Previously the Congestion Charge, which applies a fee to vehicles driving within a designated area in Central London, was enforced on all vehicles with CO2 emissions of 100g/km or above.
From the start of this month however the CO2 emissions barrier for cars to become exempt from the London Congestion Charge has been lowered from under 100g/km to 75g/km.
This restriction means many cars which were previously exempt from the Congestion Charge, particularly numerous diesel models, will now require the driver to pay the daily fee.
Motorists may be wondering therefore what cars are left which are still exempt from the London Congestion Charge. In reality there are numerous all-electric and hybrid models available now at select Perrys Dealerships nationwide, all of which fall under the 75g/km.
So if you’re planning on driving through the London Congestion Zone anytime soon and wish to avoid paying the Charge fee, read our guider here of the best cars still exempt after the stricter update.
Please note that all prices mentioned in this guide are accurate as of July 2013 and take into account the £5,000 Government plug-in car grant which each model featured qualifies for.
This all-electric car not only remains exempt from the London Congestion Charge, but for 2013 the Leaf range has become a lot cheaper and more accessible than ever before.
Starting from just £15,990, the Nissan Leaf now comes in three trim specifications. The reduction in price is helped in large part by the fact the onboard electric battery can now be leased rather than purchased outright with the car. Specifications bought on leased battery terms will be referred to as ‘Flex’ models.
Nissan has also improved the Leaf for 2013 with a longer driving range, quicker charging performance and superior interior space, making the car an all-round more appetising product.
This brand new car from Renault is the fourth all-electric vehicle to be launched by the French manufacturer. As it produces zero CO2 emissions it of course skips the London Congestion Charge.
More than that though, this five-door supermini represents a truly more accessible electric car for UK motorists.
Priced from just £13,995, Renault compares owning a Zoe to buying and running a £14,000 diesel-engined Ford Fiesta and filling it once a month with fuel.
The Renault Zoe also has a limited top speed of 84mph and a projected range of up to 130 miles.
This former winner of the European Car of the Year award combines a 1.4-litre petrol engine with an electric motor to produce just 27g/km in CO2 emissions.
Furthermore the Vauxhall Ampera is able to cover 25-50 miles on electricity alone before the engine takes over driving duties, extending the car’s range to a projection over 300 miles.
The Ampera is not like any of the typical hybrid cars on sale now; it is in fact an Extended-Range Electric Vehicle (E-REV) that at all times keeps the wheels electrically driven.
The five-door family hatchback can also be charged with a standard 240V power socket in six hours.
Prices for the Vauxhall Ampera currently start at £29,995.
Peugeot iOn and Citroen C-Zero
The Peugeot iOn and the Citroen C-Zero are compact electric city cars which share the same platform and virtually all the same components. The two cars are mainly set apart by some subtle styling tweaks.
Both cars have been highly promoted by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson, as part of his Source London campaign for the past few years.
The iOn and C-Zero are not only exempt from the London Congestion Charge, but deliver a projected 90-mile travel range from their 64bhp electric motor. The compact and nimble nature of these cars makes them well-suited to London and virtually any other city environment.
Prices for both the Peugeot iOn and the Citroen C-Zero currently start at £26,216.
Another compact all-electric city car, the Renault Twizy is a clean and interesting way to travel within a crowded city environment.
The Twizy delivers a range of around 60 miles off a single charge from its 42bhp electric motor.
Customers can also pick from three customisable trim levels when choosing the Twizy, the trim levels includes Urban, Colour and Technic.