Navigating daily ULEZ charges can be quite a pickle, especially for those who rely on their car every day. It's a balancing act between keeping costs manageable and doing our bit for the planet. If you're feeling a bit lost in the maze of choosing the right car that ticks all the boxes, rest assured, you're not alone. We've taken a deep dive into everything ULEZ means for driving in London and potentially in other UK cities that might follow suit.

For those in London, ULEZ is part of the daily lingo, but if you're new to the city or considering a move for fresh opportunities, it might seem a bit bewildering. With the UK's ambitious target to reach net zero emissions by 2050, we'll likely see more cities adopting similar initiatives. While cities like Sheffield, Bradford, and Leeds are mulling over their versions of the scheme, it's clear the drive towards cleaner air is picking up pace across the country.

We understand it's a bit of a bother for many drivers, but these measures are pivotal in reducing urban pollution. Our friendly guide is here to ease the pressure and help you find a vehicle that not only meets these new standards but also makes every journey enjoyable.

london traffic

What is ULEZ?

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is a scheme that aims to improve the air quality in London by charging vehicles that do not meet certain emission standards. The ULEZ covers most of central London and operates all year round, except on Christmas Day. The ULEZ helps to reduce the levels of nitrogen dioxide and particulate matter, which are harmful pollutants that can cause respiratory problems and premature death. By encouraging drivers to use cleaner vehicles or alternative modes of transport, the ULEZ contributes to a healthier and greener city. The ULEZ was introduced because London has become the world's most congested city, with drivers losing an average of 148 hours stuck in traffic in 2021. London also has a population of around 8.8 million people, and 2.6 million cars registered in the city. These factors contribute to poor air quality, which affects the health of millions of Londoners, especially children and the elderly. The ULEZ is expected to reduce harmful emissions by up to 45% by 2025.

The benefits of Hybrid & Electric Vehicles

Switching to hybrid or electric vehicles (EVs) offers a practical solution to ULEZ charges, which apply to most petrol and diesel cars that do not meet the Euro 4 or Euro 6 emissions standards. These vehicles not only help reduce emissions but also offer significant savings on fuel and running costs. According to the RAC, hybrids can use up to 30% less fuel per mile than conventional vehicles, while EVs can cost as little as 2p per mile to run. With electric and most hybrid vehicles exempt from ULEZ charges, choosing an eco-friendly model means enjoying the city without the worry of daily fees. Moreover, switching to hybrid or electric vehicles also supports the UK's economy and energy security, as they use more diverse and renewable sources of energy than fossil fuels. Hybrid and electric vehicles are the future of green motoring, and they can help you save money and the environment.

What brands to choose from?

With the era changing in the automotive industry, it can get confusing quickly. Riverside Motor Group breaks down the brands that we serve and are reliable for your peace of mind.

volvo brand


Over the past five years, Volvo has garnered a commendable list of awards that reflect the brand's commitment to safety, design, and sustainability. News UK praises the “impressive quality and scope” of Volvo’s model range and the company’s reputation for “progressive values, technological innovation and standout craftsmanship.

Moreover, the Volvo EX30 won its first major award as 'Car of the Year' by The Sun and 'Small SUV/Crossover of the Year' at the News UK Motor Awards. The Volvo XC40 wins best small SUV/crossover category.

Here are the current top Volvo models that are ULEZ compliant:

  • Volvo EX30: The EX30 is part of Volvo’s commitment to electrification and sustainability. It provides a great balance of performance, efficiency, and environmental consciousness. If you’re looking for a well-equipped and quick electric SUV, the EX30 is definitely worth considering!
  • C40 recharge: The Volvo C40 Recharge is another electric vehicle based on the same platform as the XC40 Recharge. Now known as the EC40.
  • XC40 Recharge: The Volvo XC40 Recharge is Volvo’s first fully electric car. It’s based on the best-selling XC40 small premium SUV, which was the first Volvo model to win the prestigious European Car of the Year award. Now known as the EX40.
  • XC60 Recharge: The Volvo XC60 Recharge is indeed the larger sibling of the XC40 Recharge. While both models share Volvo’s commitment to sustainability and performance, the XC60 Recharge offers more space, versatility, and features. It’s a great choice for those who need a bit more room without compromising on eco-friendliness.
  • XC90 Recharge: The Volvo XC90 Recharge is a luxurious plug-in hybrid SUV that combines electric power with traditional petrol performance. The XC90 Recharge is the largest of the three, offering more space for passengers and cargo.


Honda have consistently delivered reliable, efficient, and innovative vehicles. Let’s explore how Honda aligns with ULEZ compliance and highlight some of its models:

ULEZ-Friendly Models: Honda offers several ULEZ-compliant models, especially in the hybrid category. These vehicles meet stringent emission criteria and are exempt from ULEZ charges.
Honda's Jazz e:HEV and Civic e:HEV have achieved significant recognition at the 2023 What Car? Car of the Year Awards, securing titles for 'Small Car of the Year' and 'Family Car of the Year' respectively. These accolades add to Honda UK's impressive tally of 11 awards in just four months. Notably, the Honda Jazz stands out with its generous space, versatile 'magic seats,' and seamless tech integration, while the hybrid Civic impresses with its economical and dynamic drive.

Here are current top Honda models that are ULEZ compliance:

  • Honda e:Ny1: The Honda e:Ny1 is a zero-emission SUV with a battery powertrain technology.
  • Honda ZR-V: The Honda ZR-V is a sporty hybrid crossover designed to fit between the HR-V and CR-V
  • Honda CR-V: The Honda CR-V is a compact crossover SUV known for its reliability and practicality, available in plug-in hybrid or full hybrid.
  • Honda HR-V Hybrid: The Honda HR-V Hybrid offers a super-efficient, full hybrid experience
  • Honda Jazz Hybrid: The Honda Jazz Hybrid (e:HEV) is a spacious small car with a 1.5-litre petrol-electric hybrid system.
  • Honda Civic Hybrid: The Honda Civic Hybrid is a fuel-efficient spacious car with a hybrid powertrain.
honda eny1


The innovative brand from Barcelona, seamlessly blends emotional design and performance with a commitment to electrification. Crafted with precision and artistic flair, CUPRA vehicles are embodiments of creativity and racing legacy, earning prestigious honours such as the Red Dot Design Award. The all-electric CUPRA Born stands as a testament to this ethos, clinching the title of Best Small Electric Car to Drive for two years running at the What Car? Awards. With a focus on safety and advanced technology, CUPRA also ensures compliance with emission standards, offering ULEZ savings without compromising on exhilaration or the driving experience.

CUPRA, the dynamic and performance-oriented brand, offers several ULEZ-compliant models. These vehicles meet emission standards and are exempt from ULEZ charges in London:

  1. CUPRA Born: The all-electric CUPRA Born is fully ULEZ compliant. It combines stimulating design, electrifying performance, and a unique character.
  2. CUPRA Leon: Available in both petrol-powered and plug-in hybrid variants, the CUPRA Leon offers sporty performance while meeting ULEZ standards.
  3. CUPRA Leon Estate: Similar to the CUPRA Leon, the estate version provides extra space and versatility without compromising on efficiency.
  4. CUPRA Ateca: This performance SUV combines practicality with exhilarating driving dynamics. It’s ULEZ compliant and offers a thrilling experience.
  5. CUPRA Formentor: The CUPRA Formentor, available in petrol-powered and plug-in hybrid versions, boasts striking design, advanced technology, and eco-friendly features

As we approach the intersection of environmental consciousness and advanced automotive technology, Riverside Motor Group stands ready to navigate for you in the market. Our diverse selection from leading brands like Volvo, Honda, and CUPRA offers an array of ULEZ-compliant vehicles that blend performance, luxury, and sustainability. Whether you're drawn to the electric elegance of the Volvo EX30 or the innovative hybrid technology of the Honda CR-V, we have the perfect match for your eco-friendly lifestyle. Embrace the future with confidence and make every journey count with a vehicle that's as good for the planet.

Step into a greener tomorrow with Riverside Motor Group. Visit us and let our experts guide you to the ideal vehicle that satisfies both your eco-conscious sensibilities and driving desires. For more information, assistance, and to explore our latest offers, contact us today – where your journey to sustainable motoring begins.

Visit us at your nearest Riverside retailer in Doncaster, Hull, Wakefield or Leeds or reach out online to book a test drive with the latest cars on the market.

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