Apr 222011

Despite being under the impression that only ultra eco-friendly electric cars could side-step the £12 congestion charge in London, it has been announced that all ‘green‘ cars now qualify.

The requirements for missing out on the congestion charge include cars that are Euro 5 compliant and produce equal to or less than 100g/km CO2. That includes the likes of the latest Fiat 500 Twinair, all electric cars and the latest in eco-friendly models from Audi, Mini, SEAT, Smart, Citroen, Lexus, Tesla, Toyota, Mitsubishi, Ford and Peugeot.

This is fantastic news for those who live, work and commute in and around London. The latest Greener Vehicle Discount Scheme has to be activated for your car. Simply sign up through Transport of London for the scheme and pay the annual £10 charge, then driving around the heart of London will suddenly become less of a pain on the wallet.

For all other cars and vehicles that do not comply to the 100g/km CO2, the charge is still £12 although despite a recent price hike from £10, the costs are set to rise in the future. This is giving car manufacturers’ sales a boost in electric or eco-friendly cars.

London Congestion Zone - Eco Cars Go Free

London Congestion Zone - Eco Cars Go Free

With Barclays bank offering a fantastic service with their rentable bicycles on almost every major street corner in London, the new regime from the transport office will no doubt see a rise of cars on the roads. We may see fewer pedestrians and public transport users now that dodging the congestion charge has become easier, which may seem like a backwards step for England’s capital by some. On the continent, there are many major cities that are completely car-free in an effort to help battle smog and pollution, but London’s roads are still littered with cars, and it’s only going to get worse.

With the eco car boom of late, it seems that more and more manufacturers have been jumping on the bandwagon of trying to dip under the benchmark 100g/km CO2. The recent changes regards the CO2 benchmark for the congestion charge will surely make other manufacturers sit up and take note. Electric cars have always been exempt from the charge, and with so many G-Wizz and Toyota Prius showing up on the streets of London, there are now many more options for buyers.

It’s not just the quirky-looking G-Wizz or the stupendously expensive Prius and even pricier Tesla Roadster that will save you £12 per day. There is now the choice of the SEAT Leon, the Ford Focus, the VW Golf and even the fun Toyota IQ.

With more and more pressure and government incentives, it looks increasingly difficult and extremely expensive to travel in and around London in anything less than an eco car. With more electric car charging points cropping up, the car industry is taking a positive step towards responding to the government’s wishes. If you thought electric cars were the only environmentally-friendly cars out there, think again. There is now much more choice when it comes to eco cars and with a government sponsored monetary incentive available, there has never been a better time to buy one

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