Transport for London suggests that non-compliant vehicle owners should park outside the ULEZ and continue their journey by foot, bike or public transport. Cameras will read the number plates of all vehicles within the low emission zone to ensure that cars, vans, buses and HGVs, which don't meet the requirements, receive the fee applicable to their vehicle type.
Frequent commuters will not necessarily want to buy a new car or follow up on Transport for London's suggestions. Even though paying the daily charge sounds like the easiest option, the costs will build up quickly as a fee of £12.50 a day will be charged to car and van owners and £100 a day for HGVs and buses.
A non-compliant car or van driver commuting into the ULEZ 5 days a week will have to pay £62.50(12.50 x 5). Keep in mind that drivers still have to pay for fuel, maintenance, depreciation and other vehicle related costs on top of the daily charge.
So what is the best option for businesses? Out-dated fleets will either have to be upgraded to meet the ULEZ standards or fleet managers will have to look into alternative travelling methods. After researching several different possibilities, vehicle rental turns out to be the most cost effective option.
We have rental cars starting at £58.40 per week (£8.34 per day) and rental vans from £62.20 (£8.94 per day). The cost of renting a vehicle for a week works out cheaper than paying the daily charge for 5 days. Other costs will also decrease with the rental vehicles, as the new engines will be more fuel-efficient and tax friendly.
Looking at the cost of other alternatives; if you want to drive to London and park your car outside the ULEZ, the average charge for parking will be £4.80 per hour (max 4 hours). The rest of the journey will have to be continued with public transport or taxi. A daily tube card costs £12 and taxi's charge £5.60 to £9 per mile depending on the time and date of travel.
At the end of the day, it is completely up to the individual/business on how they want to travel into the ULEZ. Looking at the figures above, vehicle rental will highly likely be the first choice for most travellers commuting into the ULEZ. It is already common practise for businesses to use vehicle rental due to the current Low Emission Zone in London. We estimate that the new engine requirements for the upcoming low emission zone will only increase the demand for vehicle rental.