Irrespective of any successes on impacting the capital’s carbon footprint that London’s Low Emission Zone can claim to have had in its formative months, one thing it did affect in the run up to the new year was the extra sales and registrations of new vans. Tradesmen who would be operating within the zone certainly made a bee-line for the dealerships to get their hands on vans that would see them escape the deterrent fine of £100/day that being above the Euro III threshold would incur.
To coincide with the new vans being registered there was also a glut of savvy tradesmen shopping around online to compare cheap van insurance quotes to see whether there was an added advantage through this medium for saving an extra few bob by reducing the amount of van cover they would be liable to have to shell out to coincide with their shiny new light commercial vehicle.
There may have been some savings to be had due to increased engine efficiency and manufacturer’s warranties being in place but, according to the used van sector, an equal amount, if not more van drivers either opted to hold on to their existing model a while longer or bought second hand to go on and modify exhaust systems that had special filters to enable their emission levels to comply.
Either way, these measures would have had an effect on their base van insurance policy by way of modification to the existing specification of the van or reduced to a cheap van insurance policy if the age of the vehicle rendered it below a certain value to replace, a ploy often used by tradesmen looking to reduce the over all costs of their business.
According to one recent survey there are approximately 85,000 vans registered to properties and businesses operating out of London itself, a figure that has had a detrimental effect for some van owners elsewhere in the country who have had their exhaust systems stolen to be resold to this large market awaiting modification.
Due to the expertise of the thieves involved and the fact that they seem to picking on towns at random to execute the break-ins and thefts, police forces across the country have been led a merry dance and are now having to pool their resources in an attempt to capture the purveyors of this crime wave that is leading to dozens of not-so cheap van insurance claims. The worrying aspect is, what will happen as other cities across the country look to introduce their own LEZ‘s?
In the next article, we look at the implications and ask if the van driver is prepared to make sacrifices to meet similar standards abroad, as many major cities have had the ban on high emissions in place for a while.
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