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ULEZ Compliant Vans: Check Yours

ULEZ Compliant Vans: Check Yours

A van is not just a method of transport, a van is a vital tool that enables thousands of people in the UK to earn a living.  

Whether that’s for transporting goods, carrying tools or working from, there is one thing in common, if you regularly work in London, you’ll want to be aware of the ULEZ rules to avoid paying expensive ULEZ charges on your van. 

In this blog, we’ll go through the ULEZ rules and conditions, and discuss what makes your van compliant or not.  

What is ULEZ? 

Since August 2023, the Ultra Low Emission Zone comprises every London borough and limits what vehicles can drive freely around the city. If your car or van doesn’t meet the rules, you’ll have to pay a daily charge.  

What is the ULEZ Charge? 

To drive into the ULEZ zone will cost £12.50 per day in a non-compliant vehicle. This charge is applicable every day excluding Christmas Day, and operates on a 24-hour schedule.  

This schedule means that if you enter the zone at 11:45 PM, and leave half an hour later, you will need to pay two ULEZ charges totalling £25.00.  

How Much is the ULEZ Fine? 

If you forget to pay the ULEZ charge and one of the cameras reads your number plate, you will receive a £180 fine. This is reduced by half if paid within 14 days, though. 

To avoid a ULEZ fine, we’d suggest that you sign up for TFL’s auto payment system, where charges are automatically deducted from your payment card any time you enter a zone, meaning you will never be fined for ULEZ or congestion charge zones.  

How do you know if your van is ULEZ-compliant? 

To check if your van is compliant by registration, use TFL’s online checker, by entering the registration number here. 

Compliance is based on the emissions of your vehicle, with the purpose being that more polluting cars are charged whereas low or zero emissions are not, to improve the air quality in the capital. 

The Euro 6 emissions standard is the most recent, introduced in 2015 it mandates any diesel-engined car or van to produce no more than 80mg/km of NOx (Nitrogen Oxides). Petrol-engined vehicles can produce 50mg/km and only need to meet Euro 4 - introduced in 2005. 

As there have been very few full-size petrol vans made in the last 20 years, almost any van made before 2015 will not be compliant. 

Can I Modify My Van to be ULEZ Compliant? 

Yes, quite possibly. The CVRAS (Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme) tests and approves systems to be fitted to older vans to meet the ULEZ rules, and there are a number of systems available for pre-Euro 6 vans.  

To check what's out there for your van, head to the CVRAS website

What ULEZ Compliant Van Should I Buy? 

If your van does not meet the ULEZ criteria, or you're looking for a new van anyway, and want to make sure it's compliant, we’ve compiled a list of vans below, sorted into various categories.  

ULEZ Compliant Small Vans and Car-derived Vans 

Thankfully, as many car-derived vans are available with a petrol engine, there is quite a bit of choice in this category. 

Citroen Nemo 1.4i - £3,995 + VAT 

The Nemo is a reasonably small van, with a respectable load capacity of 610kg and a ULEZ-compliant 1.4-litre petrol engine. They also come as standard with remote central locking, a radio with AUX input and electric windows.  

We found a 2009 one for sale for just £3,995 + VAT, with very low mileage and great service history.  

Fiat Fiorino 1.4 - £4,850 + VAT 

Another small van, the Fiat Fiorino shares its running gear with the Punto of the same age, giving a van that's pretty good on fuel, but most importantly fully ULEZ compliant as it uses a petrol engine rather than diesel.  

For just under £5,000 you can get a 2019 model, with select mod cons, including electric windows and stability control.  

ULEZ Compliant Box Vans and LWB Vans 

Until the early 2000s, the Ford Transit was the first and last name in vans, but there are now multiple options on the market that more than compete on the same level.  

Vauxhall Vivaro 1.6 CDTi - £9,495 No VAT 

The Vivaro shares its mechanical components with the Renault Trafic, and the Nissan Primastar (up to 2016).  Its reliability and dependability are well proven with many vans passing the 300,000-mile mark with relative ease. 

The 1.6 Diesel engine is quite economical too, with 45 MPG being achievable on a motorway run. The load space is as big as the transit; with a low threshold for easier loading by hand. With a load capacity of 1035kg, it can carry plenty too.  

£9,495 gets you a low mileage example - at 69,000 miles - on a 68 plate, so late 2018. A perfect tool for larger loads and tools. 

Ford Transit Custom 2.2 TDCi 290 - £7,495 - No VAT 

A classic on British roads, the Transit redefined the way vans drive, giving much more car-like handling, road holding and interior quality. Whilst other manufacturers copied this formula, the Transit is still considered by many, the van to have. 

The Transit Custom was previously a special edition with side skirts, fog lights and more, but since the introduction of the MK8 Transit, the Custom is the name for the standard SWB low-roof van.  

This example has slightly higher mileage at 123,000 but is only 6 years old on a 2017 plate, and comes with a decent sound system with phone connectivity and electric windows. 

ULEZ-Compliant Flatbed and Tipper Trucks 

Some delivery drivers need a larger or open-backed vehicle, many trades such as landscapers or builders prefer to run tipper trucks to make offloading materials easier too. Thankfully there are some ULEZ-compliant options here too. 

Mercedes Benz Sprinter 314 CDI Tipper - £11,950 

As one of the more common trucks on the market, the Sprinter is well-known as a reliable choice. With the dependable 2.1-litre diesel engine, power is not an issue, and respectable MPG figures can be achieved on a longer run. 

Inside the Sprinter, you will find a modern entertainment system with Bluetooth connectivity and hands-free calling. Many models also come with cruise control and air conditioning.  

Just under £12,000 buys a 2019 model with 120,000 miles, fitted with a 1-tonne steel tipping bed, perfect for machine loading and unloading, aggregate or other heavy materials.  

Ford Transit 350 LWB flatbed - £10,450 

Another vote for the superiority of the Transit, the Transit flatbed offers the best value for money, load-carrying capacity and economy of all flatbed vehicles. The alternatives - mainly Mercedes and Volkswagen - are expensive and have low carrying capacity.  

With the dependable 2.2 diesel engine, the Transit has enough power to move itself and the 1.5-tonne payload. Driver comfort is also well looked after with A/C, Bluetooth connectivity and digital dashboard. 

The truck we found was for sale at  £10,450, with no VAT to pay. This is a good price considering the relatively low mileage of 112,000, thanks to it being a 2016 and of course, it’s also ULEZ compliant. 

If you would like any more info on ULEZ rules, making your older van compliant or general motoring information, check out our blog at bumper.co.

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