As one of the biggest and busiest city capitals in Europe, London comes with busy traffic. That’s why driving in London comes with some charges, specifically introduced to avoid traffic congestion. The two charges that directly affect how much Uber drivers make are the Congestion Charge and the ULEZ Charge. The Congestion Charge aims to reduce traffic during rush hours, while the ULEZ is aimed at improving air quality.
To help understand how the Congestion Charge works and how it impacts you as a rideshare driver, check out our FAQ guide.
The Congestion Charge is a £15 daily charge for driving in Central London during daytime hours, 7:00 am – 6:00 pm Monday to Friday and 12:00 pm – 6:00 pm Saturday, Sunday and bank holidays. This charge aims to reduce traffic congestion in and around the charging zone.
There is no Congestion Charge between Christmas day and New Year’s day bank Holiday (inclusive).
Since October 2021, only fully electric cars are allowed in the Congestion Charge Zone free of charge.
DID YOU KNOW? To support driver-partners and balance their expenses, Uber adds a £1.50 surcharge to every trip that starts, ends, or passes through the Congestion Charge zone.
If you pay in advance or on the same day, TfL charges you £15 for every day you enter the charging zone during operating hours. Otherwise, TfL charges £17.5 if you pay by midnight of the third charging day after you travel.
The London Congestion Charge times are:
Yes. During the weekend, the Congestion Charge must be paid between 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm, both on Saturday and Sunday.
Yes. The Congestion Charge applies even if you’re driving in London on bank holidays, between 12:00 pm and 6:00 pm. The only time there is no charge is between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day bank holiday (included).
We make driving in London as a rideshare driver a bit easier. You have our full support as all of our cars are registered with TfL, and Splend will be billed daily if you enter the Congestion Charge zone. We’ll then on-charge this daily to your credit card. Therefore, you only need to make sure you have the necessary funds on your nominated credit card.
Luckily, London authorities provide easy methods to pay fees, from the Heathrow drop-off charge and ULEZ Charge to the Congestion Charge:
Via Auto Pay, TfL’s automated payment system, for an annual registration fee of £10 per car. Once registered, TfL automatically checks whether you need to pay the Congestion Charge and ULEZ charge, and if you drive within the zone, it will automatically charge you via your Auto Pay service.
Auto Pay is the method also recommended by TfL, as this way you’ll never be late on your payments and you can register up to five cars into a single account.
Again, you don’t have to worry about penalties because our entire fleet is registered and we process all payments in due time. In other words, you just have to make sure you always have at least £15 available on your credit card.
If you don’t pay the Congestion Charge by midnight on the third day after you entered the charging zone, TfL will issue a £160 PCN (Penalty Charge Notice) to the car’s registered keeper. You can either pay the penalty or seek legal advice and challenge the PCN within 28 days of its date of service.
If you decide to pay the fine, do it within 14 days, so you get the 50% discount. If you miss this deadline and also don’t pay the full amount within 28 days, your penalty charge will increase by 50% and you’ll no longer be able to challenge the PCN.
The Congestion Charge zone covers Central London roughly from Vauxhall to Clerkenwell and from Marylebone to Southwark. The area is enclosed by Marylebone Rd, Euston Rd, Pentonville Rd and City Rd (A501) to the north, Great Eastern St, Commercial St and Tower Bridge Rd to the east, New Kent Rd, Newington Butts and Kennington Ln to the south, and Vauxhall Bridge Rd, Grosvenor Pl, Park Ln and Edgware Rd to the west.
TIP: Set your route planner in Waze or Google Maps to avoid toll roads.
Yes. Starting October 2021, only fully electric cars are exempt from paying the Congestion Charge. This means that if you drive a combustion-engined car — including hybrids, you will have to pay the fee.
No. You can drive fully-electric cars for Uber in London without paying the Congestion Charge until December 2025, when TfL plans to retire the green vehicle discount and require all drivers to pay the daily fee regardless of their car’s emissions category.
Remember that congestion is not the same as pollution. While the Congestion Charge might come back for EV drivers too, greener technologies will always be preferred, and encouraged.
No. The primary purpose of the Congestion Charge is to reduce traffic during daytime hours, while ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone) is aimed exclusively at improving air quality while driving in London.
You don’t need to worry about the ULEZ charge — our entire fleet is ULEZ-compliant.
The ULEZ charge zone now covers all areas within the North Circular Road (A406) and South Circular Road (A205) and it’s applied all day, every day. Starting August 29, 2023, the ULEZ will cover all 33 boroughs in Greater London. Read more about the ULEZ expansion.
The cars that meet the ULEZ emission standards are exempt from paying the fee:
Here are some tips to help you work around the Congestion Charge as an on-demand driver:
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