If you work in London, the daily grind of paying the congestion charge can get a bit much. So if you’ve had enough of forking over £10 for the privilege of driving through the capital, what can you do about it?
Well, there are a number of cars that are actually exempt from the charge altogether, although the clever little petrol-powered superminis haven’t qualified for a while thanks to a 2013 change in the rules that made the cut-off point for carbon dioxide emissions even lower.
So you might want to invest in one of the following:
1. Tesla Model S
This is a very expensive way of skirting the charge and on a pure mathematical level it isn’t close to adding up. The Tesla is a luxury electric car with ludicrous performance, though; it even has a ‘ludicrous’ mode for when you really want to have fun. So it’s more than a way to avoid the congestion charge, it’s a lifestyle choice for the affluent and an exciting alternative to a Porsche or Mercedes.
2. Toyota Prius Hybrid
The old favourite, the Prius, emits less than 75 g/km of carbon dioxide and that is enough to get you out of paying the congestion charge.
3. Renault Twizy
This one is slightly more left-field, as the French manufacturer’s two-seater leisure vehicle looks more like a four-wheeled moped with a cover than an actual car. It’s electric, it skirts the charge and it is relatively comfortable, but don’t even think of taking it on the motorway to get to London in the first place.
4. Porsche 918 Spyder
Seriously, this massively quick hypercar emits just 72 g/km of carbon dioxide and is exempt from the charge. It is also insanely fast, thanks to a combination of electric and petrol powerplants, and is one of the fastest cars on the road.