February 6, 2016

London’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) Targets Motorhomes from Jan 2012

LEZIf you live or do business inside the M25, you may have heard of London’s Low Emission Zone. Up until now, it has not affected motorhomes with a gross weight of up to 3.5 tonnes – the vast majority of UK motorhomes. However, on the 3rd January 2012, that will change for vehicles registered before 2002.

Here’s an overview of the current and future rules (all comments apply to diesel-powered motorhomes – petrol/LPG vehicles are treated differently):

Motorhomes With A Gross Weight of Under 2.5t

Motorhomes with a maximum permitted (gross) weight of under 2.5t are currently classified as cars and are exempt from the LEZ. This will continue under the 2012 rules.

Motorhomes With A Gross Weight of 2.5t – 3.5t

First registered before 1st January 2002: Currently compliant. However, from 3rd January 2012, motorhomes registered before 1st January 2002 will not meet the LEZ standards.

First registered after 1st January 2002: You already meet the LEZ standard and will continue to do so under the 2012 rules.

(Somewhat controversially, these rules also apply to motorhome owners who live inside the LEZ.)

Motorhomes With a Gross Weight Of More than 3.5t

First registered before 1st October 2001: Already non-compliant unless modified.

Registered between 1st October 2001 and 30th September 2006: Currently compliant. Will be non-compliant from 3rd January 2012.

First registered on or after 1st October 2006: Compliant now and will continue to be compliant under the 2012 regulations.

What To Do If Your Motorhome Becomes Non-Compliant

If you wish to enter the LEZ with a non-compliant motorhome, you have three choices:

  1. Pay a daily charge. At present, this is £100 for a motorhome up to 3.5t and £200 for a motorhome over 3.5t. Failure to pay this daily charge will result in a fine of £500.
  2. Fit an approved filter to your motorhome to lower its emissions. Once fitted, your motorhome will have to be tested and issued with a Reduced Pollution Certificate (RPC) or a Low Emission Certificate (LEC). Your vehicle will then have to be re-tested every year.
  3. Sell your motorhome and get a newer one…

The Transport for London website has a vehicle checker that will tell you whether your motorhome is compliant now and in the future. This website also has full details of all the rules. (click here to visit the TfL LEZ website)


  1. bill alexander says:

    Disgusted with the whole sorry episode.I live 500 metres inside the zone.Unable to avoid the charges but would never enter the zone if i lived out of the zone.

  2. Dan Murphy says:

    Similar to Bill Alexander i have motorhome and live just inside Zone boundary. Can`t afford to renew so will have to modify exhaust, but where can I get this done? Would like to hear from any one who has done this or has found a firm who can do required mod.

    • @Dan,

      You can find information about exhaust filters and a list of approved fitters on the TFL website here.

      Cheers, Roland

    • Unfortunately I live in the Republic of Haringey, Looks like I am going to have to buy a small crappy car and drive to my Camper which will have to be parked outside the M25 border. Looked into filter for my Van far to expensive and complicated. and from what I hear from America, these have caused damage to diesel engines. I understand lawsuits are rampant out there.
      Anybody fancy a protest drive in London sometime ? Which road does Boris live in ?

      • RONNIE CARLILE says:

        I would with great pleasure drive into london with you!! if everyone done the same we would be herd,I feel they are taking our freedom away,please let me know when your going at least we can protest for a week in comfort! regards ronnie.

        • I heard today, some market traders are hoping to arrange a protest with a drive into London from outside of London lots of van and campers I hope. As soon as I find out the date and details will post.

    • been quoted £ 2000 ish for a 312 sprinter N reg Van
      So cannot visit friends and family,effectively been banned from London
      van had been converted to meet my disabilities and is in mint condition..with ridiculously low miles…
      would have made more sense to have a charge to have your vehicle assessed to see if meets their new emission changes,then take it from there….been told by a top mechanic all this is bollocks..

  3. Dan Murphy says:

    Thanks Roland, will start investigating. cheers Dan

  4. How come i can’t find any Low Emissions zone protests on the Internet
    has Boris Filtered out public opinion as well as particulates?
    I would also like to join a LEZ protest drive.
    PS: If we upgrade our vehicles, how long will it be until we need to upgrade AGAIN to EURO4!!!

  5. As a postscript to this, I’ve just noticed that Renault is offering quite decent discounts on new commercial vehicles sold to buyers inside the LEZ before the 31st March 2012.

    Apparently some other manufacturers are also doing this, too.

    Does anyone have any first-hand experience of the terms of these offers?

  6. amazing that this hasn t been brought to the attention of london tonight program . could really call this another tax on the middle to older age group . i m also about 500 yards inside the zone
    pretty sure a few protests days on the major junctions adjoining the m 25 would be effective .or a steady lap of the m 25 really, shouldnt take this lying down

  7. I live just inside the zone. Ithink we all drive out of London with our motorhomes once or twice a year.. i think a protest is in order .Funny your emission are O K if you pay £100 a day or £500 depending on size.

    • If anyone does organise a protest, I will happily publicise it on this website.


      • Phil Elliott says:

        I may have a few bits of information that you will be interested in regarding the LEZ.
        There is a protest being organised and that may interest many of your members.
        My campaign at this stage involves talks within our industry and TFL, shortly to be taken directly to Boris Johnson. I recently challenged him on LBC with Nick Ferrari and he was unable to suitably answer my questions and gave an on air promise to personally look at my case, he will be held to that as and when I am ready!

        I am involved with a campaign to get the recovery industry the exemption that we should have got years ago.
        I am backed by the RHA and the recovery industry trade representatives.
        Reply to me on either my e-mail or call me direct on 07889 438 878.
        Phil Elliott.

  8. Michael says:

    A protest has been arranged for 6th August 2011 13.00 Houses of Parliament. Lets clog up the area.

  9. Michael says:

    I have to admit I will be going in my Camper. I have just checked on the facebook page low emission zone london (protest) and can’t find the information. Will check around. Although I hope to see lots of vans, more impact I think.


  10. join the protest here: http://www.staymobile.tv/
    I will be there in my van causing congestion
    and noise pollution with my train horn
    I live outside the zone but need to drive inside the M25 for work mabe once a week
    just 2 maybe 4 miles inside ( modified motor repair van) covers 6000miles a year
    I have spent years fending off thieves only to have it stolen by govenment
    i will be signing on as unemployed if they take my van… RIP mobile workshop
    last week i had 8 hours work i wont be buying a new van

  11. Wanderingbee says:

    This has all gone a little quiet, anyone turning up? I am not finding the website very helpful. Should I bring my camper? are we meeting somewhere before hand and then driving in or just turning up?

  12. Michael says:

    I believe people will just be turning up. and from what I hear the protest will be on foot as they want us to bring banners.

    • Wanderingbee says:

      Thanks Michael,

      Any idea of numbers, the website staymobile does not have updated from 74?


      • just been trying to get off a message to the bbc breakfast news since they was on the subject of stealth taxes to the motoris,t think i m to slow though , it would bring the demo to the notice of the motorhome owners,and others


  13. what can you expect from this lot at westminster i own a campervan but it is petrol but i will join you when youir ready do not rely on the lorry drivers they are only for themselves we got rid of red ken and ended up with blonde boris not much change its all about money pur and simple i was born in london and am a true cockney not one left in london now say no more whens the protest del

  14. John Derham says:

    The classification of Motorhomes and Larger Vans is a nonsense. Picking an arbitrary upper weight limit of 3500 KG does not always alter the emission requirements as the same chassis and engine are used on a whole range of vehicles weighing between 2500 – 4000Kg. It should also be noted that Mini-bus’s with the same chassis and engine are exempt from the latest emission requirements up to a GVW of 5000 Kg.
    Surely the only requirement should be confined to the engines Eurocap III compliance.
    Come on Boris – use that little used capacity called common sense. Unfortunately not so common in the Mayors Office.

  15. Louis Boyce says:

    Low Emission Zone regulations

    I support the idea of cleaning the environment air as much as possible, but I feel this proposal could have been handled with more sensitivity.

    Owner of older vehicles which cannot be effectively converted to the these new filters should have been exempt from these regulations, or there should be some form of licensing for this category.

    As you are probably aware there is a requirement for diesel van, over 3.5 tons, to comply with the low emission requirements after the 3rd January, 2012.

    The solution given by Transport for London for someone who has an older van in this category is to fit a filter, (which currently cost around £3500 or more). However, this solution is not valid within the London area as these type of filters require the vehicle to be driven constantly at high revolutions for about 20 minutes before they start operating properly. This is confirmed by the BBC programme Watchdog,


    demonstrating the problem in cars and by discussion with a registered filter installer,

    I have contacted an Transport for London approved diesel particulate filter.

    Below is the name of one of the many listed dealers here in the UK

    Their website http://www.baumot.ch/

    A name of one of their agents who supply and fit these filters.

    JL Engineering Ltd

    7a Rainbow Industrial Estate – Station Approach
    SW20 0JY Raynes Park, London
    Tel: 020 8944 7056


    After contacting the above agents and having had a smoke test from my M.O.T.

    I was advised that it would be a complete waste of my time and money to fit a diesel particulate filter on my motor home

    Driving conditions in London are such that it is almost impossible to run a vehicle in the correct way to start a filter functioning properly. If the filter is not operated in the correct way then it needs to be cleared on a regular basis, at a cost of around £100- £150 a time.

    It is obvious that thousands of vehicles will have the same problem and I would suspect that there will be serious political implications as businesses, charity and school mini-buses and those with motor camper vans are affected by ineffective filters.

    The new regulation will really makes it difficult for me.

    I am a pensioner (on state and pension credit) who bought a Ford Transit van, which I bought quite some time ago with a small legacy from my mother. I had it converted into a mobile home, and registered it as a motor home with the D.V.L.A which I use for holidays and visiting friends. I do not use the van for deliveries, or for constant travelling in the London central area or for anything else than beyond picking up a major shopping.

    I cannot afford to fit an expensive filter, which will not work in London, and consequently cannot afford the regular payment of getting the filter cleaned, which is likely to be needed to be done at least three or four times a year.

    The van was bought many years ago, before the emission regulations were made public and probably before they were made formal regulations.

    The regulations are draconian and seem to be designed to force people like myself into getting rid of their vehicles. In my case I cannot to replace my camper van.

    Retrospective Law

    I note that it is generally accepted that in British Law a person cannot be charged retrospectively charged with an offence – i.e. if a person commits an act, which is subsequently made illegal under legislation passed after the act was committed.

    The punishing aspect of these regulations which seems to be to force people with older diesel vehicles to sell them, without providing them with a special licence for people with vehicles, that cannot be effectively converted, seems to be a retrospective rule. I believe there are some licences for some historical vehicles.

    When I bought my van there was no way that I could reasonably have foreseen that I would not be able to drive it in the London area a few years later.

    Consequences to me

    The loss of my camper van is a loss of my freedom; the loss of my ability to travel; and the loss of the many hundreds £’s and work that I have had done for me to make it into a Motor-Home that I can be proud of.

    Yours sincerely Louis Boyce

    • Louis, Thank you for your detailed comment. I am really sorry to hear that you will have to sell your campervan.

      I had not considered the question of how effectively the aftermarket diesel particulate filters will work in city driving conditions. My understanding is that these filters (which are also fitted to many new cars) will work in the city but they will not regenerate/clean unless they are regularly driven in ‘open road’ driving conditions. There seems to be an agreement that these are not suitable for vehicles used in the city only but they can be used for vehicles that get mixed use – e.g. a motorhome that is driven out of London regularly.

      However, the cost of these filters is certainly too high to be affordable for many older motorhomes (my own included – I am just lucky I have an early, pre-2002 Euro 3 model).

      Regards, Roland

      • Louis Boyce says:

        Hi Roland, Thank you for your reply..
        Further to my other notes…

        If they do not give my Motorhome a examption?

        I will be force to park it outside the LEZ, and each time I need to get to it for a holiday or travel around, I will have to ask one of my son’s to take me there in their car.

        Plus I might be geting a bit of flack from the local residents wherever I happen to park outside their homes? Also there will be a seruity risk with potentiel damage to my Motorhome,, or theft from my motorhome.

        • Hi Louis,

          It doesn’t look like anyone is going to get an exemption (except London taxis…)

          I agree with your comments about parking outside the LEZ. Even where I live, I have had complaints about parking in front of other people’s houses (we have on-street parking only) – and that is only for a few days at a time, as I use my campervan as my everyday vehicle.


  16. Totally ludicrous.

    I own an AutoSleepers Duetto Camper built on a Ford Transit 2.5TDi registered 2000 so a Mk5 model. My son lives just inside the recently extended LEZ so since Jan 2012 I am no longer able to visit them with my van…..which ironically gives a LOWER emission reading than my Focus car (which is ok)! Not to mention the number of 747’s etc flying over their house at the rate of one every minute during peak times. But hey…that’s ok as each plane is bringing in shed loads of cash! Which is what LEZ is really all about. Nothing to do with ‘cleaner air’ which is total BS. It’s all about how to extract more money from people.

  17. alfred hart says:

    I like many am discusted by this charge.I go to germany smetimes and have their emmision sticker that covers ALL german cities cost 12 euros lasts the life of the vehicle.Why cant london see sece

  18. It says there are different rules for Petrol and LPG. I have a TD Diesel reg ’95 Frankia A Class, as a thought instead of wasting money on an expensive and ineffective enforced filter, that may not be suitable for city driving, couldn’t we convert our diesels to LPG??


  1. […] I’ve written about the London LEZ 2012 changes before (and attracted a surprising number of comments), but judging from this article in The Guardian last Saturday, it is still news to many people, including some unfortunate motorhome buyers who are, effectively, being sold duds. […]

  2. […] was written in 2009 and is now out of date regarding London – see my newer posts here and here for current […]

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