The world of motoring is constantly evolving, as new exciting technologies continue to emerge. The concept of the electric car is gradually growing as the UK government plans to eliminate diesel and petrol-powered cars by 2040.
In line with this, an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) comes into play in central London. Here, alongside Lookers Ford, we look at what ULEZ is and what it means to motorists.
What does the ULEZ mean for motoring?
The ULEZ will target central London as a notable zone for high levels of air pollution. Currently, air pollution is one of the biggest challenges London is facing. As road transport is the biggest source of the health-damaging emissions in London, the government is tightening its rules regarding traffic.
Whether you can travel in the ULEZ zone or not will depend on your exhaust, as tight standards for emissions will prohibit certain vehicles. Failure to do so will see you needing to pay a daily charge if you want to travel inside the area of the ULEZ. This is set to come into play from 8th April this year, with the area to be expanded from 25th October 2021. This expansion will see the zone include the inner London area. Get your vehicle ready for new emission standards with us, our Ford Servicing will ensure that your exhaust is in tip-top condition.
Will my vehicle be ULEZ ready?
Most peterol car registered after 2005 will meet the ULEZ standard. If you own a diesel car, it’s normally those registered after September 2015 that will be exempt from the charge. If your car doesn’t meet the criteria, you’ll face a £12.50 charge each day. This charge runs every day of the year too.
The regulations will vary slightly for vans, minibuses or specialist vehicles. Minimum emission standards are:
- Petrol: Euro 4
- Diesel: Euro 6
Generally, all petrol models sold from January 2006 will meet these requirements, and diesel vans from September 2016 onwards will also meet the ULEZ standard. Like cars, the daily fee for those which don’t meet the standards is £12.50.
These fines are also applicable to motorbikes and mopeds should their emissions exceed the ULEZ. Generally, motorbikes, or similar vehicles, will reach the required Euro 3 standards if they were registered with the DVLA after July 2007.
A hefty cost can be incurred by lorries, coaches and large vehicles that fall short of the requirements. Any that don’t meet the Euro VI standards (usually those registered before 2014) must pay a daily charge of £100.
Motorists should also be aware that the fine will occur in conjunction with any existing Congestion Charges.
Are there any ULEZ exceptions?
A ‘sunset period’ will be applied for those who live within the proposed ULEZ perimeter. This entitles you to a full discount of the charges, so you have more time to have a vehicle that meets the required standards. This discount will run until 24th October 2021. After this time, residents must pay the full charge.
Drivers within a disabled or disabled passenger tax class will be exempt from the initial ‘sunset period’. Their exemption runs until 26th October 2025, unless their vehicle changes its tax class. Blue Badge holders, however, must pay the charge from its introduction date.
Owners of historic vehicles which are subject to historic vehicle tax are also exempt. This is the case unless the vehicle is used commercially. Agricultural and military vehicles are also exempt, as are certain types of mobile cranes.
These government measures are intrinsically linked to a growing concern of the condition of the planet, with pollution being the root cause. While the ULEZ may be an issue for drivers of older cars, it’s important to remember that it has been designed to help us in our everyday life and is just another step on the government’s drive for a cleaner UK.