Auto Trader vans

Skip to contentSkip to footer

How Are Vans Affected By The London ULEZ Expansion?

The London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has steadily expanded to cover all 32 London boroughs (effective from 29th August 2023), and vans that don’t meet emissions standards will continue to be charged a £12.50-per-day penalty to enter the larger zone. Read more about this could impact you and how you could get support here…

Tom Roberts

Words by: Tom Roberts

Published on 8 August 2023 | 0 min read

If you regularly drive a van into London, now is the time to upgrade your van to ensure you can enter the London ULEZ without paying the daily charge. Here’s the good news: there are grants available for van drivers, and they’re surprisingly good.
Let’s take a closer look at the support on offer to upgrade your van to a vehicle that’s a little more ULEZ-ready.

What Grants Are Available For Van Drivers?

There were grants in place, but these have been increased to allow van drivers to scrap or retrofit a non-compliant minibus or van. If you successfully apply for a grant, you can get:
  • £6,000 to retrofit a minibus or van.
  • £7,000 to scrap a van (£9,000 to scrap a minibus).
  • £9,500 to scrap a van and then replace it with an electric van (£11,500 if you do the same with a minibus!).
The full terms and conditions can be found on the Government’s page all about the van and minibus grants available.

Am I Eligible For The Van Grant?

The eligibility for the grants has opened hugely to include most ‘typical’ van users. Here’s a list of the eligible groups:
  • Small businesses with under 50 employees, up to £10.2m turnover or up to £5.1m balance sheet total in the preceding and current financial year, Companies House registration as an active company or VAT registered within the 32 London boroughs or the City of London.
  • Micro businesses with 10 or fewer employees, up to £632,000 turnover or up to £316,000 balance sheet total in the preceding and current financial year, Companies House registration as an active company or VAT registered within the 32 London boroughs or City of London.
  • Sole traders, who must be a self-employed person who owns and operates a business within the 32 London boroughs or the City of London.
  • Charities that are registered with the Charities Commission as active within the 32 London boroughs or the City of London.
The full terms and conditions regarding eligibility can be found on the Governments page all about the van and minibus grants.

How Can The Grants Be Spent?

As you’d expect, there are specific ways to use the grants. The scrappage grants are likely to be the most popular and are encouraging van and minibus drivers to go electric.
If you do accept the scrappage grant, the Government wants you to take on an electric light van (not a hybrid, up to 3.5 tonnes GVW) or an electric minibus (not a hybrid, up to and including 5 tonnes GVW). The new vehicle must be purchased outright or on a hire/lease contract of at least two years duration, and it must be of the same body type (van or minibus) as the vehicle that you scrapped. So, there’s some rules to follow, but if you’ve been looking to make the switch to electric in London, this is a great time to do so.

What Are The Best Electric Vans You Could Upgrade To?

1.Vauxhall Combo Electric (and its rebadged equivalents)

The Vauxhall Combo Electric, Citroen e-Berlingo, Peugeot e-Partner, Fiat Doblo-e and the Toyota Proace City Electric are all identical, apart from some trim and badging differences. The Combo Electric offers a payload of up to 803kg depending on the exact model, and you can tow a braked trailer weighing up to 750kg. It’s powered by a 100kW electric motor, that’s equivalent to 136PS, and a 50kWh battery pack. This gives this van an official Combined cycle range of 175 miles between charges. Combo Electric (and its rebadged equivalents) is an excellent all-round package and has deservedly won a raft of industry awards.
Find a Vauxhall Combo Electric here.

2. Renault Kangoo E-Tech

The newly facelifted Kangoo has received critical acclaim from many independent reviewers and won the coveted International Van of the Year award in 2022. This small van seems to tick all the boxes when it comes to practicality and driveability so, when Renault, which has offered an electric Kangoo for over 10 years, came to market with the all-electric E-Tech, you’d expect it to be pretty good. The 90kW (120HP) electric motor is fuelled by a 44kWh battery, and this gives the van an official Combined cycle range of 186 miles. Performance isn’t too shabby at all, the van sprinting from 0-62mph in just 11.6 seconds and with a top speed of 81mph. It’s a fresh design, it’s got a decent payload of 764kg and it drives well. There’s not much to dislike about the Renault Kangoo E-Tech.
Find a Renault Kangoo E-Tech here.

3. Citroen e-Dispatch

Moving up to medium vans, here’s another van that has some very close relatives. Stellantis brands share the platform amongst themselves (and Toyota), so you’ll notice that the electric versions of the Peugeot Expert, Fiat Scudo, Vauxhall Vivaro and Toyota Proace are very similar to the e-Dispatch. All versions carry a minimum of 1000kg, right up to 1226kg in the M model with a smaller battery pack. The e-Dispatch is fitted with a 136HP electric motor, and the customer has the choice of specifying either a 50kWh battery pack or a 75kWh version. Opt for the larger one and you’ll benefit from an official Combined range between charges of 196 miles. The e-Dispatch has virtually no compromises, a practical loadspace, a huge payload and a decent range.
Find a Citroen e-Dispatch here.

4. Volkswagen ID Buzz Cargo

It’s hard not to include the ID Buzz Cargo in in this list, even if it’s purely on the grounds that it’s one of the very few vans on the road that will turn heads with its combination of retro and futuristic looks. Currently available in a single length (although a longer version is on its way) the van doesn’t excel when it comes to carrying loads. The length offered is 2208mm which isn’t too bad but, the payload of 592kgs falls well short of anything else on this list. A 204PS electric motor provides a 0-62mph time of just 10.2 seconds and provides an impressive 254 miles of range on a full charge. Most will agree that the ID Buzz Cargo is a fabulous looking van, with a high-tech cab and drivetrain, that only very slightly takes a step back on practicality.
Find a Volkswagen ID Buzz Cargo here.

5. Ford E-Transit

Would this list be complete without a Ford? Well, Ford was a little late to the electric van party compared to most manufacturers, but when the first details of the E-Transit large van were announced back in late 2020, many in the van industry were taken aback at what the designers at the blue oval had achieved. Unlike the other vans in this list, the E-Transit is available in a huge number of body styles, almost mirroring what is offered with the diesel Transit. Ford has also taken advantage of the Government’s electric van 4250kg GVM dispensation, allowing drivers to operate a van on a conventional category B licence with a GVM greater than the usual 3500kg restriction. This means that E-Transit can carry loads of up to 1758kg. The vehicle is powered by a 68kWh battery pack and Ford offers a choice of two power outputs from the electric motor - 183hp or a staggering 269hp. The range from a single charge is 196 miles on the Combined test cycle.
As large electric vans go, nothing yet comes close to the E-Transit. It carries loads effortlessly, has an excellent range between charges and performs incredibly well on the road. Find a Ford E-Transit here.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Does ULEZ Mean?

ULEZ is an abbreviation of Ultra Low Emission Zone – it is an area designated as only accessible by vehicles that meet a certain emission standard. For example, an electric vehicle produces no emissions and is allowed free access to a ULEZ. However, the most polluting vehicles are charged a daily charge to enter a ULEZ.

What Is The London ULEZ?

The London ULEZ currently covers a large area of London (within the North and South Circular roads), but from the 29th of August it will expand to cover all 32 London boroughs (basically, the area within the M25). You can view a map of the expanded ULEZ on the Transport For London website.

How Much Does It Cost To Enter The London ULEZ?

If your vehicle meets the London ULEZ emission standard, you can enter without charge. However, if your vehicle does not meet the London ULEZ emission standard you will be charged £12.50 each day you enter the zone.

How Do I Know If My Van Can Enter The London ULEZ?

You can visit the Transport For London website and use the Government’s helpful ‘Check Your Vehicle’ search function.

Send me great Auto Trader offers and the latest vehicle reviews.

By signing up, you agree to receive marketing emails in accordance with our privacy notice. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Follow us on social media