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Durham County Council

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Durham Road User Charge Zone (congestion charge) exemptions


Not all drivers have to pay to use the Durham Road User Charge Zone (congestion charge) during its hours of operation. There are a range of exemptions available to certain categories of drivers or vehicles.

Contact us to apply for an exemption.

Exemptions

The following vehicles are automatically exempt from the charge and do not need to be registered with Parking Services for a licence:

  • two wheeled motorbikes (and sidecars), mopeds and bicycles
  • vehicles being used for the purpose of delivering or collecting postal packets in the service of a universal service provider
  • liveried police, fire brigade or ambulance vehicles
  • powered wheelchairs or scooters used by a disabled person
  • liveried Durham County Council vehicles

The following vehicles are not automatically exempt from the charge and must register with Parking Services:

  • vehicles associated with holders of a valid Blue Badge in the European Economic Area
  • NHS vehicles that are exempt from vehicle excise duty (road tax)
  • vehicles used by disabled people that are exempt from vehicle excise duty (road tax) under the 'disabled' class
  • vehicles for more than one disabled person (for example Dial-A-Ride) exempt from vehicle excise duty (road tax)
  • bullion vehicles
  • roadside recovery vehicles registered with the DVLA and having a taxation class of 'recovery vehicle'
  • hackney carriages and private hire vehicles
  • local bus service vehicles registered with us
  • any non-liveried police, fire brigade or ambulance vehicle on operational duty
  • liveried vehicles belonging to breakdown organisations on operational duty
  • statutory undertakers in liveried vehicles on operational duty and undertaking works within the public highway

The following vehicles are not automatically exempt from the charge and must register with the appropriate resident, organisation or business:

  • vehicles associated with permanent residents located within the charging area
  • vehicles associated with organisations and businesses located within the charging area with off street parking

Exemptions for permanent residents

Permanent residents located within the charging area may apply for a Road User Charge account. This account allows the resident to register up to five non-chargeable vehicles. Registered vehicles will be recognised by the ANPR system as being exempt from the charge. A Road User Charge account is only available for residents whose property is located within the charging zone.

All account holders will be issued with a password allowing them to manage their account online.

Multiple occupancy properties such as a house sub-divided into 'bed sits' will be treated as one residence and will be eligible to apply for one Road User Charge account unless it is split into several discrete flats and is registered with us as such. In this case each flat will be entitled to apply for a Road User Charge account.

Applicants must provide a completed application form along with proof of residency within the charging zone. A residential council tax document dated within 12 months of application will be accepted as proof of residency.

Exemptions for organisations/businesses

Organisations and businesses located in the charging zone who have off street parking, may apply for a Road User Charge account. Registered vehicles will be recognised by the ANPR system as being exempt from the charge.

All account holders will be issued with a password allowing them to manage their account online.

A Road User Charge account is only available to an organisation or business whose property is in the charging zone and has off street parking available. Organisations and businesses whose property is located within the charging zone but does not have off street parking available are not permitted to apply for a Road User Charge account. It will be necessary for these organisations and businesses to arrange for activities to be undertaken outside of Road User Charge operational hours or alternatively meet the £2.00 charge.

Applicants must provide a completed application form along with proof of off street parking provision within the charging zone. A 1:500 scale plan including deeds or lease agreement will be accepted as proof of off street parking.

Exemptions for Blue Badge holders

Holders of a valid Blue Badge in the European Economic Area may apply for exemption from the Road User Charge. Blue badge holders may register up to two vehicles that they normally use to travel. This could be their vehicle, or one they travel in. Registered vehicles will be recognised by the ANPR system as being exempt from the charge. These vehicles will remain registered until expiry of the Blue Badge. It will be necessary to re-register upon receipt of the new Blue Badge.

Applicants must provide a completed application form along with a copy of a valid Blue Badge.