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Venson alerts fleets to London ULEZ key facts

With less than a week to go until London’s Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) comes into force across the capital on 8th April 2019 – and with similar regulations planned for other cities and towns – fleets are being urged to take action now to mitigate the impact of the new emissions regulations.

The call comes from Venson Automotive Solutions, which has published a list of London ULEZ key facts for fleets as it warns that preparing for the wide-ranging schemes is not an easy matter but that the cost of the fines involved makes it expedient to take action.

Simon Staton, client management director of Venson Automotive Solutions, said: “Contributing to 40,000 early deaths every year in the UK, air pollution is undoubtedly a crisis which must be tackled as quickly as possible. The difficulty for many fleet operators at this point is the lack of consistency and clarity: local authorities are working independently on their clean air zone plans, each of which will have different launch dates, vehicle restrictions and charges. Even within London the rules are different across boroughs, with some introducing low emission streets, with penalty charge notices for non-compliance. Even for an experienced fleet manager, this lack of commonality is making preparation difficult.”

Staton added: “Any business which owns company vans could be facing a hefty bill to replace them with compliant models or pay the daily rate for entering the clean air zones. At a time when business confidence is low, few can afford to take this investment lightly.

“However, electric vehicles could offer long-term savings for many businesses. The Energy Saving Trust suggests that the new generation of plug-ins cost just £2-£3 to fully charge for a 100-mile range, compared to £9-£13 for a petrol or diesel. There are a number of pure electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles available on the market which will be exempt from the London Congestion Charge and will also be able to drive in clean air zones without paying any charges, making them the smarter, future-proof choice for businesses running fleets.”

Key details for fleets:

  • ULEZ launches 8th April, covering a similar area to the Congestion Charge zone
  • ULEZ, and future clean air zones, will be operational 24/7, 365 days a year
  • Other schemes across the UK will begin from January 2020
  • Most company cars will be compliant, but figures suggest 80% of vans do not currently meet the forthcoming restrictions
  • Generally, petrol cars registered after 2005 and diesel vans sold from September 2016 will be compliant
  • A ULEZ vehicle compliance checker is available at: https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/ultra-low-emission-zone/vrm-checker-ulez
  • Charges for non-compliant vehicles are £12.50 per day for cars, vans and motorcycles, and £100 for commercial vehicles above 3.5 tonnes, including buses and coaches
  • The London Congestion Charge (£11.50 per day) and Low Emission Zone Charge (£100 or £200 depending on vehicle) will still be applicable, in addition to the ULEZ charge
  • Owners of non-compliant vehicles who fail to pay the relevant charge will be issued with a Penalty Charge Notice of £160 for cars, vans and motorcycles or £1,000 for commercial vehicles above 3.5 tonnes, including buses and coaches
  • The ULEZ will be expanded from 25 October 2021 to the Inner London area bounded by the North and South Circular roads
  • Electric and Plug-in Hybrid Electric vehicles will be exempt from charges in all clean air zones, and grants are available to help businesses save when making the switch. More information at www.venson.com/Media/ViewWhitePaper/33

Written by Natalie Middleton

Natalie has worked as a fleet journalist for 16 years, previously as assistant editor on the former Company Car magazine before joining Fleet World in 2006. Prior to this, she worked on a range of B2B titles, including Insurance Age and Insurance Day. As Business Editor, Natalie ensures the group websites and newsletters are updated with the latest news.

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