Vans that cost less than ULEZ

London's low emissions zone can cost van drivers £250 a month. So use that cash to for a new van that costs less than ULEZ

BuyaCar team
Apr 8, 2019

Van drivers are among the hardest hit by London's new Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ), which is a tougher version of the T-Charge, designed to reduce harmful emissions in the capital.

Tougher rules mean tougher levies - those with the most polluting vans will pay £12.50 a day, and unlike the T-Charge, it will run for seven days a week and 24 hours a day. It will affect most vans made before September 2016, which fail to meet emissions standards known as Euro 6.

At the moment, the charging area only covers the Congestion Zone, in the centre of London. But from 2021, it will expand, becoming ten times larger, covering most of the capital from inside of the North and South Circular roads.

Non-London drivers aren't necessarily immune either. Other cities are planning to establish clean air zones. Many will include charges for driving older and more polluting vans.

If your diesel van doesn't meet the Euro 6 standard (you'll often find it on your vehicle's registration document), then the cost of low emission zones can add up alarmingly quickly.

  • Drive into London five days a week and you'll be paying £12.50 per day
  • That equates to which is £62.50 a week
  • It's also £250 each month.

This is just the cost to drive into central London, and comes on top of the Congestion Charge, which adds a further £11.50 per day.

For most van owners, that £250 could be spent more wisely. It could cover the monthly finance payments for a van that conforms to the rules, making it pay for itself. You;re also likely to get better fuel economy and improved reliability from a more modern vehicle, so it could make a lot of sense to kick your old van to the kerb.

With that in mind, these are the best vans that cost less than ULEZ.

Vans that cost less than ULEZ

1) Vauxhall Corsavan

The humble car derived van has a lot going for it. Apart from the windows, it looks much the same as a regular hatchback, and drives like one too.

This means the Corsavan is pretty much the same as the excellent Vauxhall Corsa, except that it has more space in the rear, as the rear seats have been ripped out. The load lugging ability may be tiny when compared to some vans on this list, however, for the £250 budget you can get one registered in 2018, with plenty of warranty left on it.

Model CDTI Ecotec CO2 emissions 94g/km 
Loadspace 0.92m3 Payload 519kg 
Fuel economy 73mpg - 85.6mpg

 

2) Renault Kangoo

Latest Renault Kangoo deals from £5,995
Finance from £122 per month

You’ve probably seen hundreds of these nipping in and out of traffic over the years. There’s a reason for that - the Kangoo’s no thrills ethos suits the sensibilities of suits in accounts, as well as sole traders.

The good news is that they have efficient and economical engines, plus, the fact that they’re so popular means there are plenty on the market.

Model 1.5 dCi (diesel) CO2 emissions 112g/km 
Loadspace 3.00m3 Payload 650kg
Fuel economy 53mpg - 61.4mpg

   

3) Ford Transit Connect

Latest Ford Transit Connect deals from £7,293
Finance from £120 per month

Agile, stylish, and small enough to squeeze in and out of big city traffic jams. The Transit Connect, the smallest of the Transit range, fuses car style (alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights) with the practicality of a van.

Your £250 budget will stretch to a van with a myriad of options, including one-year old models with less than 20,000 miles on them. For this budget, expect a van with Ford’s excellent SYNC 3 entertainment system, which includes Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Model 1.5 Ecoblue CO2 emissions 123g/km 
Loadspace 2.9m3 Payload 993kg
Fuel economy 60.1mpg

 

4) Peugeot Partner

Latest Peugeot Partner deals from £6,395
Finance from £139 per month

You can file the Peugeot Partner under basic, sturdy, and economical transport. Plus you can get it in petrol or diesel variants, as well as in different wheelbases.

The Longer L2 versions are less popular, more expensive, and rarer too. Don’t let that you put you off though - for £250 a month there are hundreds of regular wheelbase Partners on offer.

Model 1.6 BlueHDI CO2 emissions 112g/km 
Loadspace 3.3m3 Payload 854kg
Fuel economy 55.4mpg-74.3mpg

 

5) Volkswagen Transporter

Latest Volkswagen Transporter deals from £11,900
Finance from £168 per month

The Transporter is one of the finest and most versatile vans on the market. It's reliable with a proven track record, and offers fantastic value for money considering that there is a loadspace of at least 5,800 litres.

The £250 budget is right on the limit, but you can find Volkswagen Transporters that won’t cost to enter the ULEZ for this amount.

Model 2.0TDI BMT TDI 150 CO2 emissions 125g/km
Loadspace 5,800-9,300 litres Payload 692-1221kg 
Fuel economy 29.7-47.1mpg

 

6) Nissan NV200

The Nissan NV200 doubles down on size. It might look compact, but it houses a massive payload capable of 728kg.

It has a couple of engines that can skip the ULEZ charges too. Both are 1.5 diesels, and while they’re not fast, they are frugal, and don’t require AdBlue - saving you more money.

Model 1.5dCi CO2 emissions 131g/km
Loadspace 4.2m3 Payload 728kg
Fuel economy 53.3mpg - 55.4mpg

 

7) Ford Transit Custom

Latest Ford Transit Custom deals from £9,583
Finance from £109 per month

Once upon a time there was merely ‘the Transit’, whereas now there is a quartet of Transits. The smallest is the Transit Courier, the slightly larger Transit Connect comes next, while the Transit Custom is the one most people will recognise as a traditional Transit size. At the end of the spectrum is the gargantuan Transit.

The Custom certainly has all the hallmarks of a Ford van - it drives much like a car, has long maintenance schedules, and it’s reliable too. You get a lot of options for your £250 here as well - we’d recommend a 2017 model in Trend spec.

Model 2.0TDCi 30PS CO2 emissions 168g/km 
Loadspace 3.5m3 Payload 1165kg
Fuel economy 43.5mpg

 

8) Mercedes Vito

Latest Mercedes Vito deals from £8,993
Finance from £181 per month

Yes really, a premium van in this price-range. And while a premium van might sound like an oxymoron, the Vito certainly has a nicer interior than most others. You can even spec decadent options like heated front seats and a reversing camera.

This budget does limit your options to models that are generally around two-years old, but they’ll still be ULEZ compliant and you’ll be able to find a long-wheelbase model for the money if you need something that can handle a big load.

Model: 111 CDI compact CO2 emissions 163g/km
Loadspace 5.5m3 Payload 897 kg 
Fuel economy 45.6mpg 

   

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