Congestion discount for smart cars

Owners of smart cdi and mhd (micro hybrid drive) models will not have to pay London Congestion Charge from next year following changes introduced to the Greener Vehicle Discount.

New regulations taking effect from January 4 exempt vehicles meeting Euro 5 standards and with CO2 emissions of 100g/km or lower from London's Congestion Charge

Since smart's popular cdi diesel and mhd petrol both meet the requirements, they will be exempt from the £8 fee under the new rules which could save up to £2,500 per year for those who regularly travel within congestion zones.

The cdi's 54bhp and the mhd's 71bhp engines, when coupled with the softip transmission system, produce emissions of just 86g/km CO2 and 97g/km CO2 respectively.

Motorists who wish to qualify for the concession will have to register with Transport for London (TfL) and pay an annual charge of £10 per vehicle.

Another review will be made in 2012 as to whether TfL wishes to lower the threshold even further because of a likely increase in electric vehicle production, such as the forthcoming zero-emission smart electric drive vehicle.

Gary Savage, managing director for Mercedes-Benz Cars UK, said: "This development recognises the importance that smart places on lowering emissions and we are delighted that this total exemption from the London Congestion Charge enhances the already frugal running costs of smart and makes the brand even more attractive for driving in the capital city."

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