400,000 ULEZ fines have gone unpaid this year

Over 400,000 ULEZ fines weren’t paid due to a lack of data in the DVLA system regarding vehicle registration and ownership

ULEZ Low Emissions Zone

Over 400,000 ULEZ fines have gone unpaid, despite having been issued by Transport for London (TfL), due to a lack of data on vehicles’ registered keepers by the DVLA.

In total, 417,080 fines for the breaching of ULEZ regulations have gone unpaid in the period from 1 January 2023 until the most recent expansion of the Zone on 29 August 2023.

The reason for the fines being unpaid is that the DVLA does not have the data for the registered keeper of the vehicle to which the fine has been attributed. In some cases, this is because the vehicle is registered outside of the UK.

TfL data published by MyLondon shows that there was a significant increase in the number of penalty charge notices (PCN) which were evaded in 2022 compared to previous years. In all of 2021, for example, 183,466 ULEZ fines went unissued, but in 2022 that rose to 487,925. The new 417,080 figure for 2023 only covers up until 29 August. 

The 2022 figure, of course, followed the first expansion of the ULEZ, established in 2021, to cover the area of London within the North and South Circular roads, and included almost 168,000 fines to vehicles registered outside the UK. Of these, 22,000 have been resolved, and 30,520 have been cancelled, meaning there are still more than 115,000 fines unresolved from last year. The Telegraph reports that TfL confirmed it is owed £12 million by non-UK motorists from 2022 alone.

In 2023, the ULEZ was expanded again to cover all London boroughs. 

During the same 1 January to 29 August period in which the 417,080 ULEZ fines were avoided, 114,274 congestion charge fines also went unpaid for the same reason: a lack of data on a vehicle’s registered keeper.