The recent introduction of the London Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) has brought home the problems faced by operators of older vans.
It can now cost up to £21.50 per day to take a non-Euro 4 (pre-2005) van into the capital. And in 2019, things are likely to get tougher. A number of other UK cities are expected to introduce ULEZs, and the threshold for the ULEZ charge is expected to be lifted to Euro 5.
One way to avoid being hit by these charges is to use rental vans. But this won’t be suitable for everyone, especially operators of older vans doing low mileages but that are in use everyday.
And although we’d all like to be driving around in a brand-new, low-emission van, this just isn’t affordable for everyone, either. This reality has been acknowledged by Mercedes-Benz Vans UK, which has just launched a Scrappage and Swappage programme aimed at helping van owners to gradually move towards Euro 6, without having to switch into a new van immediately.
Commenting on the scheme, Steve Bridge, Managing Director, said:
I’m not surprised that most of the headline-grabbing scrappage schemes available to motorists have been received with a degree of scepticism by the media and the general public; it isn’t always financially viable for someone to come out of an aged vehicle straight in to a new van.
“This is why we have explored all our options in terms of genuinely supporting customers to be in cleaner, newer models as this doesn’t always mean a new van; we’ve been offering EU6 on some models since 2015. To offer a Scrappage and Swappage programme supports our commitment to having the safest and cleanest vans on the road and underpins our pledge to keep Britain’s businesses moving.”
What’s the deal?
The Scrappage element of the programme is aimed at owners of Euro 1 through Euro 4 vans. In return for scrapping their vehicle, customers will get a deposit contribution of between £1,000 and £5,600 towards buying an new or Approved Used Euro 6 van.
The Swappage programme is a little different. This targets small fleets and retail customers with up to 24 Euro 4 or Euro 5 vans. These customers can ‘swap’ their older vans for a new Euro 6 Mercedes van with the help of a deposit contribution of between £2,000 and £5,100.
This seems a sensible offer to me. By allowing you to buy used, it’s a bit more flexible and affordable than most other manufacturers’ scrappage schemes. It may also help to stimulate a little more demand for new vans, in a market which appears to be slowing.
Any restrictions? Don’t hesitate too long. Vehicles purchased under both of these offers must be registered by 31 December 2017. A maximum of 24 units applies per customer, and customers must part-exchange a pre-Euro 6 vehicle of which they are the registered keeper.