How to choose a ULEZ-compliant campervan for city living

The freedom of vanlife calls many across the UK, but for those living in major cities like London, there’s a new eco-conscious consideration to factor in: ULEZ.

The introduction of ULEZ (Ultra-low emissions zones) in London has significantly reduced harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) by 46% in central London and 21% in inner London as reported by Transport for London. Major cities across the UK are implementing their own similar Clean Air Zones (CAZ) with the same goal to reduce emissions by charging vehicles that don’t meet their standards a fee to drive within the zone.

But what does this mean for your campervan adventures? And how can you ensure your campervan is ULEZ- and CAZ-compliant?

In this blog, we go into the detail of ULEZ, share some of our top picks for compliant vans and look into some of the alternatives if your van doesn’t meet ULEZ-standards.

What is ULEZ and how does it affect campervans?

ULEZ operates 24/7, 364 days a year (excluding Christmas Day) in London. It aims to improve air quality by discouraging polluting vehicles. This means owners of campervans (including vans up to 3.5 tonnes) that don’t meet Euro 4 (petrol/hybrid) or Euro 6 (diesel) emission standards face a daily charge of £12.50 to enter the zone, on top of any congestion charges. Similar Clean Air Zones (CAZs) exist in other UK cities, with varying regulations.

With ULEZ and CAZs becoming more widespread, choosing a ULEZ-compliant campervan is a wise investment, even if you don’t live in a restricted zone. You’ll contribute to cleaner air and avoid costly daily charges.

Understanding ULEZ compliance for campervans

Euro standards regulate emissions of pollutants like Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) and Particulate Matter (PM). Euro 4 became mandatory for petrol vans in 2006, while Euro 6 became mandatory for all new vans in September 2015 (larger vans by September 2016).

Here’s a quick guide to ULEZ compliance based on registration year:

  • Petrol/hybrid: Likely compliant if registered after January 2006
  • Diesel: Likely compliant if registered from 2016 onwards but always double check a 2016 vehicle is indeed Euro 6
  • Double-check compliance using the official TfL ULEZ checker tool

Our top picks: ULEZ-friendly campervans

Finding a ULEZ-compliant campervan offers a win-win: eco-friendly travel and a potentially versatile everyday vehicle. All the vans we work on tend to be Euro 6 because the vans we and our customers source already are compliant.

Here are some of our top choices if you’re on the lookout:

Small vans

  • VW Caddy Maxi: Available in petrol and diesel options, and its lightweight design makes it perfect for navigating city streets
  • Nissan NV200: Another ULEZ-compliant option, offering manoeuverability and practicality
  • Nissan NV300: A slightly larger option with more space for sleeping and amenities
VW Caddys are ideal for ULEZ and city living

Mid-size vans

  • Ford Transit: A popular choice for campervan conversions, offering various sizes and layouts.
  • VW Transporter: Another classic campervan base with a wide range of ULEZ-compliant options available
Interior of a VW Transporter

Electric campervans

Electric campervans are a glimpse into the future of sustainable travel. All electric vans are ULEZ compliant and currently exempt from congestion charges in London (until 2025). Here are a few exciting options:

  • Citroën ë-Dispatch: A stylish and practical electric campervan with a spacious interior
  • Nissan e-NV200: A compact electric campervan perfect for eco-conscious adventurers
  • VW ID. Buzz: The iconic campervan gets a modern electric makeover
VW ID Buzz campervan

Alternative solutions for non-ULEZ compliant campervans

If your current campervan doesn’t meet ULEZ standards, there are still options:

  • Retrofitting: Consider a professional retrofit with a CVRAS (Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme) approved mechanic, although this can be expensive. Some local authorities offer grants to help with the cost
  • Scrapping and upgrading: The Mayor of London is currently funding a scrappage scheme for older vehicles, potentially helping you upgrade

Future-proofing your vanlife experiences

By choosing a ULEZ-compliant campervan, you’re making a conscious choice for cleaner air and a healthier planet.

id buzz campervan conversion

Ready to craft your dream campervan?

Whether you have a ULEZ-compliant van you want to transform or are seeking a complete build-to-order solution, including sourcing a compliant van, our team of expert converters can help. We specialise in creating artisan campervan interiors tailored to your needs and dreams.

If you’re interested in a conversion please do not hesitate to contact us so we can chat about your requirements. We’d love to hear from you. Fill out this short enquiry form to get started or call us on 01273 101407.