29th October 2018
When driving through busy central London, all vehicles that emit over 75g/km of CO2 are required to pay a daily congestion charge, a rule that was introduced in 2003. Since this low level of emissions is unachievable by cars with a petrol or diesel engine, one must look at electric, hydrogen fuel cell and hybrid vehicles in order to avoid the daily charge. An extra T-Charge is also in force for older vehicles that do not meet low emissions standards, which would be reason enough to make the switch from a petrol or diesel car, but lower emissions vehicles also come with extra benefits: easier parking, lower running costs and zero road tax for completely electric cars. Below, we discuss the six most popular congestion charge-free cars to help you decide on your next vehicle purchase.
Tesla Model S from £72,600
The Tesla Model S is one of the most popular and most coveted electric-only cars around. Its range of almost 300 miles is hard to beat and it is hailed as one of the most practical electric cars on the market. Leather upholstery and a large touchscreen ensure that the interior salon of the vehicle has a luxurious feel, but the body is very wide, which can pose a challenge on busy London streets.
Mercedes S500 Plug-in Hybrid from £82,000
Thanks to the modern sporty design, twin exhausts and leather interior, the Mercedes S500 looks just like a standard V8 model. But with a twin-turbo V6 petrol engine and electric motor working together, this hybrid is able to reach over 100mpg. In electric-only mode you will have a range of up to 20 miles before needing to recharge, when the petrol engine will take over seamlessly. For comfort and luxury, coupled with electric motor economy, the S500 cannot be beaten.
Volvo XC90 T8 from £61,900
This seven seat SUV is incredibly spacious inside, making it one of the most comfortable and practical congestion charge-free vehicles to consider. The four wheel drive Volvo XC90 T8 is safe and easy to steer, while the twin engine makes it economical to run. There is a 2.0 litre turbocharged and supercharged petrol engine along with an electric motor, enabling a fully charged car to travel up to 25 miles in Eco mode.
Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV from £41,545
The Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV SUV combines a 2.0 litre petrol engine with an electric engine in a large and spacious vehicle, perfect for the modern family. With a fuel range of over 150mpg and an electric range of 30 miles, this is an economical car that is also economically priced for its size. Equally as great for driving through the city as it is for long trips, this is a wonderful all-rounder.
Audi A3 e-tron Sportback from £36,456
The Audi A3 e-tron is both practical and stylish, with an electric motor and a 1.4 litre turbocharged petrol engine in this hybrid model. The five door hatchback has very low emissions and is also economical, meaning its perfect for day-to-day use. This family car offers low speed electric-only mode, full electric-vehicle mode and a hybrid mode, with an electric range of up to 29 miles.
BMW i3 from £33,340
This fashionably styled vehicle was first introduced in 2014 and has had only minor adjustments since then. The BMW i3 features a single gear electric motor and a lithium-ion battery offering a range of around 124 miles. This vehicle is quiet and quick, just what is needed from a commuter car or city run-around. Plus, the rear doors are hinged at the back, making it much easier to fit car seats and ensure children are strapped in.
With TFL clamping down on vehicle emissions and charges set to rise with the introduction of the Ultra Low Emission Zone in 2019, now is the perfect time to consider a move away from solely petrol- or diesel-powered cars.
To arrange a test drive or pre-order your next zero congestion charge car from our guide, please contact your lifestyle manager today.