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.
However, I’ve just found that there might be a glimmer of hope for some lucky motorhome owners, thanks to Transport for London updating their database of vehicle information to take into account ‘early adopters’ – vehicles that were Euro 3/Euro 4 compliant before the legal deadline.
For example, I have discovered that my 2001-registered Ford Transit is Euro 3 compliant – I expected it not to be, based on its registration date and my previous use of the TfL Compliance Checker.
Upgraded TfL Compliance Checker
You can now enter your motorhome’s registration number into the Transport For London (TfL) online compliance checker – previously you could only enter its registration date. This means that your specific vehicle model is checked for Euro 3 compliance.
Click here to use the LEZ Compliance Checker
A number of companies have registered as ‘early adopters’ with TfL – meaning that they were producing Euro 3 models before they were legally required to in 2002. TfL now recognises these vehicles automatically in many cases. The UK is not the only country to have had this problem. I now know that I should have a Euro 3 German Umweltplakette - but I was issued a Euro 2 sticker when we visited Germany in 2009.
London LEZ 2012 Rule Changes – Summary
The London Low Emission Zone covers most of the area inside the M25 (but not the M25 itself). Click here for a map.
For anyone who is new to this or would like a reminder, here is a summary of the rule changes coming into force for the London Low Emissions Zone on 3rd January 2012 (this list covers vehicles registered as ‘motor caravans’ only; other requirements apply to vans and minibuses).
Motorhomes with a Gross Vehicle Weight of 2,500kg – 3,500kg
- Must be Euro 3 complaint from 3rd January 2012
- Vehicles registered before 1st January 2002 are assumed not to be compliant
- But… some pre-2002 models are compliant and TfL now has a more sophisticated checking system
For example*, Ford Transit models registered from 1st July 2000, Renault Trafic models registered from 1st September 2001 and Volkswagen Caravelle models registered from 1st March 2001.
Visit the TfL LEZ website for full details (scroll down and look for the link to the list of early adopters).
Motorhomes with a Gross Vehicle Weight over 3,500kg
It’s the same story with motorhomes that have a gross weight of more than 3,500kg. There is a cutoff date, but some (many?) models made just before this might also be compliant. Here are the details:
- Must be Euro 4 compliant from 3rd January 2012
- Vehicles registered before 1st October 2006 are assumed not to be compliant
- But… some earlier models are compliant and TfL has improved its checking system
- A number of ‘early adopter’ companies have registered their early Euro 4 models with TfL. The manufacturers that might apply to large motorhome owners are Iveco, DAF, Volvo, Daimler Chrysler (Mercedes-Benz) and Scania. Iveco in particular supplies the base vehicles for a number of large motorhome models.
Again, visit the TfL LEZ website for full details (scroll down and look for the link to the list of early adopters).
2012 LEZ Changes Still Bad News For Many Motorhomers
Despite the fact that 2001 Transit owners like myself can now celebrate our unexpected LEZ-compliant status, there are still many more motorhomers who will have no choice but to sell their motorhomes or store them outside the LEZ before the 3rd January 2012.
Having a particulate filter kit fitted will not be worth the cost for many owners – nor will the cost of storage outside the LEZ, which means outside the M25. The frustrating part is that most people living in London will only use their motorhomes to get away from London – not to drive around inside the city.
Finally, for those of you who have non-compliant motorhomes and live away from London, it is worth noting that the LEZ includes most areas inside the M25 (click here for a map. The popular Crystal Palace and Lee Valley campsites are both inside the LEZ – so you will not be able to use those as a base for visiting London in a non-compliant motorhome.
*Examples taken from the list of early adopters provided on the Transport for London website