Viano in London LEZ: warning letter

Dogmatix

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Hello!

I'm new here, sorry if I post this in the wrong section.

I'm an expat Brit living in Germany. I have a Viano 2.2CDI diesel, 8 seats, Euro 4 emission standard (with a German green '4' Umweltzone sticker). I was in the Bromley/Chislehurst area at the beginning of August, and drove within the LEZ a few times, but it was when leaving for Germany that my car was 'caught' on an LEZ camera (I think maybe on the A21 between Frognal Road and Crittals Corner, on the outskirts of the LEZ) and I have received a Warning Letter (in German!).

I have been trying to work out why I have been warned. TfL do not seem to know what vehicle category the Viano is in. It's not a minibus, or a van (in the British sense of the word - maybe in the American sense) - it's car. But it is a diesel weighing around 2000kg, and Euro 4 conformant. I cannot work out, from the TfL LEZ website, if that makes it affected by the LEZ or not. I think not, so I am puzzled why I got the letter.

Can anyone say anything about the status of a UK-registered Viano diesel in the LEZ, and why would a foreign-registered one be any different?

As it happens, though, I am selling this car soon and getting a new V-Class. I will be taking the new car to the UK now and then, and entering the LEZ with it. The V-Class is also an 8-seater, 2000kg diesel, this time conforming to Euro 6. Will I need to register this car? If so, what as?

Thanks in advance for any help on this!
 

Spinal

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Easiest way to check is to call this number: 0845 607 0009

You'll find that your viano is LEZ compliant I believe.

Whether it is a car or not has no real impact, 4x4s are affected, as are car-vans. It's based on year or registration, category and emissions.

I believe that the viano will fall into the van category:
https://www.tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/low-emission-zone/check-if-your-vehicle-is-affected?intcmp=2266
Smaller vans

1.205 tonnes unladen to 3.5 gross vehicle weight.
Registered as new before 1 Jan 2002.

M.

EDIT: The AA seems to be oddly helpful here:
http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/fuels-and-environment/london-low-emissions-zone.html

Non-GB registered vehicles

Cameras read vehicle licence plates as you enter the Low Emission Zone. Unless your vehicle has been registered as exempt, or is shown, according to UK vehicle licencing data, to be exempt, you will be liable to pay the penalty charge.

Motorcaravans and other affected vehicles

If you own a non-GB registered vehicle that meets the required LEZ standards you should register with TFL in advance to avoid having to pay the penalty charge.

If you own a non-GB registered vehicle that does not meet the required LEZ standards you will have to avoid driving within the LEZ or pay the charge. You will have to register your vehicle details before you can pay the charge.

Passenger cars

If you are planning to drive within the area covered by the LEZ it is important that you register your vehicle details in advance with TFL.

Even though passenger cars are not affected by the LEZ, registering your car will ensure that you are not pursued for payment of the penalty charge.
http://www.theaa.com/motoring_advice/fuels-and-environment/london-low-emissions-zone.html

So it looks like you just need to register your car, and they won't chase you... To save you digging through the paperwork, here's the link:
http://www.tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving...d-out-if-you-need-to-register/how-to-register
 
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Dogmatix

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The Viano is just a Vito van with seats ergo it's a van.. IMHO

You could equally well say that a Vito is just a Viano without seats, so it's a car!
 
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Dogmatix

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Thanks, everyone. I have called TfL, and they confirmed that although both my present Viano and my future V-Class are not liable to be charged (being classed as cars conforming to Euro 4 and later 6 standards), as foreign-registered vehicles TfL cannot know this from the numberplate (as they can for UK-registered vehicles), so as you say, I should register my car to avoid problems in future.

I had a look at the registration form - it does not have a tick-box for Euro 6 - they said leave that blank, and also the vehicle category. As long as I send a copy of the Fahrzeugschein (vehicle registration document), they can get all the need off that.

They also confirmed that ALL foreign-registered vehicles of whatever make, engine type, weight or emission standard must be registered, even if apparently exempt from the charge. They are sending warning letters to owners/keepers of ALL such vehicles detected in the Zone.

How must must that cost them in postage?



PS. I meant the A20, not the A21...
 

BTB 500

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The Viano is just a Vito van with seats ergo it's a van.. IMHO

Ah but my Vito is a DPV (dual purpose vehicle), and not a van ;)
 

Spinal

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My understanding is thus:

Car: under 1.2 tonnes 2WD
Small Van: over 1.2 tonnes 2WD
Minibus: 9-16 seats
4x4: under 5 tonnes and 4WD

The difference between a car and a van (for the LEZ) being the weight.

I may be wrong...

As for registering a vehicle, I wonder if that will help the police chase up tickets on foreign plated vehicles...

M.
 

Dieselman

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As for registering a vehicle, I wonder if that will help the police chase up tickets on foreign plated vehicles...

M.

I doubt TFL are allowed to give the details they acquire to the Police unless warranted to do so.
 

st13phil

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They also confirmed that ALL foreign-registered vehicles of whatever make, engine type, weight or emission standard must be registered, even if apparently exempt from the charge. They are sending warning letters to owners/keepers of ALL such vehicles detected in the Zone.

How must must that cost them in postage?
Forget the postage costs, where are they getting the address data from? :dk:
 
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Dogmatix

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My understanding is thus:

Car: under 1.2 tonnes 2WD
Small Van: over 1.2 tonnes 2WD
Minibus: 9-16 seats
4x4: under 5 tonnes and 4WD

The difference between a car and a van (for the LEZ) being the weight.
And herein lies the confusion. It is not clear into which category a Viano fits. It has up to 8 seats, so it's not a minibus, and it is clearly not a van in the British sense, as it is not a commercial vehicle. OK, you can take the rear seats out and get loads of Ikea flatpacks in, but that doesn't make it a van.

TfL should specify clearly where a 2WD car over 1.2t with up to 8 seats fits. There are plenty of such vehicles about.

As for registering a vehicle, I wonder if that will help the police chase up tickets on foreign plated vehicles...
Since TfL can get foreign vehicle registration authorities to give them owner's addresses, surely the police could.
 

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