Whilst London is known for its rich history, iconic landmarks, and vibrant culture, it is also notorious for its air pollution. To combat this issue and improve air quality, the city has implemented the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). This zone, first introduced in April 2019, has significant implications for drivers, especially those operating vans and minibuses. As of the 29th of August 2023, the ULEZ will cover all London boroughs, making it time to understand how the rules affect driving in the city.
Understanding the ULEZ
The ULEZ applies stricter emission standards in order to reduce exhaust emissions from vehicles and improve air quality. It is crucial to comprehend the rules and boundaries of the ULEZ to avoid penalties and navigate the zone effectively. The ULEZ operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year, including weekends and public holidays.
What are the vehicle emission standards?
To drive within the ULEZ without incurring charges, vehicles must meet certain emission standards. The following guidelines are essential to know:
- Petrol vehicles (cars, vans, minibuses, and motorhomes) must meet the Euro 4 standards (typically those registered from January 2006 onwards).
- Diesel vehicles (cars, vans, minibuses, and motorhomes) must meet the Euro 6 standards (typically those registered from September 2015 onwards).
What are the implications for vans and minibuses?
If your van or minibus meets the required emission standards, you can drive within the ULEZ without any charges. Ensure your vehicle is registered and licensed correctly to avoid penalties.
If your van or minibus does not meet the emission standards, you will be subject to a daily ULEZ charge of £12.50 for vans (up to and including 3.5 tonnes). These charges are in addition to the Congestion Charge, if applicable.
Hiring a ULEZ-compliant van or minibus
Because of the charges outlined above, it is important to hire a compliant vehicle if you want your journeys in London to be as compliant as possible. Here are some key points to consider:
- Before finalising a rental, ensure that the vehicle you intend to hire meets the ULEZ emission standards. Most reputable rental companies will provide information about the emission standards of their vehicles, allowing you to make an informed choice. Look for vehicles that adhere to Euro 4 (petrol) or Euro 6 (diesel) standards, depending on your specific requirements.
- Contact various rental companies in London and enquire specifically about their ULEZ-compliant vehicle options. Explain your needs, including the duration of the rental, the number of passengers, and any additional features required.
- Due to the increasing demand for ULEZ-compliant vehicles, it is advisable to make your reservation well in advance. This will give you a better chance of securing the vehicle you need, especially during peak periods or busy travel seasons.
- While ULEZ compliance may be a standard requirement for vehicles in the rental company’s fleet, it is essential to confirm whether there are any additional charges. In some cases, rental companies may include the ULEZ charge within the rental fee, while others may require you to pay the charge separately. Clarify these details before making your reservation to avoid any surprises.
Renting a ULEZ-compliant van or minibus provides a practical and convenient option for those needing temporary access to vehicles within London’s ULEZ zone. At CVS, all the vehicles within our fleet meet the required emissions standards, allowing you to drive confidently throughout London without incurring a fee. To enquire about hiring a van for your journey, give us a call on 020 8808 7236 (Tottenham) or 020 8131 1279 (Enfield).