While some vented their fury at paying extra to use their vehicles, others have used the opportunity to think outside the box.
Enter Nick Mead, the owner of a business called Tanks-A-Lot. He recently revealed that one of his tanks was rented by the wife of a wealthy foreign businessman for a birthday ride through London.
Although the birthday revellers shelled out around £6,000 for the inner-city joyride, at least they didn’t have to pay the £12.50 Ulez fees. As it turns out, the 1965 tank is just one of several types of vehicles that are exempt from the TfL charge.
While driving a tank might be a slightly extreme way to avoid Ulez charges, there are other innovative loopholes that’ll save you money from August 29.
So what types of vehicles will enable you to avoid the Ulez charge?
According to the TfL website, military vehicles are actually exempt from both the LEZ and the Ulez fee. This is quite ambiguous as there is a wide range of military vehicles that could be used for transportation purposes.
There is also a wealth of other armoured vehicles, one of which is endearingly named a warthog, that could fit the bill as a military vehicle exempt from the Ulez.
If Tanks-A-Lot is anything to go by, we might be seeing more tanks in London in the near future.
Specialist agricultural vehicles
Tractors in Haymarket? Sounds kind of fitting. And, it turns out driving a tractor is another great way to dodge paying the extra £12.50.
With many tractors having top speeds of only 25mph, this is also a foolproof way to make sure you stick to many London speed limits.
What’s even better is that TfL explains that as long as your tractor is registered in the UK, it is automatically exempt. So you can take it straight onto the roads, knowing that you’re saving £12.50.
Another type of vehicle that the TfL is exempting from Ulez charges is an excavator.
Probably aimed at letting off those needing to do serious building work, the loophole could still prompt some people to jump in their excavators and drive around free of pesky Ulez charges.
But is this something that people are going to dig during rush hour?
Mobile cranes are also on the list of vehicles exempt from Ulez charges. These types of vehicles can apparently cost as little as £400 for daily rent.
At least you’ll shave off that extra £12.50.
Yes, joining the circus is also a way to avoid the Ulez fee.
According to the new guidelines, “showman’s vehicles” are exempt from the charge as long as they are registered to someone who actually is a travelling showman.
According to the TfL rules, the vehicle in question needs to be used in the performance or carry performance equipment. These vehicles can also qualify if they contain circus animals.
Cars over a certain age, despite often being more emissions heavy than modern cars, are exempt from the Ulez charge. However, they will still have to be registered with the scheme. Classic cars are deemed historical vehicles if they were produced before 1983.
Owners of these vehicles won’t need to pay the £12.50 fee, or road tax for that matter. Reports suggest that some Londoners have already started to capitalise on this scheme as there has been a rise in classic car purchases recently.