Fleet News

Volkswagen says “no basis” for £2.5m congestion charge bill

Volkswagen says it will not pay a £2.5m congestion charge bill from Transport for London, because all of its vehicles qualified for the greener vehicle discount.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, recently met the UK boss of the VW Group, Paul Willis, to discuss compensation for Londoners following dieselgate.

He had previously written to Willis demanding the carmaker reimburse Transport for London for £2.5 million he claims had been lost in congestion charge revenue.

However, a VW spokesman told Fleet News: “Volkswagen is clear that all of its vehicles which were affected by the NOx issue, and which benefitted from the congestion charge greener vehicle discount, did so validly throughout the relevant period.”

Vehicles qualified for the discount (which was closed to new applicants in June 2013) on the basis that their official CO2 emissions figure was less than 100g and met the Euro 5 standard.  All of the vehicles affected by the NOx issue have retained their Euro 5 qualification.

Furthermore, said the spokesman: “None of the affected vehicles have had their official CO2 emissions figures amended, given that official CO2 values are not affected by the NOx issue.

“There is, therefore, no basis on which it can be said that Transport for London has lost any sums as a result of the NOx issue. No sums are therefore due in compensation.”

Volkswagen products continue to perform well in independent real world emissions testing.

Khan said: “I met with the managing director of VW to urge them to compensate the thousands of Londoners who bought VW cars in good faith, but whose diesel engines are now contributing to London’s killer air, and also to reimburse Transport for London for the £2.5 million loss of congestion charge revenue.

“Unfortunately VW made it abundantly clear that they have no interest or intention of reimbursing Londoners or indeed any UK customers who bought these polluting vehicles. They are also in denial over their responsibility to help clean up London’s filthy air and mitigate the damage their cars have caused.

“It is now nearly two years since the ‘dieselgate’ scandal and the Government must stop dragging their feet and urgently intervene. VW is making a laughing stock of the UK – the Government needs to demand a compensation package that equals the billions VW gave customers in America.”


Click here for electric cars and hybrids best practice and procurement insight

Leave a comment for your chance to win £20 of John Lewis vouchers.

Every issue of Fleet News the editor picks his favourite comment from the past two weeks – get involved for your chance to appear in print and win!

Login to comment


  • Brian The Motorman - 26/07/2017 11:05

    "Priceless" Mr Khan would like VW to pay compensation to Londoners, some cynics may well say this is another vote rigging move to reimburse TFL for lost revenue. It will be interesting to see how TFL and the GOVT claw back the lost revenue long term, once they have buried diesel vehicles, fuel and the associated inner city charges (congestion and soon to be parking) Private and Corporate fleet operators will need to look very carefully at what tax, benefits and duties alternative cleaner vehicles will attract long and short term.

  • Edward Handley - 26/07/2017 18:26

    Its strange how the Mayor is trying to extract money from VW while ignoring the far more toxic pollution from construction plant and fridge engines which contribute more NoX and particulates than diesel cars and trucks together do, and which pay no congestion charge and are exempt the LEZ.

Compare costs of your company cars

Looking to acquire new vehicles? Check how much they'll cost to run with our Car Running Cost calculator.

What is your BIK car tax liability?

The Fleet News car tax calculator lets you work out tax costs for both employer and employee