As you may or may not have heard, there are new rules coming into affect regarding the London Low Emission Zone. While many of us tax exempt VW drivers won’t be affected there are good deal of Type 25 and T4 drivers that will – especially those who run on diesel. Please note that this affects minibuses, panel vans and camper vans, so make sure you check if your vehicle meets emissions standards so it can be driven within the LEZ without paying a daily charge. If you do drive through an LEZ in your diesel powered Type 24 or T4 you could face a £1000 fine. If you know you need to drive through a zone in advance you can buy a permit that costs £100 a day.

You can spot Low Emission Zones by the signs on the side of the road (pictured below).

Below is an excerpt taken from the LEZ website. It’s quite a lot to take in but the long and the short of it is; vans, buses, campers, pick-ups (single and double cabs) that run on diesel and were registered before 1 Jan 2002 will be non-compliant. You can check if your vehicle meets the standard by entering your registration plate into the vehicle checker or if you would rather you can  use the vehicle type tool.

Start of excerpt:

Which vehicles are affected?

From 3 January 2012, larger vans and minibuses will need to meet the Euro 3 emissions standard for particulate matter and lorries, buses and coaches will need to meet Euro IV.

Larger vans, minibuses & specialist diesel vehicles

From 3 January 2012, larger vans, minibuses and other specialist diesel vehicles will be affected by the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) for the first time. If you own this type of vehicle, it must meet certain emissions standards to be driven within the LEZ without paying a daily charge.

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 3 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 3 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 Type Weight Age
– Larger vans
– Motorised horseboxes
– 4×4 light utility vehicles
– Pick-ups
– Other specialist vehicles
1.205 tonnes unladen, to 3.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Weight Vehicles registered as new before 1 January 2002
– Motor caravans
– Ambulances
2.5 – 3.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Weight Vehicles registered as new before 1 January 2002
– Minibuses (with more than 8 passenger seats) 5 tonnes or less Gross Vehicle Weight Vehicles registered as new before 1 January 2002

Early adopters

Some vehicles registered before this date will also meet the Euro 3 standard as some manufacturers started producing vehicles with engines which met the Euro 3 standard before 1 January 2002. These vehicles are known as ‘early adopters’.



Find out if your vehicle is an early adopter (PDF 141KB)



Why include private vehicles?

These are included because they emit the same levels of pollutants as commercial vehicles. Specifically, motor caravans and ambulances are included because they have similar emissions to vans and minibuses.

Motor caravans are defined as vehicles with living accommodation, comprised of the following as a minimum:

  • Seats and a table
  • Sleeping accommodation (which may be converted from the seats)
  • Cooking and storage facilities, including an onboard or external water container
  • At least one side window

To be classified as a motor caravan this equipment must be rigidly fixed to the living compartment. If you have converted your vehicle to operate as a motor caravan you will need to ensure that it is correctly classified as such by the DVLA.

Some examples of vehicles that might be used for private purposes but are still subject to the LEZ include:

  • Light 4 x 4 utility vehicles, weighing over 1.205 tonnes unladen
  • Pick-ups weighing, over 1.205 tonnes unladen
  • Vehicles with a commercial vehicle body type (for example, vans), weighing over 1.205 tonnes unladen
  • Minibuses with more than eight seats, plus the driver’s seat
  • Motor Homes/Motorised Caravans, weighing over 2.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Weight
  • Ambulances weighing over 2.5 tonnes Gross Vehicle Weight

If your vehicle doesn’t appear in the list above, you can use the weight limit and age (date first registered) as a guide to whether you need to take action, or use our vehicle checker

Light 4×4 utility vehicles

There are many types of light 4×4 utility vehicle. It is their classification (decided by the manufacturer and the European Union) that determines whether they’re affected by the LEZ or not.

Light 4×4 utility vehicles classed as cars are not affected by the LEZ. Those classed as commercial vehicles are subject to the LEZ. This can be found on a VSC registration certificate under ‘Body Type.’

Any vehicle designed to carry goods, or more than nine passengers, is classed as a commercial vehicle, even it’s only used for recreational purposes. These include:

  • All models of pick-up vehicles, including dual cab pick-ups
  • Commercial or ‘panel van’ variants of light utility vehicles (these can be identified by having a goods-carrying capacity in place of seating and metal panels in place of windows)
  • Light utility vehicles that have more than 8 passenger seats

If your light utility vehicle is subject to the LEZ, then you can find out about your options

If you think that your light 4×4 utility vehicle has been classified incorrectly, please register your vehicle with TfL

If you have any queries, please contact us on 0845 607 0009.

What emissions standards will my vehicle need to meet?

The LEZ 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 3 January 2012, your vehicle will need to meet the Euro 3 standard for particulate matter.

How do I know if my vehicle meets the standards?

The quickest way to check if your vehicle meets the current or new standards is to enter your registration plate into our vehicle checker

Alternatively, you can use the vehicle type tool

If your vehicle was registered any time before 1 January 2002, it won’t meet the Euro 3 emissions standards without modification, so you’ll need to take action if you want to drive within the LEZ from 3 January 2012 without paying a daily charge. Find out what your options are

If your vehicle was registered on or after 1 January 2002, it will meet the Euro 3 emissions standards and you can drive within the LEZ without taking any action.


So there you have it. Make sure you check if you will be affected by the new LEZ standards to avoid being fined for non-compliance.

  • Sarah Marshall

    I’ve managed to register my T25 so that I can drive in London.

    I couldn’t find my info online so written a blog post with advice for others.

    ‘How to register a diesel T25 campervan so you can drive in London’s low emission zone’

  • Lawrence Porter

    Is it possible to buy back-issues; I’m particularly interested in the December 2011 issue? If so, what’s the procedure?

    Many thanks

    Lawrence Porter

  • peter cooper

    Is this article saying that a 1680kg T4 1995 won’t pass the LEZ but if it’s retaxed as a camper weighing less than 2500kg it’s exempt?

  • Simon

    Thanks for the useful write up. Very helpful. I reckon there will be a lot of nice T4’s and type 25’s coming up for sale soon!