Are disabled vehicles exempt from ULEZ?

Are disabled vehicles exempt from ULEZ? thumbnail

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is set to expand across all the boroughs of London later this summer in a bid to clean up the capital’s air.

Announced back in March 2022, the change is due to come into effect on August 29, 2023.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said at the time: ‘The triple challenges of tackling toxic air pollution, the climate emergency and congestion mean we need to further reduce emissions from vehicles in London. We simply don’t have time to waste.’

With the introduction date now looming, many people are looking to find out if the charge applies to their vehicle.

With that in mind, are disabled vehicles exempt from ULEZ?

Here is what you need to know.

Are disabled vehicles exempt from ULEZ?

In general, Blue Badge holders must pay the ULEZ charge if their vehicle does not meet emission standards.

However, three ‘grace periods’ mean some vehicles can qualify for a temporary exemption.

To view this video please enable JavaScript, and consider upgrading to a web
browser that
supports HTML5

Disabled/Disabled Passenger Vehicle Tax Class

If your vehicle is registered as having a ‘disabled’ or ‘disabled passenger vehicle’ tax class with the DVLA, then you’ll be exempt from paying the ULEZ charge until October 24, 2027 (if your tax class doesn’t change).

This will be automatic as long as the vehicle’s tax class is registered in the UK. Otherwise, you’ll need to register it with TfL.

If you are over the state pension age, disabled, and in receipt of Attendance Allowance and hold a Blue Badge, you can also apply directly for the grace period (if your vehicle does not have a ‘disabled’ or ‘disabled passenger vehicle’ tax class).

Wheelchair accessible vehicles

If you own a wheelchair-accessible vehicle (converted to allow access for driver or passenger) that doesn’t meet ULEZ emission standards, you can apply to qualify for a grace period that lasts until October 25, 2027.

The vehicle must be registered in the name of the applicant with the DVLA (or equivalent EEA body) and, according to the TfL website, the vehicle must have the following:

  • A permanently fitted foldable ramp or a powered lift allowing the wheelchair user to enter the vehicle
  • An electric or hydraulic hoist to lift a person or wheelchair into the vehicle
  • A swivel seat on either the passenger or driver side of the vehicle
  • An accelerator ring permanently fitted to the steering wheel of the vehicle

It is only possible to apply for an exemption for one vehicle.

Disabled benefits

A grace period exempting you from the ULEZ charge until October 25, 2027, is available if you receive specific disability benefits, including Standard or enhanced mobility rate of Personal Independence Payment (PIP), Higher mobility rate of Disability Living Allowance, and Higher mobility rate of Child Disability Payment, and more.

Certain circumstances can also mean you qualify for the exception, such as if you have a child under the age of 3 with a medical condition that means they always need to be accompanied by bulky medical equipment.

Your ULEZ non-compliant vehicle must be registered in your name or the name of your designated driver, and an application can be made for one vehicle only. Full details are on the TfL site.

How to apply, more information, and other exemptions

More information on how to apply for the grace periods is available on the TfL website.

Other exemptions from the ULEZ charge include being clinically assessed as too ill to travel, not-for-profit organisations that operate minibuses, wheelchair-accessible private hire vehicles, and more.

MORE : Driver says criminals copied her number plate to avoid Ulez charges

MORE : How do Ulez cameras work and how many are in London?

MORE : Is Heathrow Airport included in the ULEZ expansion?

Follow Metro across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

Share your views in the comments below

Get your need-to-know
latest news, feel-good stories, analysis and more