Cars that beat the congestion charge

  • Cars which are exempt from the new London congestion charge
  • All beat the new 75g/km of CO2 limit
  • All ‘real-world’ cars – list excludes electric vehicles

Changes to the London congestion charge have resulted in a very small number of cars which now qualify for exemption from the £10 daily fee.

Transport for London has tightened the qualifying criteria for the ultra-low emissions discount (ULED) – from July 1 only pure electric vehicles or cars and vans emitting less than 75g/km of CO2 will dodge the charge.

However, there will be a ‘sunset period’ which allows vehicles currently registered to receive the discount to continue to remain exempt until June 2016.

Parkers has found the five ‘real-world’ cars – i.e those not powered purely by electricity and therefore not limited by range – which still qualify for the ULED.

1. Chevrolet Volt (12 on)

Chervolet Volt

What's the car?

Can run purely on electricity for up to 50 miles, after which a 1.4-litre petrol engine kicks in to act as a generator to repower the flat batteries

This set up avoids the ‘range anxiety’ problem associated with pure electric vehicles.

P11D price   CO2      MPG    BIK band      BIK per month (20/40%)

£35,200*     27g/km   235.4         5%              £29/£59

*Price doesn't include £5,000 plug-in electric vehicle grant


2. Vauxhall Ampera Postiv (12 on)

Vauxhall Ampera

What's the car?

Exactly the same as the Chevrolet Volt above, as they’re the same car with different badges.

The Ampera costs slightly less and also qualifies for the Government’s £5,000 plug-in vehicle grant. Theoretically it’s capable of 235.4mpg average fuel economy.

P11D price     CO2      MPG       BIK band       BIK per month (20/40%)

£37,195*        27g/km    235.4        5%                       £31/£62

*Price doesn't include £5,000 plug-in electric vehicle grant


3. Volvo V60 D6 AWD (Plug-in Hybrid)


Volvo V60 Plug-in Hybrid

What's the car?

Combines a 215bhp diesel engine with a 70bhp electric motor to create a four-wheel drive estate with CO2 emissions of 48g/km.

Can be driven in three modes: Pure is fully electric, Hybrid uses both motors to maximise economy while Power uses the electric motor to boost performance.

P11D price   CO2       MPG     BIK band    BIK per month (20/40%)

£48,720*      48g/km   155.2           5%               £41/£82

*Price doesn't includes £5,000 plug-in electric vehicle grant


4. Toyota Prius Plug-in (09 on)


Toyota Prius Plug-in

What's the car?

Works in the same way as the regular Prius hybrid, except you can recharge the batteries from the mains supply in about 90 minutes.

Allows up to 15 miles travel in full electric mode and can manage up to 51mph on battery power alone.

P11D price    CO2       MPG   BIK band    BIK per month (20/40%)

£33,190       49g/km     134.5          5%                   £28/£55

*Price includes £5,000 plug-in electric vehicle grant


5. Porsche Panamera S E-Hybrid Plug-in (on sale late 2013)

Porsche Panamera Hybrid

What's the car?

It may be big, heavy and a Porsche, but the new plug-in Panamera comes with some impressive statistics: 416bhp combined from its 3.0-litre V6 and electric motor, 0-62mph in 5.5 seconds, 167mph top speed, 91mpg economy and a likely £100,000 price tag.

P11D price       CO2       MPG   BIK band    BIK per month (20/40%)

£100,000*        71g/km     91.1       5%              £83/£167*

*Prices to be confirmed - calculations based on estimated price