Driving in London

There are a number of charges that may affect your vehicle when driving in London. Below is a summary of each charge with links provided to help you find out further information. This page also provides a summary of the rules relating to driving a minibus for those who do not have ‘D1’ on their driving licence.

To avoid the stress of driving in London and remembering all the charges you need to pay, in addition to finding a parking space, why not look at hiring a coach or minibus with a driver for your trip? We have partnered with First Travel Solutions to provide Boys’ Brigade companies an easy way to obtain a quote with the peace of mind that if you proceed, you will be provided with a high quality vehicle and your booking will be managed by a national bus operator. For more information, please click here.

Please be aware that the information contained within this page was correct as of 4th February 2022. Please use the links contained on this page to confirm that nothing has changed since then.

Congestion Charge

The congestion charge operates from 07:00 until 22:00, 7 days a week (except the period from Christmas Day, up to and including New Years Day) and you will need to pay £15 per day if you drive within the congestion charge area between these times.

There are a number of discounts that are available for certain vehicles and the most relevant ones for Boys’ Brigade groups are listed below:

Minibuses

Vehicles with nine or more seats are eligible for 100% discount of the Congestion Charge. You need to register with TfL for your 100% discount if your vehicle is not licensed with the DVLA as a bus (taxation classes ‘buses’ and ‘reduced pollution buses’) and you can apply for a discount online, but you’ll need to supply certain documents to show you’re entitled to the discount.

There is a £10 cost to register each vehicle for the discount and it will need to be renewed every year. TfL will notify you when your discount is due to expire.

Cleaner Vehicle Discount

Up until 25th December 2025, battery electric or hydrogen fuel cell vehicles are eligible for the cleaner vehicle discount.

Where to go for more information on the Congestion Charge?

Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)

The Ultra Low Emission Zone operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year, except Christmas Day. The zone now covers all areas within the North and South Circular Roads and you will need to pay £12.50 per day if you drive into the ULEZ area. The North Circular (A406) and South Circular (A205) roads are not in the zone.

Lorries, vans or specialist heavy vehicles (over 3.5 tonnes) and buses, minibuses and coaches (over 5 tonnes) do not need to pay the ULEZ charge. 

The ULEZ standards are:

  • Euro 4 (NOx) for petrol cars, vans, minibuses and other specialist vehicles
  • Euro 6 (NOx and PM) for diesel cars, vans and minibuses and other specialist vehicles

Boys’ Brigade companies that operate minibuses not compliant with the ULEZ can register for a temporary 100% discount of the ULEZ charge until 29 October 2023. Once you have registered your vehicle and it has been confirmed, you will not be charged the ULEZ charge until the end date of the grace period on 29 October 2023. After this date, all minibuses will need to meet the ULEZ emissions standard or pay the daily ULEZ charge.

Where to go for more information about the ULEZ?

Low Emission Zone (LEZ)

The Low Emission Zone (LEZ) covers most of Greater London and is in operation 24 hours a day, every day of the year. If your vehicle does not meet the LEZ standard, you will need to pay £100 per day for minibuses up to 5 tonnes which do not meet Euro 3 standards or £300 per day for minibuses over 5 tonnes which do not meet Euro IV standards.

To avoid paying the Low Emission Zone charge, Transport for London recommend replacing your vehicle or retrofitting your vehicle with either Emissions Reduction Technology. Emissions Reduction Technology includes:

  • Selective catalytic reduction, which reduces NOx emissions
  • Replacement Euro VI engines
  • Converting a vehicle to electric power

Retrofit technologies need to be approved by the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS). This government scheme, funded by Defra, establishes common standards for all Clean Air Zone cities. Due to the cost of retrofitting, it is unlikely that this option will be available for minibuses operated by Boys’ Brigade companies. Therefore to avoid paying the Low Emission Zone charge, it may be better and cheaper to investigate the option of replacing the vehicle.

Where to go for more information about the LEZ?

Dart Charge

The Dart Charge is payable if you use the A282 (M25) and cross the river using the Dartford Crossing between 6am and 10pm every day (including weekends and bank holidays). The charge must be paid by midnight the day after you use the crossing.

The charge costs between £2.00 and £6.00 depending on the size of the vehicle.

For more information about the Dart Charge or to make a payment, please click here.

Driving a Minibus

You might be able to drive a minibus with up to 16 passenger seats using your current car driving licence as long as there’s no payment from or on behalf of the passengers.

Conditions for driving a minibus on a car licence

You can drive a minibus within the UK as long as the following conditions apply:

  • you’re 21 or older
  • you’ve had your driving licence for at least 2 years
  • you meet the ‘Group 2’ medical standards if you’re over 70 – check with your GP if you’re not sure you meet the standards
  • you’re driving on a voluntary basis and the minibus is used for social purposes by a non-commercial body
  • the maximum weight of the minibus is not more than 3.5 tonnes – or 4.25 tonnes including specialist equipment for disabled passengers, for example a wheelchair ramp
  • you’re not towing a trailer

For full information on driving a minibus without having the D1 category on your driving licence, please click here.