It is almost common knowledge that the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ for short) charges are in effect. 

With plans to expand ULEZ even further, now is the time to ensure your vehicle conforms to ULEZ standards. If it doesn’t, you are liable to a daily fee and fines if you do not pay. 

For many of London’s road users, this has prompted them to consider purchasing a new vehicle. 

We’ve put together this short and simple guide for those looking to buy a van. This guide will talk you through what matters in terms of ULEZ compliance. 

You can also use the handy ULEZ checker.

What are the ULEZ standards for vans? 

This information applies to vans that come under the following specifications: 

  • Smaller vans weighing up to 1.205 tonnes (unladen)
  • Bigger vans (4×4 utility, motorised horse boxes etc.) weighing over 1.205 (again, unladen) up to 3.5 tonnes gross 
  • Motor caravans and ambulances between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes
  • Mini Buses with more than 8 passenger seats weighing under 5 tonnes 

For vehicles within these classifications, ULEZ charges apply if they fall below the Euro minimum standards: 

Petrol vans: Euro 4 

Diesel vans: Euro 6 

Anything outside of this is liable for ULEZ charges (£12.50 per day and £160 penalty for non-payment). 

So what do the Euro minimum standards mean? 

Transport for London have stated that petrol vans meeting Euro 4 emission standards and diesel vans meeting Euro 6 standards will not be chargeable under ULEZ. 

But, what does this mean? Well, the classifications are based on a number of harmful emissions a van can produce. 

Of particular note: 

  • Nitrogen oxides (more commonly known as NOx)
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Particulate matter
  • Carbon Monoxide (CO)

So, a van in the Euro 4 category produces less than the following: 

1 gram of CO emissions per Kilometre

0.10 grams of HC emissions  per Kilometre

0.08grams of NOx  emissions per Kilometre

And, a van in the Euro 6 bracket would produce less than: 

0.50 grams of CO/KM

0.08g NOx/KM

0.005g Particulate matter/KM

Quick tips for purchasing a van

As a rule of thumb, ensure where you can that you are buying new. This is by far the easiest way to ensure you’re not paying out for the ULEZ. 

Some other factors to consider: 

If your van was registered before 2016 and is diesel, it is highly likely you will pay ULEZ charges. 

If your van is petrol and was registered before 2006, it is also likely to be liable to ULEZ charges. 

Therefore, buy vans registered after these dates. Look out for documentation stating their Euro emissions standards (ask the seller/dealer for this information if it isn’t immediately obvious). 

As with cars, there could be financial help available through London’s scrappage scheme, see here for more information. 

If in doubt, check the registration out. 

We would highly recommend running the vehicle’s details through the simple ULEZ checker to make sure you don’t get caught out. 


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