Do hybrid cars pay congestion charges?

Last updated March 31, 2023

Whether or not hybrid car drivers have to pay the congestion charge varies from city to city, as the requirements for exemption are set by individual local authorities.

While some city councils offer congestion charge exemption for hybrid and electric car drivers, others require hybrid car drivers to pay the same fee as full petrol and diesel car drivers.

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Are hybrid cars eligible for a congestion charge discount?

Some plug-in hybrid vehicles were previously exempt from charges in London’s congestion charge zone.

However, the rules were changed in 2021, as new measures designed to further reduce congestion and improve air quality were introduced.

Under the latest rules, hybrid car drivers are now liable to pay the same flat fee as drivers of fully petrol or diesel-powered vehicles.

This is not the case everywhere, however; petrol and diesel hybrid cars meeting Euro 4 or Euro 6 standards respectively are exempt from paying the Birmingham Congestion Charge.

Which cars are exempt from congestion charges?

Different cities have different congestion charge exemption requirements, which are determined by individual local authorities.

Vehicles that are commonly exempt from congestion charges include:

  • Emergency response vehicles.
  • Blue badge holders.
  • Breakdown and recovery vehicles.
  • NHS staff.
  • Vehicles with 9+ seats.
  • Military vehicles.

Do electric cars have to pay the congestion charge?

In London, zero-emission vehicles such as electric cars are exempt from paying the congestion charge. However, to claim exemption, drivers must apply for a Cleaner Vehicle Discount through the Transport For London website.