London van scrappage scheme: all you need to know

Mayor aims to get pre-Euro 6 diesel vans off the road ahead of ULEZ implementation


London's mayor, Sadiq Khan, has announced a van scrappage scheme for small businesses operating within the capital's forthcoming Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).

The £23 million scheme aims to get the most polluting vans off the road ahead of the ULEZ's implementation on 8 April 2019. After that date, any vehicle (including private cars) that doesn't meet the Euro 4 (petrol) or Euro 6 (diesel) emissions standard will have to pay a daily charge of £12.50 to enter central London.

The ULEZ charge will apply 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will be levied in addition to the London Congestion Charge of £11.50 per day, which applies from 7am to 6pm from Monday to Friday only.

London's van scrappage scheme will initially apply to what the mayor's office calls 'microbusinesses' – those with fewer than 10 employees and vehicles that regularly drive into the ULEZ. The aim is to have it up and running ahead of the ULEZ's start in April.

Exact terms of the scheme have yet to be defined, with a statement from the Mayor's office reading: "The Mayor has asked officials and TfL to work out how the money could be spent most effectively, and further details of the scheme will be available next year."

The Mayor has also called on the government to match his funding in order to open up the scheme to cover private cars and charity vehicles that will be affected by the ULEZ.

It's likely that electric vans will be a popular choice for businesses upgrading their vans through the London van scrappage scheme, although it won't be a specific requirement and any Euro 6-compliant petrol, diesel or hybrid van will most likely be eligible.

Read our guide to the best electric vans you can buy right now, as well our look at electric vans coming soon. We also explain how to charge an electric van and look at whether an electric van could be right for your business.