Research from vehicle rental company Enterprise has revealed that 76% of van owners in the UK believe their journeys will be affected by low emission and Clean Air Zones (CAZ), though 18% still don’t know what they will do about it.
The study of 2,000 UK drivers found that 10% of van owners have a vehicle that is more than 15 years old, so unlikely to be compliant with Euro 6 emissions standards. That means that they are likely to face charges and potential fines for driving into CAZ areas such as those in London, Bath and Birmingham.
Enterprise said that daily charges in these three zones vary depending on vehicle type, from £8 to £50 per day. The average fine for not paying the charge is around £120, reduced to £60 if paid within 14 days. A fifth of van owners say that they plan to avoid travelling in these areas, while 11% accept that they will have no choice, but will have to pass the cost on to customers.
“Van owners make business-critical journeys,” said Ben Lawson, vice president mobility at Enterprise. “While the costs associated with entering a clean air or low emission zone can be charged to the business, it will increase operational expenses at a time when businesses, especially SMEs, are already feeling stretched.”
The findings of this report have been confirmed by similar research into the recent London ULEZ introduction, carried out by Europecar Mobility Group. The company said that data suggests that while 87% of fleet professionals were aware that the ULEZ and CAZ charges would have an impact on their businesses, 23% said that they had no plan or strategy in place to deal with the incoming rules.
“While the extended ULEZ and new Clean Air Zones are, of course, crucial to improve health and the city environment in general, they present new challenges for fleet managers, who need to ensure business mobility and continuity without unexpected costs”, said Clive Forsythe, commercial director, Europcar Mobility Group UK.
“But the lack of knowledge about the rules surrounding the extended ULEZ could have a big impact on day-to-day business operations and finances, with unexpected fines quickly mounting up.”