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Scrappage Scheme for London ULEZ Expansion

electric van with charger

What is the London ULEZ?

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is an area of central London which limits the type of vehicle allowed to travel through it. Any vehicles that enter the zone and do not comply with the emissions rules must pay a daily charge.

For vans and light commercial vehicles, the minimum emissions standards are Euro 4 for petrol engines, and Euro 6 for diesel.

Electric vehicles do not pay an emissions charge for travelling through the ULEZ.

The ULEZ is active 24 hours a day, every day of the year except Christmas Day.

All emissions charges paid into the scheme are reinvested in London’s transport network, improving public transport across the capital.

Why does London have a ULEZ

Air pollution increases the risk of cancer, asthma, lung disease, and other illnesses.

As much of the air pollution comes from nitrogen dioxide from vehicle emissions, an Ultra Low Emissions Zone was established with the aim of reducing the nitrogen dioxide in the air.

Since the beginning of the ULEZ in 2017, the amount of nitrogen dioxide pollution in central London has halved.

Part of the reason for the ULEZ is to encourage people to walk, cycle, and use public transport more often. London has several public transport options available, and money from the ULEZ charges is being put into expanding bus routes to help further.

When was the London ULEZ established?

The first iteration of the pollution charges in London was known as the T-charge, which was a £10 toxicity charge levied on vehicles in Central London. This was launched in October 2017 and was an additional charge to the £11.50 congestion charge.

In 2019, the T-Charge was replaced by the ULEZ, which operated 24/7 and altered some of the charges for various vehicles. It resulted in a 20% drop in emissions, which encouraged expansion. In 2021, the ULEZ was expanded to the North and South Circular, which affects over 3.8 million residents and workers.

In 2017, when the first emissions charges came into effect, only 39% of vehicles that used the zone met the emissions rules. Now, in 2023, over 94% of all vehicles travelling through the ULEZ meet the required standards.


Is the London ULEZ expanding?

On 29 Aug 2023, the ULEZ will expand to cover all London boroughs.

While this may cause short-term issues with London residents who may not meet the emissions standards, the long-term effect on the air quality across London is expected to be substantial.

How is my vehicle recorded in the ULEZ?

Transport for London (TfL) uses an automatic number plate recognition system with cameras set up to detect vehicles as they enter the zone. The system then checks the DVLA database to see if the vehicle emissions require a charge. This is then billed to the owner.

What happens if I don’t pay the ULEZ charge?

Failure to pay will result in a fine of £160, which can be reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days.

Enter your registration to find out if your vehicle meets ULEZ standards.

What is the ULEZ Scrappage Scheme?

The Mayor of London has launched a £110million scrappage scheme to prepare for the ULEZ expansion in August 2023.

Successful applicants to the scheme will receive a grant payment if they scrap or retrofit vehicles that do not meet the emissions standards.

While a large part of the scheme is directed at residents of the new ULEZ area to upgrade their cars, it also applies to sole traders and businesses with 10 employees or fewer.

Can I use the scrappage scheme to get a new van for my business?

It is possible. Sole traders and microbusinesses with registered addresses in London may qualify for the grant. If you have a van that does not meet the ULEZ criteria, and you are based in London, you should apply for the grant.

The grant payment ranges from £5,000 to £9,500 depending on circumstances and application criteria.

What if I don’t qualify for the scrappage scheme?

If you are based in the new ULEZ but do not qualify for the scrappage scheme, you will still need to upgrade your old vehicle to avoid paying the daily charge.

In this case, you will have to source a new vehicle yourself. This can be done a number of ways, from purchase to lease.

With regards to light commercial vehicles, we recommend a new van lease to ensure your replacement vehicle meets the emissions standards for the ULEZ.

Which Vans Qualify?

Most modern vans meet the criteria for driving in the ULEZ. Vans with Euro6 diesel engines and battery electric vans both meet the criteria and will not be charged for driving in the ULEZ.

Vans with engines older than Euro6 will not meet the emissions requirements and will be charged the daily ULEZ fee while in the zone.

Van Ninja Stock

All diesel vans supplied by Van Ninja are brand new vehicles with Euro6 engines.

Van Ninja also supplies electric van leasing.

Either option complies with the ULEZ rules so will not be charged for entering the zone.

If you are not sure if your vehicle meets ULEZ standards, Van Ninja can help. Call 0330 122 0102 to speak to an expert today.