Does my car dodge the new congestion charge?

Yesterday we blogged about the London Congestion Charge and how it was unfair how exemptions only apply to electric and hybrid cars regardless of CO2 emissions figures.

It seems Boris Johnson, Mayor of London reads the Perrys blog, because an announcement today confirms the rules are changing to allow any car under 100g/km to qualify for the exemption from paying the £8 charge, which will rise to £10 under the new rules.

The new rules will come into force on 4 January, but hybrid drivers with cars emitting more than 100g/km will also be exempt under the old rules until December 2012 if they register before 24 December 2010.

So, what cars will now be exempt from the congestion charge? Here at Perrys we have a wide range of sub-100g/km, and there’s always a chance to test drive before you buy.

Citroen

The Citroen C3 is the flagship model in the brand’s Airdream+ range in terms of emissions – 99g/km to be precise from the 1.6-litre diesel engine. You get 90bhp and 74.3mpg for your money, which will amount to around £13,000 on-the-road.

If you’re looking for something a bit more upmarket for the money you will save, the Citroen DS3 fitted with the same 99g/km engine is a premium option. With a host of equipment and a range of customisable options, the DS3 is a ‘cool’ way to beat the charge.

If you’re wondering about the use of ‘cool’, it comes from the DS3 being the only car to be named on Stuff magazine’s prestigious ‘cool list’ – and it even finished higher than the iPad.

Fiat

Get ready for Fiat’s 98g/km TwinAir 500 city car, introduced at the Paris Motor Show. The remarkable two-cylinder technology is an incredible achievement for the brand and builds on the clever MultiAir technology which it shares with Fiat-owned Alfa Romeo.

Who says you have to go diesel to get emissions below 100g/km?

Ford

The Ford Fiesta, the UK’s best-selling car in 2010, is now even more desirable as it comes with an exemption from the congestion charge.

The reason is its 1.6-litre TDCi Econetic powertrain delivering 95g/km, making it road tax free and congestion charge free.

It is joined by the Ford Focus with the same 1.6-litre engine. Emissions are slightly higher at 99g/km, but the popular hatchback is easily one of the best cars in the newly exempt list.

Peugeot

Small cars aplenty on the list, with Peugeot’s 207 the only offering from the French manufacturer. The 1.6-litre TDCi Economique engine offers 90bhp and 99g/km, bringing it under the magic 100g/km.

Seat

Seat’s low-CO2 Ecomotive range now has two sub-100g/km models. The stylish Ibiza supermini boasts a small 1.4-litre TDCi engine and offers emissions of 98g/km, while the larger Seat Leon boasts a 105bhp 1.6-litre TDi powerplant which delivers under 100g/km of CO2 emissions.

Vauxhall

Finally, the Vauxhall Corsa with a 1.3-litre CTDi ecoFLEX engine offers 98g/km and is the only model in the Vauxhall garage to be exempt from the congestion charge.

In 2011, there will be more models falling under the 100g/km level, including Mazda’s new range of SKYACTIV-engine models such as the small Mazda2 supermini and larger Mazda3.

Keep an eye out for hybrids from Vauxhall (Ampera), Peugeot (508, 3008) and electric cars from Renault and Ford in the coming years to add further cars to the exempt list.

Meanwhile, the likes of the Honda Civic and Insight, and the Lexus LS600h and GS450h are all now eligible to pay for the congestion charge for the first time.