Written by David Hort ▼

1m van drivers face London lockout

1m van drivers face London lockout

More than one million van drivers will be forced to pay £100 per day if they wish to travel in the London Emission Zone (LEZ), from 3 January 2012.

Any van whose engine fails to meet Euro Three emissions standards will be eligible to pay the fine and will generally be around ten years old and include vans, minibuses and diesel vehicles that have been registered since January 2002.

Euro emissions standards are becoming stricter and whilst most engines are Euro Five compliant now, any car registered ten or more years ago is likely to fall foul of the emissions standards which are designed to reduce the amount of NOx and particulates that are spouted into the environment.

Of the 3.57 million vans on the road, 31.1 per cent – more than 1.1 million - are expected to be affected by the changes come January.

That national average soars to 37 per cent in the capital which means 85,000 London-based vehicles will have to pay the daily LEZ charge unless they change their van to something with less harmful emissions and particulates or buy a Transport for London (TfL) emission filter for £1,500.

It seems the imminent changes in LEZ eligibility and exemption has forced an increase in commercial vehicle sales in 2011, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) chief executive, Paul Everitt.

"SMMT anticipates a slight rise in commercial vehicle registrations in this last quarter of 2011 as owners and operators buy-into more efficient, compliant vehicles," said Everitt.

“The CV market has been strong all year and is up 20% for the year-to-date. It's clear that those businesses and individuals running vans and trucks in the capital have already begun to renew their vehicles and we'll be watching with interest how the market performs over the next few months."

Licensed taxis have been forced to meet the strict Euro Three emission standards since the end of June 2008.

To see whether your vehicle will face the LEZ charge, follow the link.