If you already own a motorhome, you no doubt have already heard about the imminent LEZ legislation for the London area. But if you’re new to motorhoming and about to buy your first (used) van, you need to get clued up to pay the right price for your van and to get a LEZ-compliant van if that’s important to you.
Here are some key facts:
- Don’t assume the LEZ zone is just central London – in fact it’s almost the whole of the area inside the M25.
- Don’t assume it’s something like the London congestion charge. The daily charge for a motorhome is £100 – and that’s per day, not per 24 hour period. Enter in the evening and leave the next morning, that’ll be £200. Enter the LEZ zone in a non-compliant vehicle without paying the charge, and you risk a £500 fine, reduced to £250 if you pay up within 2 weeks. Stay in the zone for multiple days, and you’ll get multiple whopping fines.
- It will cost at least £3000 to make your van compliant by having a particulate filter fitted.
You can check your motorhome’s compliance online here: TfL LEZ Compliance Checker
The fact that motorhomes typically last for years in very good nick means there are an awful lot of non-compliant vans out there.
To my mind, it also means there’s room for negotiation on price for non-compliant vans. Especially those registered in 2001 (like mine ), which are the last of the non-compliant vans. Buying a 2002 or 2003 van for not that much more could mean the difference between compliance and non-compliance. If you’re buying a 2001-2002 van, this is a good bargaining tool to get a good deal when you find your dream van, regardless of whether you intend to fit a filter and get compliant in the end.
There’s no get-out clause for van owners who live in the zone, and keep their vans at home, so there are currently loads of people who are faced with two choices – fork out several grand to get compliant, or sell their van. Again, motorhome owners desperate to sell means that there are bargains out there if LEZ compliance isn’t critical to you. If you never want or need to go inside the M25, then hunt out those keen sellers and drive a hard bargain.