Almost 90% of van drivers could be charged to drive into London, says The Van Insurer

Almost 90% of van drivers in London and South East could be charged more than £5,000 to drive in the capital from 2021, according to insurance comparison website The Van Insurer.

London's ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) is set to be expanded to include the North Circular and South Circular roads in 2021, and vans that don’t meet the new emission standards will face a daily ULEZ charge of £12.50, in addition to the congestion charge, which starts from £10 per day.

Vans that will face the charges are those that do not meet Euro 6 standards (those that are approximately six years or older in 2021), and petrol vans that do not meet Euro 4 standards (roughly the equivalent to being 15 years or older in 2021).

The Van Insurer said the increased charges will impact on tradesmen in London and South East that work in the capital. For example, the average non-compliant van driver, with 21 days holiday per year and working 239 days in London, can expect to pay £5,377.50 per year to drive in the capital.

According to the Federation of Master Builders, the average bricklayer’s salary in the UK is £42,034. The new legislation would therefore reduce their income by around 13%.

Last year, The Van Insurer processed quotes for 24,093 van drivers in London and the South East; 89% (21,415) of the policies quoted for were for non-compliant petrol and diesel models.

Jade Isabelle, commercial director at The Van Insurer, said: “It’s easy to see how, a seemingly small increase can have a huge impact on a van driver’s annual outgoings.

“For our tradesmen customers, their van is an essential tool for their business and the majority clearly fall outside the new compliance standards. 

"However, while many of our quotes are for older vehicles, we’re processing more quotes for compliant vehicles; between 2016 and 2018 we noticed an increase of 8%, in the London and South East, so drivers are getting the message and looking to reduce costs.”

Diesel vans that will be deemed non-compliant under the new rules, made up 87% (20,932) of the policies quoted, with non compliant petrol vans accounting for the remaining 2% (483).

Compliant vans; comprising hybrid, electric and compliant petrol and diesel models, made up the remaining 11% of quotes processed.

The figures for national data follow the same pattern, with 90% (105,813) of quotes processed in 2017 relating to non-compliant vehicles. Similarly, quotes for compliant vehicles increased by 7% between  2016 and 2018. 

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