London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone came into force on April 8th 2019. With the new scheme, a range of standards came into force, and the city’s roads have never looked the same.
For diesel drivers, the most significant changes were presented, and a hefty £12.50 daily charge came into place. Affecting millions of drivers in one hit, ULEZ has had as many positive effects as it has negative.
But should you avoid buying a diesel car? Let’s take a look:
Know your emissions
Want to avoid getting hit by inner-city diesel charges? Well, get to know what the emissions standards are for your vehicle. The EU roled out the Euro 6 standards in September 2015 – meaning that if your car was registered after this date, it is likely that your vehicle meets the emissions standards.
It probably goes without saying that the emissions standards will face an upgrade as the emissions technology leaps further. In an attempt to get the public on board, the government will allow drivers that meet the Euro 6d requirements exempt from the recent road tax increases too. Some of these models are already on the market, such as the Mercedes A-Class.
With the pressure to reduce petrol and diesel vehicles permanently from the UK’s roads, London will be introducing a zero-emissions zone in 2025. This area will continue to expand until 2050, in an attempt to ban all non-compliant vehicles from the capital.
With the likes of Birmingham and Oxford mapping out their plans too, it’s worth getting ahead of the game while you still can.
Practical & cheaper to run
Undeniably, diesel-fuelled vehicles are cheaper to run than their petrol counterparts. If you pull in some miles each year, diesel is more generous with its fuel economy, and the engine will go further too.
For drivers that have larger vehicles or need to tow, diesel-fuelled engines have greater pulling power to get you from A to B. So, should we be hanging up our fuel pipes now?
With zero emissions technology evolving, it won’t be too long before the governments “road to zero” plans are rolled out nationally. So if your vehicle doesn’t meet the requirements, you will be paying the price until you upgrade to the required specs.
Fortunately, it’s not all bad news for diesel drivers when it comes to ULEZ. As long as your vehicle meets the Euro 6 emissions standards, you can avoid paying the ULEZ set fee for now.
So if you are in the market for a new vehicle, check out the emissions standards before making your purchase.
Should I buy a new or used diesel?
As mentioned above, all brand new cars registered after September 2015 comply with the latest Euro 6 regulations. Until at least 2025, there are no plans for diesel-fueled vehicles that meet these standards to be charged.
So if you own a vehicle that only meets the Euro 5 emissions standards or earlier, you will be subject to the ULEZ charges in and around London. When buying a car, it’s worth checking out which emissions category it falls under.
Don’t rely on the manufacturer either! Some only met the standards at the last minute, so some vehicles registered just before September 2015 will not meet the Euro 6 standards.
What does the future look like?
A zero-emissions future can only look one way. With the government announcing a complete ban of new petrol and diesel sales by 2040, along with most hybrid cars too, the roads are set to look very different from what we see today.
The policy itself sounds pretty dramatic! But with the motor industry pulling out all the stops to advance zero-emissions technology, there will be little room for vehicles not to meet the required standards. With more advanced hybrid cars, electric and hydrogen-powered vehicles in the works, there is no point losing sleep over the future of our roads.
If you are set on your current petrol or diesel car, and it manages to make it through to 2040, there are currently no plans to ban petrol and diesel cars entirely. So second-hand vehicles are expected to be unaffected by the changes.
Want a head start into the future? With the advances in technology and the pressure to meet emissions standards going beyond the city, it’s worth knowing what category your vehicle lands in. Diesel cars still serve a much-needed purpose on the UK’s roads. So unless you are willing to upgrade to a zero-emissions vehicle now, why change something that works for now?