The London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) comes into force on 8 April 2019. Vans which don’t meet Euro 6 emissions standards will have to pay a daily charge to travel within the ULEZ.
Initially, the ULEZ will cover the same area as the Congestion Charge.
Vans entering the ULEZ from 8 April 2019 onwards will need to meet Euro 6 emissions standard or face a £12.50 daily charge. This will apply 24/7/365.
Transport for London says that the charge will be applied based on the declared emissions of the van, not its age. Transport for London has provided a ULEZ Vehicle Checker service you can use to look up your vehicle’s Euro emission rating online.
You may also be able to find your van’s emissions listed on its V5C registration document.
What can I do if my van isn’t compliant?
Very little. You can’t modify your van to change its emissions rating. If your van isn’t compliant, you only have three choices:
- Pay the £12.50 daily charge
- Buy a newer van — this scrappage scheme could help
- Rent a van for trips inside the ULEZ
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but even some quite new vans won’t be able to enter the ULEZ from 8 April 2019 without paying the daily charge.
ULEZ will expand to N/S Circular in 2021
From October 2021, the ULEZ will expand to include all areas inside the North and South Cricular roads. Broadly speaking, this includes all of the following areas:
- Westminster, Tower Hamlets, Islington, Hackney, Cmaden, Kensington & Chelsea, Hammersmith, Fulham and Haringey
Plus PARTS of these areas:
- Brent, Barnet, Enfield, Waltham Forest, Redbridge, Newham, Greenwich, Lewisham, Southwark, Lambeth, Wandsworth, Richmond Upon Thames, Hounslow and Ealing.
For van operators who drive regularly in central London, the obvious conclusion from these changes is that the best way to stay ahead of tighter regulations is to get a zero-emision vehicle — an electric van.
If this isn’t practical, perhaps because you also do longer journeys, then I’d suggests short-term leases of 2/3 years or long-term van hire, which is usually available on a rolling one-month contract.
These choices mean you can avoid the risk of being stuck with a van that becomes unviable to operate in your working territory.