Motorcycles have potential way out of new London ULEZ charging

Motorcyclists who own a bike that isn’t automatically qualified to avoid the new London Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) may still be able to avoid paying the new £12.50 daily charge.

Motorcyclist riding in London

The new ULEZ will apply to any motorcycle or scooter that isn’t logged as being Euro3 emissions compliant after the new rules come into effect on April 8. You can read the full details of ULEZ in our original story here

However, owners may still have a chance of applying for their vehicle to be excluded from charges in a number of different ways.

What do you need to do to check your motorcycle or scooter?

Before you do anything, check your vehicle details here

There is a chance someone has already done the work and you can simply profit from this in the easiest possible way. All you have to do is input your numberplate and the website will check for you.

Next, check your V5c registration document

The first method of getting your bike out of the charges is to check the Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) emissions logged on the V5c registration form for your bike which might have the manufacturer test figures officially logged.

On your V5c there is a section that lays out the Exhaust Emissions according to the homologated data recorded officially. The NOx emissions value must be ‘equal to, or less than, 0.15grams per kilometre’.

If you can prove this is applicable to your bike then you can send in a copy of the data and your bike will then be excluded from the charge.

Transport for London sent out an official letter to those asking. It states:

“In order to investigate compliance status of your vehicle we advise you to provide us with vehicle registration document (V5c) that contains the Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) value and Particulate Matter (PM) value (if diesel), we can confirm the compliance status of your vehicle.

Please check that the NOx and if applicable the PM value is recorded on the V5c, usually these are detailed in sections V.3 and V.5 respectively.

“If these values are not recorded on the V5c you will need to provide a copy of the vehicle’s Conformity Certificate which you can obtain from the vehicle manufacturer.

Alternatively, you may wish to contact the vehicle manufacturer’s homologation department. They will need to provide you with a letter signed by a named individual from the homologation department which contains the following information (a letter from customer services or a dealer will not be accepted):

    – Vehicle registration mark (VRM)
    – Vehicle identification number (VIN)
    – Euro standard the vehicle was manufactured to – Fuel Type
    – Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) value.”

Motorcycle twin Exhaust

What if there’s nothing on my V5c about exhaust emissions?

Don’t give up hope, there might still be a way out of this even if your V5c doesn’t state the NOx value.

The next step is to contact the bike manufacturer and request a Vehicle Conformity Certificate or provide this information over the phone or email.

If you get a certificate of conformity and the value of the NOx is lower than 0.15g/km then you need to fill in an online form and upload your proof at https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/ultra-low-emission-zone

What if the NOx figure is higher than 0.15g/km?

This is bad news. Your bike or scooter is higher than the permitted NOx value and will not be allowed an exemption. It might be time to buy a newer motorcycle or scooter to keep paying nothing to enter the ULEZ.

What about older bikes?

Anything over 40 years old is exempt but your vehicle does need to be registered with the DVLA as historically exempt.

One last chance?

Transport for London (TfL) have at least now understood that some motorcycles and scooters, even if they aren’t registered as being Euro3 compliant, actually produce way less than the mandated 0.15g/km of NOx.

TfL have now appointed Riverbank Motorcycles in London as an official testing station and they can test your motorcycle or scooter for exemption.

The test isn’t cheap at £175 but compared to £12.50 per day to enter the ULEZ, it doesn’t look too bad value.

Bikes are run on a rolling road and the exhaust emissions are tested over three separate runs with an immediate pass or fail being issues in the same way an MOT is. Some servicing and checks over the bike in the event of fail can work to pass the next time.

If the bike passes then the details are uploaded straight onto the TfL database and the exemption is then valid.

More details can be found here

Next page: New data reveals true story of UK's female motorcycle and scooter riders