London’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) is set to become more stringent. A wider scope of commercial vehicles will be covered by the rules of the LEZ, with the SMMT suggesting that 30% of vans on UK roads could be affected.
Businesses already struggling to manage spiralling transportation costs could be hit by the new charges, starting at £100 a day when driving within the M25, if their commercial vehicles are more than 10 years old. Europcar, the leader in car hire services in Europe, is therefore urging businesses to think about van hire as a cost-effective alternative, rather than using their own older vehicles when coming into the LEZ. With van hire from Europcar starting at just £19 a day for a broad choice of van types and the flexibility to hire by the hour, it could provide a crucial lifeline.
“The new tighter emissions standards coming into force on 3rd January 2012 mean that every business operating within Greater London needs to reassess their fleet to ensure they fall within the LEZ guidelines”, explained Ken McCall, Managing Director, Europcar Group UK. “And this could have a very real impact on businesses, at a time when they are already juggling costs. “Not many businesses will want – or necessarily be able to afford - to replace older vehicles in their fleet. That’s why we believe, faced with a charge of £100 per day, or more, if their vehicles don’t comply, van hire is a real alternative. With Europcar van hire starting at £19 a day and just £29 for overnight bookings, we are playing a vital role in helping small businesses keep moving and keep costs down when they drive into London’s LEZ.
“We also offer immense flexibility and choice. With one way hire on vans, a business that needs to make a delivery into London can do so cost-effectively without having to worry about getting the vehicle back to where they picked it up. They can simply drop it off at the nearest convenient Europcar location to their delivery destination. The fact that we offer van hire by the hour is a further advantage for businesses and the choice of vans on our fleet, including Car-derived vans (CDV), Short-Wheel Base (SWB), Long-Wheel Base (LWB), Box and Luton vans as well as minibuses, means we can cater for most business needs.” The LEZ operates 24 hours a day, every day of the year, including weekends and public and Bank Holidays and aims to encourage those driving the most polluting diesel vehicles driving in London, to become cleaner. To avoid the daily charge, vehicle owners need to ensure they meet strict emission standards, which could mean fitting a filter or replacing older vehicles – a solution that many businesses may not be able to afford. Businesses who want to find out more about the LEZ should visit the Tfl website.