Diesel vans- congestion charge & euro requirement


My fiancé’s van got smashed into just before Christmas & the driver drove off. (That was good of him!).
So now he is looking into replacing it ASAP as he needs it for work. As it’s a write off.
However I know there are meant to be changes to congestion charge on diesels that is coming into place and also the Euro type required.
Does anyone know a bit more as obviously we don’t want to get something that’s going to be charged by the day for where we live SE23. Or buy something that’s cheaper & more affordable, as it’s older and need to change it soon.
Any advice from people more in the know on this subject, would be appreciated! Van type he is looking for is a Caddy or Transporter, (Volkswagen)


If he’s buying Diesel then the engine must be Euro 6. If it’s petrol then it has to be at least Euro 4.


Thank you Ross!
Do you know if older vehicles can be altered to conform to euro 6 or is a case of getting a 2016/2017 and onwards van as that seems to be when some of them state euro 6?


Hi Clair. I don’t know for certain but the changes required cannot be retrofitted by the owner. The Euro 6 standard will have been verified at European level at the design point and requires a lot loved level of emissions and filtration. Even if it is possible to get a vehicle retrofitted you would then have to get the dvla to recognise the changes and reflect them in the database so the automatic number plate recognition didn’t auto charge.

In short it isn’t worth it.

However commercial vehicles I believe are exempt (madness and totally missing the point if you ask me) so as long as the van he chooses is classed as a commercial vehicle he should be ok.


Far better guidance than my rambling here

In short it’s going to be a new van I suspect :confused:


Thank you, will check your link!
Much appreciated!


Have you considered leasing a van.

I used to lease a car for about £200 a month. That covered insurance, road tax, repairs and maintenance. I only paid for the petrol.


Hi Sherwood,
Thank you!
We are looking into that as well, rough cost between £248 & £352 a month. but downside is being forever worried something happening to it and it’s not yours.
Also being self employed and having peace of mind you can always cover payment each month.
Whereas if you buy something it yours and paid for & you have no worry about the above.
Although good point is you keep up with road requirements & can get a newer van every 3 years if need be.

Also @Cpw1978 Thanks for a very helpful document you posted. Made a lot of things clearer.


Is that true?

The current 2019 ULEZ definitely includes commercial vehicles according to this link:

I couldn’t find anything [as to whether commercial vehicles are exempt from] the future expanded zone however.


It stated that the ULEZ will expand boundaries to the north & south circular in 2021.


Sure, but my question was if there is confirmation that commercial vehicles will be exempt. I see how this point could be missed from my post, so if ok I will try to edit and clarify.


Ok, @ForestHull I didn’t mean to cause anyone extra homework. But good if you can work it out.
It’s just seems to be confusing & frustrating as we need to sort a van ASAP.
But seemed that when the ULEZ comes in a lot of vehicles will be affected even motorbikes.
Whereas the LEZ just seems to affect big vans and large vehicles at present.


Unless you managed to buy a van that was registered before 1/1/1973, then you will get caught by the ULEZ when it comes into force around here in 2021. There are a couple of exemptions for certain commercial vehicles (taxis, cranes and the such like) but nothing that would apply here.

In fact, the mayors office has just announced a scrapage scheme aimed at helping micro businesses convert to ULEZ compliant vans - I don’t really know the full details, so no idea if it’s of any actual use or just some political hot air.


Hi SE23 Life reply posters.

Would just like to say ‘Thank You!’ for your handy replies, it helped our knowledge of the Euro requirements immensely!
We have bought a lovely Caddy van, although will have to change once ULEZ comes to South Circular in 2021. But at least my fiancé is starting 2019 with a much needed van for work & debt free.
Happy New Year & if anyone needs any home improvement work done he has wheels to get to you :joy::blush:.

Much appreciated
Clair :slight_smile: