Do motorbikes pay congestion charge and Low Emission Zone (LEZ) fees?

Do motorbikes pay congestion charge and Low Emission Zone (LEZ) fees?

Brad Ramsden |

A solution for responsible, cost saving travel with Stag Motorcycles.

What is Congestion charge?

Congestion charge is a fee charged on motor vehicles driving within a charge zone in Central London, during most hours in the week. It is also in operation in other cities in the UK such as Birmingham and Oxford.

In London, the congestion charge was introduced in February 2003 with the aim of reducing levels of traffic in central city streets, but also designed to reduce air and noise pollution. The standard charge is £15 every day for each non-exempt vehicle if driven in the congestion zone with additional charges for non- payment.

How much is congestion charge?

The Congestion Charge is £15 for the day if you drive within the Congestion Charge zone between 7:00-18:00 Monday-Friday and 12:00-18:00 Sat-Sun and bank holidays.

Are motorbikes exempt from congestion charge?

The good news is, there is no congestion charge for motorbikes.

TFL (Transport for London) note that motorbike congestion charge is not necessary as there is evidence that two wheeled vehicles do not cause congestion.

What is the ULEZ?

On the 8th April 2019, TFL introduced the ULEZ (Ultra Low Emissions Zone) policy. This policy meant vehicles which do not meet new minimum emissions standards need to pay a fee to travel around London. This was introduced to encourage the use of low emission vehicles in London with the aim of improving air quality in the centre of the city.

ULEZ also applies to two wheeled vehicles, unlike the congestion charge guidance. The ULEZ covers all areas of London within the North Circular Road (A406) and South Circular Road (A205)- but excludes the circular roads themselves.

Are motorcycles exempt from ULEZ?

If you have a motorbike that meets the Euro 3 standard  for emissions,  or was manufactured after July 2007 it is likely that you will not be required to pay the fee. You can see if your vehicle complies here. You will be charged if your motorbike does not meet these standards. To find out if your bike is compliant you may need to book a Motorbike emissions test.

All electric motorcycles are exempt from ULEZ! 

Approved centres for Motorbike emissions testing:

2 sites are currently approved by TFL for motorbike emission testing:

Riverbank Motorcycles Ltd
Unit 12, Riverbank Business Park
Dye House Lane, Bow
London E3 2TB

ULEZ Testing UK Ltd
5 Bowman`s Trading Estate
Bessemer Drive

What is the charge for driving through the ULEZ if your bike is not ULEZ compliant?

The charge for all non-compliant vehicles using the ULEZ is £12.50 per day, with hefty penalty charges with failure to pay. The charge is in operation 24 hours a day, 7 days per week. If you are someone who commutes to work within the charge zone 5 days a week, you could be paying approximately £3000 per year in ULEZ fees!

How do I pay the fee for the ULEZ?

You can pay congestion and ULEZ fees via the TFL website.

Other Low Emission Zones

Charges to encourage low emissions have been introduced in many main cities in the South-central area as summarised below. Many other cities up and down the UK are also following suit.


Oxford has introduced Britain’s first Zero emissions zone (ZEZ) from February 2022. It is enforced 7 days a week 7am-7pm. It has costs ranging from £0-£10 a day for vehicles depending on their emission standards. These charges are due to increase in 2025. See the Oxford City Council website for more information. 


The city of Bath operates a Clean Air Zone (CAZ) in the city which operates from midnight to midnight, 7 days a week. This has been in place since March 2021. The charges do not apply to cars or motorbikes but do apply to Buses, coaches, taxis and goods vehicles (between £9-£100 per day). See Bath and North East Somerset Council website for more details


Bristol is launching a clean air zone policy in November 2022. The charges are between £9-100 depending on size of vehicle and its level of emissions. The charges are in place 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Motorbikes and fully electric vehicles are included in the charge exemption. See Bristol City council website for more information.


What can I do to avoid the low emission zone charges ?

Luckily, there are some options to eliminate any existing and future emission-based fees

  • Upgrade to a second-hand vehicle that meets emission standards
  • Walking or cycling to your location wherever possible
  • Using public transport


Evolve your ride – go electric!

Electric is the future and Stag Motorcycles are proud to offer a great range of electric motorcycles and ebikes - the perfect LEZ and ULEZ proof machines!

With the number of riders in our cities continuing the rise - so many more of us are starting to consider the environmental impact of our vehicles as well as the impact of high emission vehicles on our finances.

Benefits of electric include:

  1. Reducing your environmental impact:

    Electric motorcycles do not omit NOx and CO2 and therefore are exempt from ULEZ charges because they are not harmful to the environment. A nice treat for your conscience!


  1. Reducing costs to you:

    An electric bike is an investment piece that will pay for itself! Along with no charges for high emissions, you will also be able to get around on electric power instead of harmful fuels that cost a fortune.

Other benefits of going electric with Stag motorcycles include....

-No tax to pay

-Cheaper running costs 

- A lower maintenance bike

- easier to ride than traditional bikes (no clutch and gears)

Electric is the future

Many cities are making a push to go green by introducing low emission policies with more cities up and down the UK primed to follow suit in the coming years. By transitioning to electric, you can future proof your travel and feel good about your wider impact on our world in the process.

Bike Recommendations 

Some great options for your next ULEZ friendly motorcycle include:

The information in this article is subject to change and was correct as of October 2022.



How Much is congestion charge for motorcycles?

There is no congestion charge for motorcycles as TFL note that there is no evidence that two wheeled vehicles cause congestion.

How can I avoid Low Emission Zone fees?

The best way to avoid paying low emission zone fees is to go electric! Electric vehicles do not omit harmful emissions and are therefore exempt from Low Emission Charges.

Where can I get advise about ULEZ and Congestion Charges?

Stag Motorcycles are happy to assist with any questions you have have relating to ULEZ or Congestion charges. We are also happy to offer guidance on selecting your next Electric Motorcycle. Please contact us if you want to discuss further

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