Toyota Prius hybrid no longer exempt from London Congestion Charge

A change in the way CO2 levels are calculated means new Toyota Prius owners will have to pay the London Congestion Charge

Toyota Prius

New buyers of the Toyota Prius hybrid will no longer be exempt from the London Congestion Charge, after a change in the way its carbon dioxide (CO2) levels are measured moved its official output above the 75g/km exemption threshold.

While current Prius owners won’t be affected by the change, anyone who purchased a new Prius from 1 February 2018 will find their car judged against updated criteria, meaning they will have having to pay the capital’s £11.50 Congestion Charge.

The Prius used to officially produce 70g/km of CO2 when running on 15-inch wheels. This made it a favourite of private hire owners, as they could drive into London while escaping the Congestion Charge. But that figure has now increased to 78g/km, while CO2 levels for a Prius running on 17-inch alloys have increased from 76 to 82g/km.

The rise has come because Toyota is switching the measure it uses to gauge the Prius’ CO2 levels from NEDC to NEDC-equivalent; the latter test was designed to precede the switch from NEDC to new WLTP testing criteria in 2019, and is considered a halfway house between the two measures.

Vehicle excise duty, commonly known as road tax, has also increased for those buying a new Prius: the first-year fee for models with 15-inch alloy wheels has increased from £15 to £90. Perhaps more significantly, Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) rates for business users of the same car have risen from 13 to 17 per cent.

While the Prius Plug-In is also likely to be measured against NEDC-equivalent criteria soon, its lower CO2 emissions of 22g/km (under outgoing NEDC rules) make it highly unlikely its emissions will rise above the 75g/km Congestion Charge exemption threshold.

Read our round-up of the best company cars to buy now... 

Most Popular

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range
Kia EV6 - front
Kia EV6

New 2021 Kia EV6 boasts up to 328 miles of range

Kia reveals more specs for its bespoke electric car, with the EV6 offering long range and an 18-minute 80 per cent rapid recharge time
21 Jul 2021
New 2021 Audi RS 3: 395bhp mega hatch priced from £50,900
Audi RS 3 Sportback - front
Audi RS3

New 2021 Audi RS 3: 395bhp mega hatch priced from £50,900

Full exterior and interior reveal for Audi RS 3, with aggressive styling and racy cabin to match strong performance
19 Jul 2021
Ioniq 5 vs Volkswagen ID.4 vs Ford Mustang Mach-E
Ioniq 5 vs Volkswagen ID.4 vs Ford Mustang Mach-E
Hyundai Ioniq 5

Ioniq 5 vs Volkswagen ID.4 vs Ford Mustang Mach-E

Can the Ioniq 5 provide substance to match its style? We test it against the Volkswagen ID.4 and Ford Mustang Mach-E to find out
17 Jul 2021