Come April 8th a new charge will be levied on drivers coming into central London. A new zone, known as the Ultra Low Emission Zone, or ULEZ for short, will be in operation from the second Monday in April. What is it, who will it affect, and what do you need to do? We answer all your questions here!
What’s the ULEZ about?
Urban air pollution has been an increasing problem for many years now. While there have been plenty of initiatives to reduce it, the reality is that there is an increasing number of vehicles on our congested roads so more does need to be done. To that end, the Mayor of London has brought forward the ULEZ initiative by two years.
At present the Toxicity Charge applies to all vehicles which don’t meet set emissions criteria. The ULEZ will replace this. The Congestion Charge and Low Emission Zone charge (where applicable) will continue to apply though, so you will need to take those into consideration too when deciding whether to drive into central London.
Why do we need it?
The ULEZ is designed to cut down on the harmful nitrogen dioxides and carbon monoxide emissions that come from vehicles, as well as hydrocarbons and particulate matter. The latter is a particular problem with diesel engines as soot is one of the products of combustion from this fuel.
What area will it cover?
As of next month, the ULEZ will apply over the same area as the Congestion Charging Zone and will apply all year round. However, from October 2021 the zone will be extended to cover the North and South Circular Roads as well.
How much it will cost
Costs will vary depending on the vehicle type you are driving into the zone, but the lowest charge for a private vehicle or van is £12.50. The penalty for not paying the charge will be £160 (although this is reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days).
Who will have to pay?
Anyone driving a vehicle that does not comply with the minimum emission standards. However, if you are driving a van that meets the following criteria, you will not need to pay:
Petrol vans: Euro 4. Vehicles that were registered with the DVLA after January 2006 will generally comply.
Diesel vans: Euro 6. These will include vehicles registered after September 2016.
Please note that the age of the vehicle is not what is measured, it is the emissions. So, it may be that your petrol van was registered in 2007 but may not meet the emissions criteria, in which case you will have to pay the charge. Transport for London has an online tool where you can check to see whether your vehicle complies or not.
Are CVS vans compliant?
In short, yes. At CVS Van Hire we have been updating our fleet for a while now. All our vans, for both sale and rent, are ULEZ compliant with the Euro 6 standard. This means that if you buy or hire from us you don’t have to worry about paying the ULEZ charge. Our updated booking system for hired vans also takes into account the Congestion Charge, leaving you with one less thing to worry about.