport system created by the Covid crisis (train and tube passenger numbers in London are barely a third of normal)... just create more inequality :evil:
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