The impact of the Low Emission Zone on larger vans, minibuses and coaches

You will have seen LEZ indicated on many of our vehicles. LEZ stands for Low Emission Zone and these vehicles qualify for the scheme. If you have any questions that you feel we could help you with when looking at our minibuses and transit vans, please do give us a call or email us your details and we can call you back.

Why was the Low Emission Zone introduced?

You may well have read about the negative impact that carbon emissions from vehicles are having not only on the environment but also on people’s health. They can cause lung and heart disease, asthma, other forms of respiratory illnesses and sometimes premature death.

In an effort to reduce the impact of the above, the Low Emission Zone came into force in 2008 and the scheme was last modified in January 2012. Most of Greater London is included in the zone and it is hoped that the air quality can be improved by getting owners of large diesel vehicles that include coaches, lorries, minibuses, larger vans and buses that produce a significant amount of exhaust emissions to clean up these emissions.

Those vehicles that do not meet minimum standards of exhaust emissions will be affected by the scheme if they enter the zone. Upon doing so, they will need to pay a daily charge of between £100 to £200.

What are the emission standards?

The emission standards are based upon European approved standards for soot known as particulate matter (PM) that come out of exhausts. If you own the likes of a large van or minibus, your vehicle will have to comply with the Euro 3 standard for particulate matter (PM). If you own a coach, bus or HGV you will need to comply with Euro 4 standard for particulate matter (PM)

What vehicles are affected?

Diesel vehicles that include the likes of larger vans and minibuses registered prior to 1 January 2002 will not comply with Euro 3 standards of emission unless they have been modified so they would need to be fitted with a filter in the exhaust system as well as obtaining a certificate to confirm that the requirements have been complied with in order to avoid the daily charge.

Such vehicles registered on or after 1 January 2002 will comply with Euro 3 standards of emission meaning that you can drive within the zone and not have to pay the daily charge.

The likes of coaches, buses and HGVs first registered before 1 October 2006 will not meet the Euro 4 standard for particulate matter (PM) and would require a filter fitted to avoid the daily charge. Those vehicles registered from that date would not need modifying.

It is the weight and age of a vehicle that dictates the emission levels. A minibus that has in excess of 8 passenger seats, has a gross vehicle weight of 5 tonnes or less and was first newly registered prior to 1 January 2002 will not comply with the low emission zone emissions standards so would need to have a filter fitted.

Vehicles entering the zone are identified by vehicle number plate recognition using cameras and the system will know if the vehicle should or should not pay the charge.

It should be noted that the Low Emission Zone operates 365 days a year and 24 hours a day, running from midnight to midnight. Therefore, if you entered the zone at 10pm and come out of the zone at 1am you would need to pay two sets of charges.