New London van regulations could mean extra charges

JonathanNovember 30, 2011

Van drivers who use their vehicles in and around the city of London may want to look at the possibility of van leasing to ensure they can stay up to date with new environmental regulations.

It is just over a month until drivers in the capital become subjected to the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) and many motorists are not fully prepared for the changes, new research has found.

A study by the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) revealed that at the culmination of 2010 there were 3.57 million vans in the UK, but 31.1 per cent of them would not meet the new environmental criteria.

Perhaps more surprising is that 37 per cent of vans registered in London do not meet the standards required.

The new legislation, which comes into effect on January 3rd, aims to move the UK in line with Euro 3 emission standards. Any driver of a large van, minibus or other specialist diesel vehicle that is over ten years old will need to pay a charge when entering the LEZ.

Motorists with older models could find other benefits of joining a van leasing scheme.

“It’s not only emissions that improve when owners and operators upgrade, fuel efficiency also gets better, returning real-world benefits on top of the LEZ savings,” said SMMT chief executive Paul Everitt.

He expects an increased demand for newer, more fuel efficient and environmentally-friendly vans in this last quarter of 2011 even though the commercial vehicles sector is already performing better than last year.

The LEZ was first introduced to London in 2008 and encompasses most of the urban region surrounding the city, 24 hours a day and 365 days of the year.

According to Transport for London, the most recent changes will make many larger vans subject to the charge for the first time.

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