ULEZ van checker - Will you have to pay the low emissions charge?

Honest John's Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) tool allows you to check that your vehicle conforms to ULEZ standards. If your van meets the standards, you'll be able to travel in the ULEZ without paying the charge. The Euro 6 emissions standard for diesel vans, which determines if you pay the ULEZ, was introduced on new vans sold from September 2016.

What is the Ultra Low Emissions Zone? 

The Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) was introduced on 8 April 2019 and is the first major clean air initiative to be launched in the UK. The zone covers all areas inside the North and South Circular roads in London. 

It means if you own a high-polluting van (one that doesn't comply to Euro 6 emissions standard) and enter the ULEZ, you'll be subject to a £12.50 daily charge on top of the existing Congestion Charge. Soon, the ULEZ will expand to cover every part of London within the North and South Circular road. 

The ULEZ operates from 00:01 until midnight everyday so if you're caught driving at 00:01 the following day, you'll be subject to paying the charge twice. The only day this doesn't apply is Christmas day. 

The ULEZ aims to combat a tide of premature deaths in the capital that have been linked to poor air quality.

ULEZ - Check your vehicle

Use our ULEZ checker to find out if your van or pick-up is subject to ULEZ charges. Simply enter your vehicle registration (number plate) into the Honest John ULEZ checker to see if you will have to pay to enter the London Ultra Low Emission Zone.

Is your vehicle subject to the ULEZ?

Please note: Vehicle data for the ULEZ checker is sourced from Transport for London (TfL) and ULEZ standards are based on the declared emissions of the vehicle and not the age.

What does the ULEZ cover?

The Ultra Low Emissions Zone currently shares its boundary with the Congestion Charge Zone, however on the 25 October its border expanded to include every London borough within the North and South Circular roads. 

Ulez -map -lightbox

Which vans and pick-ups are exempt from ULEZ fees

The Ultra Low Emissions Zone standards are based on the declared emissions of the vehicle and not the age. This means some older vans and pick-ups, with exceptionally low emissions for particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxides (NOx), will be exempt from ULEZ charging.

Most diesel vans that are older than four years (that do not meet Euro6 emission limits) will have to pay the ULEZ fee. The majority of petrols older than 13 years will also be charged.

Vehicle owners should be able to see the declared Euro emission rating on the V5C (logbook) in section D2. 


Emissions standard

Age of vehicle

Diesel Euro 6 Registered after September 2015
Petrol Euro 4 Registered after 2005

How do I pay the fee, and what happens if I forget? 

You can pay the £12.50 fee online, over the phone or via the TfL smartphone app. Drivers can also register for an auto pay service, but this has a £10 admin fee. If the van doesn’t meet the ULEZ standards, and the daily charge is not paid, a penalty charge of £160 will be issued to the registered keeper of the van. This will be reduced to £80 if paid within 14 days.

The Congestion Charge remains separate and is in force in central London from 7am to 10pm, everyday except 25 December (Christmas Day). 

How will Transport for London know if I’ve paid or not?

Like the Congestion Charge, the ULEZ is monitored with ANPR (automatic numberplate recognition) cameras. Each time you enter and leave the zone, it is logged.

ULEZ discounts

There are some exemptions from paying the Ultra Low Emissions Zone charge. Vehicles that fall under the disabled tax class have until October 2025 to update their vehicles to be Euro 6 compliant and charities have been given until October 2023. 

How do the ULEZ rules affect Taxis?

Since January 2018, all taxis presented for licensing for the first time in London need to be zero emission capable and emit no more than 50g/km CO2, with a minimum 30 mile zero emission range. This means new diesels no longer qualify for a licence.

Transport for London and the Government have a grant in place to help taxi drivers buy a new, cleaner vehicle. The grant will pay 20 per cent towards the purchase price, up to a maximum of £7500. The grant is deducted from the price of the vehicle at the point of sale by the dealership. 

Claim up to £6000 under the ULEZ scrappage scheme

The ULEZ scrappage scheme allows small businesses to apply for a grant to scrap up to three vans and switch to a newer, cleaner vehicles. Charities can also claim the grant when they scrap up to three minibuses. 

Option 1: £3500 grant for frequent users of the Congestion Charging Zone

To qualify: The vehicle must be a pre-Euro6 small van or charity-owned minibus that does not meet the ULEZ rules. It must also have been driven within the Congestion Charge Zone a minimum of 52 times over the past six months - TfL will confirm this by checking the vehicles payment history within the Congestion Zone.

Option 2: £3500 grant for purchase/lease of Euro6 van or minibus

To qualify: The small van or charity-owned minibus must not meet ULEZ standards and be replaced with a Euro6 van/minibus.

Option 3: £6000 contribution towards purchase and running costs of an electric vehicle

To qualify: Scrapped vehicle must not meet ULEZ standards and be replaced with an electric van or minibus. Grant payment is made up of £3500 for scrappage, plus a £2500 contribution towards running costs (including insurance) of a replacement electric vehicle(s).


To claim any of the TfL grants, the scrapped van or minibus must have been registered to the organisation for more than 12 months before 22 February 2019. It must also be insured for business use, have valid road tax with MoT and be scrapped at an approved Transport for London facility.

Small businesses/charities must also be able to prove they are registered at an address in a borough or the City of London. Businesses must have 10 or less employees and be VAT registered or logged as an active company with Companies House. Similarly, charities must be registered as active with the Charity Commission.

Ask HJ

How can a Euro5 diesel van be ULEZ compliant?

I'm considering buying a 2016 Renault Trafic S127 Energy dCi panel van (66 Plate) and have checked online with Transport for London's ULEZ Checker and it seems to be compliant. The problem is that I understand the van has a Euro5 engine (not Euro6) which has worried me in case I discover long-term that it's not compliant at all. Can you shed light on why this particular model is 'ULEZ friendly" even though it has a Euro5 engine?
The ULEZ rules are based on the declared emissions of the vehicle, rather than the age. However, with the ULEZ due to be expanded to the north and south circular in 2021 and drivers being charged £12.50 (on top of the Congestion Charge), you’re right to be concerned. Given you’re in the market for a 2016 van, I’d strongly recommend choosing a Euro6 model (that was registered after September 2016). It won’t cost you a great deal more to purchase but will provide peace of mind and protect you from any future changes in TfL’s emission rules. For more information on the ULEZ (and to check if a van has to pay or not) see: https://vans.honestjohn.co.uk/ulez-van-checker-will-you-have-to-pay-the-low-emissions-charge/
Answered by Dan Powell
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Ask HJ

Do I need to get a new van to comply with Euro6?

I am trying to understand the whole discussion about ULEZ and Euro 6. I currently drive an LDV 400 Convoy TD with side windows and three seats. Now I understand that whether I like it or not I must replace my van. I am disabled and need a similar van to continue to enjoy as much independence as I can. I am desperately looking around for a second hand Ford Transit 350 with side windows and three seats. I have considered looking at minibuses and removing all the passenger rear seats. I only drive 3000 miles a year. Should I ditch the purchasing of a diesel van and not worry about a Euro6 and go for a petrol one instead? Based on my annual mileage would a petrol Ford Transit 350 be 'as economical to run' as an equivalent diesel?
The first thing I would point out is that you don't necessarily have to get rid of your van. You can still use it in London but will have to pay a daily fee to do so. If you don't use your van every day - and can afford the £12.50 charge - you might be better sticking with what you've got rather than paying thousands for a new one. Otherwise you'll need to swap it for something with a petrol engine as your annual mileage is not enough for a modern diesel. You could consider a petrol, window version of the Berlingo (it has three seats in the front): https://vans.honestjohn.co.uk/van-reviews/citroen/berlingo-2008/ Or its sister van, the petrol Peugeot Partner: https://vans.honestjohn.co.uk/van-reviews/peugeot/partner-2008/
Answered by Dan Powell
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