London Low Emission Zone

London Low Emission Zone (LEZ)

The revised London Low Emission Zone will see more stringent restrictions brought into effect on the 1st January 2012. This could mean that if your vehicle does not meet the restrictions you could have to pay £100 PER DAY to drive into London. Below is an overview of the scheme and how it may affect you.

What is the LEZ?

The LEZ was introduced in London back in 2008 to help reduce the amount of pollution in the Capital. It was established to encourage the most heavily polluting diesel engine vehicles to become cleaner, thus lowering the amount of particulate matter (smog) and ultimately reducing pollution. Particulate matter is a type of pollution that can contribute to asthma, heart and lung disease, other respiratory illnesses and even early death. Vehicles that were affected tended to be heavy goods vehicles. Although there have been substantial improvements in the quality of London’s air, pollution is still a huge issue.

As of the 1st January 2012, the emissions criteria that diesel vehicles must meet will become more stringent. The change in criteria will mean that more vehicles will become affected and those that are already affected will have to meet tighter emissions standards.

Which area does the zone cover and when does it operate?

The zone covers much of Greater London and a daily charge is levied on any vehicle which does not meet certain emissions standards. The charge operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, including bank holidays. Charging days run from midnight to midnight. So if you were to enter the LEZ in a vehicle that doesn’t meet the required emissions standards at 11:30 pm and exit at 1.00am the next day, you’d need to pay for two days.

Which vehicles will be affected by the changes in January 2012?

From 1 January 2012, larger vans, minibuses and other specialist diesel vehicles will be affected by the London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) for the first time.

It doesn’t matter whether your vehicle is used for commercial or private purposes – it will still need to meet the standards.

Vehicles affected from 1 January 2012

The age and weight of a vehicle indicate the level of emissions it produces.

The table below shows those vehicle types that won’t meet the LEZ emissions standards from 1 January 2012. If you own any of the vehicles listed, you will need to take action before driving within the LEZ, or pay a daily charge.

Vehicle types that won’t meet the LEZ emissions standards in 2012
Vehicle TypeWeightAge
– Larger vans
– Motorised horseboxes
– 4×4 light utility vehicles
– Pick-ups
– Other specialist vehicles
1.205 tonnes unladen kerb weight, to 3.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle WeightVehicles registered as new before 1 January 2002

What emissions standards will my vehicle need to meet?

The London Low Emission Zone emissions standards are based on Euro standards for the emission of particulate matter (PM). PM is very fine particles of soot emitted by vehicles, which have an effect on health. This type of pollution can contribute to asthma, heart and lung disease, other respiratory illnesses and even early death.

As of 1 January 2012, your vehicle will need to meet the Euro 3 standard for particulate matter. The rule of thumb as to whether your vehicle meets the Euro 3 standard is as follows:

If your vehicle was first registered before 1st January 2002 it will not meet the LEZ Euro 3 standard for emissions. There are of course exceptions to this rule as some manufacturers adopted the Euro 3 emissions standard before this date.

To check to see if your vehicle meets the Euro 3 standard, use Transport for London’s vehicle checker by clicking the link below:


What will the charge be for my vehicle if I don’t meet the standard?

The charge for not meeting the new emissions standard will be £100 per day!

What are the options open to you?

Unfortunately, there are very few options available to owners of vehicles that do not meet the emission standards. The most cost effective and quickest way to ensure you meet the emissions regulations is to sell your old van and take on a new vehicle. If it is a standard panel van we have plenty of vehicles available from stock. If it is a vehicle with a conversion such as a chassis cab with a tipper or dropside body or a refrigerated vehicle then the time to act is NOW! Body builders are rapidly filling up their build slots as everyone rushes to meet the new rules by Christmas.

For more information or to discuss your requirements please drop us an email at