The imminent introduction of new emissions standards for vehicles driving in parts of London is boosting the demand for used vans.
Many dealers like Evans Halshaw now sell a wide range of quality used vans which meet the new European requirements and can be driven in the city without a daily charge.
The Low Emission Zone (LEZ) was introduced in parts of Greater London in 2008 to encourage heavy diesel vehicles to take action to reduce their emissions of particulate matter. This is the tiny particles of soot emitted by heavy goods vehicles, which contribute to air pollution and can affect people with asthma, heart and lung disease and other respiratory problems. It is estimated that more than 4,000 premature deaths happen every year as a result of air pollution in the capital.
The level of particulate matter released depends on the weight and size of the vehicle and until now, the restrictions only covered large vehicles, such as buses, coaches and lorries. Drivers of these heavier vehicles already need to meet the Euro 3 standard for emissions to enter the LEZ, but more stringent restrictions are being imposed from next year which mean that larger vehicles will now need to meet the Euro 4 standard.
On January 3 the restrictions will be extended to cover smaller vehicles including vans, minibuses, motorized horseboxes and similar vehicles. The new restrictions cover personal as well as commercial use. These types of vehicles will now need to meet the Euro 3 standard for particulate matter.
The LEZ operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and is enforced through a network of cameras with number plate recognition. You can still enter the LEZ with an older vehicle but you will be charged £100 per day for doing so. If you enter at 10pm one day and don’t leave until 2am you will be charged for two days.
If your business operates in London then you should act now to either upgrade or modify your van before the new restrictions come into force. It is estimated that nearly a third of the 3.57million vans being driven in the UK do not meet the required standards. Vehicles registered after 1 October 2006 are likely to meet the new standards but those registered before that date may require modification. You can check if your current vehicle meets the requirements at the Transport for London’s website.
If you do make modifications to your vehicle, for example fitting a filter in the exhaust, you need to have a certificate and register with the Transport for London before entering the LEZ. It could take up to three months to have this completed.
Brand new vans on the market will meet the required standards, however the costs of purchasing a new vehicle are driving more and more motorists to the used van market. This is particularly cost-effective if you own a fleet of vehicles that need to be upgraded. Upgrading your van now will save you hundreds of pounds in daily charges.