What Are the Best ULEZ Compliant Vans?
If your business operates in central London – and many businesses are – you should already know about the ULEZ (Ultra Low Emission Zone). The Ultra Low Emission Zone was introduced in central London in 2019 in an effort to improve air quality.
While many vans meet the ULEZ emission standard, there is still 1 in 3 vans paying the charge. Is that 1 in 3 your van? You can update your fleet and company vans to Ultra Low Emission Zone vans without making a hole in your budget. Van hire packages can be the solution you need without affecting your company finances too much.
The Ultra Low Emission Zone was introduced with cleaner air as its main purpose. But how much do you have to pay and what are the exceptions? We’ve explained it all in this guide.
When and why was ULEZ created?
In 2019, when it was first introduced, the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) covered central London. Starting with October 2021, the ULEZ was extended to include a wider area surrounded by the North and South Circular roads. There have been recent discussions to expand the ULEZ even more to include Greater London. These discussions took place in the context where the Mayor of London aims to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2030 in London.
The Ultra Low Emission Zone is part of the Air Quality Plan to tackle sources of pollution and improve the air quality in the cities.
Do you use Ultra Low Emission Zone vans?
It’s easy to check if your business uses ULEZ compliant vans. The minimum emission standards are Euro 4 for petrol vehicles and Euro 6 for diesel vehicles.
As a rule of thumb, all new diesel vans sold after September 2016 should meet the Euro 6 standard and all petrol vans registered from January 2006 should meet the Euro 4 Standard.
So, if your diesel van is older than 6 years, you’re most likely required to pay the ULEZ charge.
How much is the ULEZ charge?
If you don’t drive Ultra Low Emission Zone vans, the daily charge amounts to £12.50 and covers a period of 24 hours from midnight to midnight. This charge applies to vans with a gross vehicle mass of 3,500 kg or under. If your transit-sized vans are plated at a greater gross vehicle mass and are not ULEZ compliant vans, that means they fall under the truck category, and you’ll have to pay £100.
If your journey within the Ultra Low Emission Zone is planned, you can pay in advance. You can also pay up to 3 days after your journey.
Failing to pay the ULEZ charge means you’re liable to pay a penalty charge of £160, reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days. If your van exceeds the maximum gross vehicle mass of 3.5 tonnes, the penalty charge can increase up to £1,000.
It’s easy to pay the ULEZ charge on the Tfl website or through the official Tfl Pay app available from both Apple App Store and Google Play Store. Or you can pay by phone at 0343 222 2222 (Tfl call charges apply).
Clean air zones have been implemented in many other cities throughout UK, like Bath, Birmingham, Bristol. There are discussions to introduce a clean air zone in Greater Manchester as well and, possibly, more cities will follow. The rules are very similar to the London ULEZ, but charges may differ. So, stop worrying about ULEZ and clean air zone charges.
Future proof your business with ULEZ compliant vans
There is no way to avoid the daily ULEZ charges if you own older vans. And if your business operates within the ULEZ emission zone daily, you get to pay up to £3,000 per year for a single van.
Vans are easily depreciated assets, so buying Ultra Low Emission Zone vans may not be the best option. But paying a daily ULEZ charge for an old van is also not an option.
Consider hiring ULEZ compliant vans for your business to save on these charges. If your business needs are predictable and long-term, take a look at long-term van hire packages. You’ll get good prices and you’ll also save on maintenance and upkeep costs, as these are usually included in the rental deal.
Electric vans are now highly available and dependable and are a very realistic solution. With the government plans to introduce zero emission zones in the future, electric vans will soon be the best option available.
Here are some of the greatest Ultra Low Emission Zone vans available for hire.
Mercedes Benz eVito
Businesses who operate within cities usually need smaller vans with great payload. This is just one reason why the eVito is a favourite among sole traders and fleet managers.
eVito best features:
- First and foremost, it’s an electric van which makes it one of the ULEZ compliant vans. It’s therefore exempt from ULEZ and congestion charges. This will save you a lot if you operate within these zones.
- It’s a great van for urban businesses and sole traders, allowing a driving range of up to 162 miles.
- Its payload comes in handy too, going up to 807 kg.
- The 66 kWh battery takes about 6 hours to fully charge. Though if you use a rapid DC charger, you’ll have up to 80% battery in 35 minutes.
- Mercedes eVito comes with great safety features even on the standard version. Attention assist, Crosswind assist, reverse camera, and dynamic select to choose the driving mode are just a few of these features.
The best option to start the transition towards electric vans is EV hire. Read our guide on electric van hire to find out more. Use our free tool to compare hire options and choose the best one for your business needs. Ready to make the switch to electric?
Need to regularly drive a larger van through the Ultra Low Emission Zone? The E-transit is one of the best ULEZ compliant vans. The E-Transit is a real competitor to other electric vans. It’s a smooth ride and offers some considerable advantages. The first one being that it’s exempt from ULEZ and congestion charges.
Let’s talk best features:
- It offers a large and spacious interior with lots of storage space and a cargo volume of 15.1 m3.
- If you need higher payload, you’re in luck. The E-transit has a maximum payload of over 1,700 kg.
- It features a range of 100-126 miles, which is enough for urban businesses and sole traders.
- It can charge its battery to full in eight hours at a standard charger or it can charge to 80% in 30 minutes if you can use a fast charger.
- It features some nice safety options, like the Reverse Brake Assist, which can detect pedestrians, cyclists and static objects when reversing. Also, the 360-degree camera gives the driver a bird’s eye view of the surroundings on the 12 inch touchscreen.
Coming back to Mercedes and staying in the large van area, the eSprinter represents some of the most popular Ultra Low Emission Zone vans. If you’re looking for a light and steady van, look into hiring an eSprinter.
So, what are its best features?
- Zero emissions, of course. No ULEZ or congestion charges.
- It may not have a very high payload, but at 731 kg it may be enough. It offers great cargo volume of 11m3.
- The 55 kWh battery offers a range of 81-103 miles.
- It can charge in about 2 hours. Or upgrade to rapid charging and reduce this time to 30 minutes.
- Handy safety features, like any other great Mercedes van. Attention assist and crosswind assist are just two of the more popular ones.