Do you know it’s just over a full 5 years since the original London congestion zone charges were launched? The zone opened in February 2003 and was extended Westwards, despite heated opposition, four years later in February 2007. What’s next? Just last month Ken Livingstone announced a new CO2 charge set to be introduced on 27 October 2008. The new scheme introduces congestion charge exemption for vehicles which emit less than 120g/km CO2, and introduces a new £25 charge (a 213% increase on the current £8 charge) for vehicles which produce above 225g/km CO2. We doubt you’ll be surprised to hear that the plans are not uncontested, and probably also not surprised that currently the most vocal opposition is coming from Porsche UK. Whether or not Ken Livingstone will be able to push his proposals into reality remains to be seen, but if he does then hiring a car in central London will demand a little further research if you want to ensure you will not be liable for the hefty £25 charge. Why not quickly run the make and model of the car you are considering through the official emissions register at http://www.vcacarfueldata.org.uk/ to check it falls below the crucial 225g/km CO2.