Planning to visit London by motorhome? - you need to read this!
The London Low Emission Zone (LEZ) commenced on 4 February 2008 and the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) will come into force on 8th April 2019
This is our interpretation of how the LEZ will affect motorhomes - please refer to the Transport for London website here: tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/low-emission-zone for full information on how the LEZ affects all vehicles, and here: tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/ultra-low-emission-zone for details of the ULEZ
What is the LEZ?
The aim of the Low Emission Zone is to improve air quality in London by deterring the most polluting vehicles from being driven in the area.
The vehicles affected are older diesel-engined lorries, buses, coaches, large vans, minibuses and other heavy vehicles that are derived from lorries and vans such as motor caravans and motorised horse boxes.
There was a phased introduction of the scheme through to January 2012. Different vehicles were affected over time and increasingly tougher emissions standards will apply. Cars, motorcycles and small vans are not included in the Low Emission Zone (LEZ).
Where is it?
The Low Emission Zone (LEZ) covers most of Greater London following the Greater London Authority boundary. In some places the LEZ deviates from the Greater London Authority boundary in order to allow for suitable alternative routes and turnaround points.
There is an interactive map and search facility here: tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/low-emission-zone/about-the-lez?intcmp=2263
All roads, including certain motorways, within the LEZ boundary are included within the Zone. The M25 motorway is not included in the LEZ even where it passes within the boundary.
London's two main campsites, at Crystal Palace and Abbey Wood, are both within the LEZ.
What vehicles are affected?
The LEZ applies only to diesel engined vehicles, vehicles constructed before 1st January 1973 are exempt.
The emissions standards for the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) are based on Euro standards. These are European standards which define the limits for exhaust emissions for new vehicles sold in European Union (EU) member states, and which vehicles must comply with when manufactured.
The table below summarises the effect of the LEZ on motorhomes.
Gross vehicle weight
Charge for entering LEZ?
|More than 3.5 tonnes||Before 1 Oct 2006||YES|
|On or after 1 Oct 2006||NO|
|Between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes||Before 1 Jan 2002||YES|
|On or after 1 Jan 2002||NO|
What are the standards?
Up to 2.5 tonnes GVW
Motorhomes with a GVW of 2.5 tonnes or less will be unaffected by the LEZ.
2.5 to 3.5 tonnes GVW
Motorhomes between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes registered as new on or after 1 January 2002 are assumed to be Euro III, so will meet the 2012 LEZ emissions standards.
Over 3.5 tonnes GVW
The required emissions standards for motorhomes over 3.5 tonnes are Euro IV. Vehicles over 3.5 tonnes first registered as new on or after 1 October 2006 are assumed to be Euro IV and so will meet the emissions standards.
Vehicles not meeting the emissions standards could be made to do so by retrofitting particulate filters. There are certain types which are 'approved' and once one has been fitted it must be inspected by the Vehicle Operator Services Agency (VOSA) and receive either a Reduced Pollution Certificate (RPC) or Low Emissions Certificate (LEC) to confirm that a modification appropriate to the engine has been fitted. This inspection is required annually.
What are the charges?
For motorhomes which do not meet the emissions standards required for the vehicle on the day of entry into the LEZ:
£200 per day for motorhomes over 3.5 tonnes.
£100 per day for motorhomes between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes.
How do I pay?
Payment can be made by cheque or using a debit or credit card. The easiest way to pay will be online. You will also be able to phone or write to the contact centre. Next-day payments can be made online or by phone.
Full information on ways to pay is on the TFL website here: tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/low-emission-zone/make-a-payment
What if I don't pay?
If you drive an affected vehicle in the Low Emission Zone (LEZ) that does not meet the required emissions standards, is not exempt or entitled to a 100% discount and you do not pay the daily charge, you may be liable for a penalty charge. This will be issued to the registered keeper of the vehicle.
* Motorhome over 3.5 tonnes: £1000 penalty charge per day. This will be reduced to £500 if paid within 14 calendar days, but increased to £1500 if not paid within 28 calendar days.
* Motorhomes between 2.5 and 3.5 tonnes: £500 penalty charge per day. This will be reduced to £250 if paid within 14 calendar days, but increased to £750 if not paid within 28 calendar days.
* A penalty charge may be issued if the charge has not been paid by midnight on the next working day after the day of travel, or if an incorrect Vehicle Registration Mark (VRM) or day of travel was supplied when the charge was paid.
What if I am a visitor from abroad?
If your vehicle is affected by the LEZ, and it is not registered in Great Britain you will need to register your vehicle with TfL even if your vehicle's emissions standards meet the LEZ emissions standards. Vehicles registered in Northern Ireland will also need to be registered with TfL. Registration must be done at least 10 working days before entering the LEZ
Details of how to register are here: tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/low-emission-zone/find-out-if-you-need-to-register
(Last update 6/1/2016)