MINI Diesels Avoid London Congestion Charges

For the unfamiliar on this side of the Atlantic, the city of London tries to keep traffic congestion down in the heart of the city by charging certain kinds of vehicles a Congestion Charge of as much as £10 a day to be in certain areas of the city. However, if you drive a high-efficiency or zero-emission vehicle such as a hybrid or a MINI E, the charge is waived. The good news for MINI One D and Cooper D owners is that London mayor Boris Johnson has just announced revamped Congestion Charge regulations that now count these high-efficiency MINIs as exempt from Congestion Charges starting in January 2011. Given the numbers, it’s not surprising why.

As with all MINI models both the MINI One D and MINI Cooper D comply with the EU5 emission standard and they achieve the same low fuel consumption of 74.3 mpg and CO2 emissions of 99 g/km. These values are an absolute record for any series production car produced by the BMW Group. In addition to the high efficiency of the diesel engine in the MINI One D and Cooper D, under the MINIMALISM umbrella both cars employ a host of fuel-saving and emission-lowering technology including Brake Energy Regeneration, Auto Start-Stop, Gearshift Indicator and Electromechanical Power Steering. All of these technologies and the standard six-speed manual gearbox play a role in eking the most out of every drop of fuel while also minimising the tailpipe emissions.

This exemption does not apply to the new MINI Cooper S Diesel, at least not yet, and qualifying cars still have to pay £10 annually for the privilege of not paying £10 daily. So if you’re car shopping and need to get into London a lot, then a One D, or Cooper D might be just the ticket.

Photo courtesy of Flickr user E01.