London Low Emission Zone

At the start of January 2012 there were some changes to the London Low Emission Zone. These changes affect my Hymer motorhome and no doubt affect many of you too. The zone was initially introduced in 2008 and was aimed at larger so-called polluting diesel vehicles. The tightening of these rules now mean I can no longer use my motorhome inside the zone.

London Low Emission Zone – Does it apply to you?

The zone has affected many people including small businesses and the motorhome community. Exemptions were given to some specific groups of vehicles, for example:

  • Agricultural vehicles that spend the majority of their time off-road but may also use roads.
  • Historic vehicles built before 1 January 1973.
  • Vehicles operated by the Ministry of Defence.

There are also a group of vehicles that are eligible for a 100% discount in the charge including:

  • Showman’s vehicles (for example circus and fairground vehicles).

Reading the motorhome press it seems there are a number of unhappy people. The feeling among affected owners is that the groups who are supposed to represent the motorhome community didn’t do enough to try and gain exemptions.  

London Low Emission Zone

The London Low Emission Zone

London Low Emission Zone – Fitting A Diesel Particulate Filter

If you have a vehicle that no longer complies with the Low Emission Zone you have a few options. You could decide to simply avoid the zone. Alternatively you might feel it’s time to sell your vehicle and buy a newer, compliant motorhome. Your third option is to fit a diesel particulate filter to your existing vehicle to make it compliant. The decision for many will largely rest on whether they live inside the zone or regularly visit London.

I briefly considered getting a diesel particulate filter fitted to my Hymer. I was quoted £2000.00 by one company. In the end I decided against it for the following reasons:

  • The filter needs to be tested each year resulting in another annual cost like the MOT.
  • The filters are relatively new and there is little data about how long they might last.
  • The Low Emission Zone rules may be changed again. Will any new rules mean your filter is no longer compliant?

These changes mean I will no longer be able to use campsites like Crystal Palace. I also won’t be able to wild camp at Wimbledon Common or Ealing Common.

Has the London Low Emission Zone impacted on you? If so why not leave a comment, I would be interested to know what you decided to do. To find out if your vehicle is affected visit the Transport for London website.


  1. Jaclyn October 20, 2013
  2. Gary Box October 21, 2013
  3. Tom October 12, 2015
  4. Gary Box October 14, 2015

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