ULEZ and the Wheelchair Access Vehicles Exemptions


Used Disabled Vehicles for Sale Suffolk - WAVs and ULEZ

There has been a lot of press coverage about the controversial Ultra Low Emission Zones, which last year were extended by the London Mayor Sadiq Khan. At Ransome Mobility, who offer a wide range of used disabled vehicles for sale from our Suffolk base, we take a keen interest in all issues which could affect our customers – particularly if you are driving in or around London. Here we take a closer look at ULEZ, and the exemptions which apply to wheelchair access vehicles.

What is ULEZ?

In a bid to improve air quality in the capital, the Mayor has extended the zones which, if you drive a vehicle which doesn’t meet emission standards, you have to pay a £12.50 daily fee, rather like the congestion charge.

This charge applies in all London boroughs, including Enfield in the north and Croydon to the south, but not on the M25 itself. Cars, motorcycles, vans and specialist vehicles (up to and including 3.5 tonnes) and minibuses (up to and including 5 tonnes) can all be liable to pay it.

However, the ‘Euro’ standards applied to vehicle emissions typically mean that petrol cars and vans registered after 2006, and all diesel cars and vans registered after 2016, won’t have to pay. Transport for London (TfL) has a vehicle checker if you aren’t sure what category your vehicle is in.

Note that there are similar schemes in Birmingham, Bristol, Oxford, Bath, Bradford, Glasgow and Portsmouth. More are being planned so this isn’t an issue which applies solely to London.

The Other Exemptions…

Lorries, vans or specialist heavy vehicles (all over 3.5 tonnes) and buses, minibuses and coaches (all over 5 tonnes) do not need to pay the London ULEZ charge, whatever their level of emissions.

And the good news for disabled motorists is that neither do owners of Wheelchair Access Vehicles, even if they aren’t compliant with the London emissions regulations – although there are some steps to take to ensure you don’t have to pay.

What You Need to Do

If your vehicle is a WAV, and it isn’t otherwise exempt, then it needs to be fitted with one of the following vehicle adaptations:

  • A permanently fitted foldable ramp or a powered lift allowing the wheelchair user to enter the vehicle
  • An electric or hydraulic hoist to lift a person or wheelchair into the vehicle
  • A swivel seat on either the passenger or driver side of the vehicle
  • An accelerator ring permanently fitted to the steering wheel.

The vehicle also needs to be registered with the DVLA in the name of the applicant and you need to provide images of your vehicle’s logbook (V5C), a photo ID of the applicant and three images of your vehicle’s permanent conversion for a disabled person’s use. You can only apply for a grace period for one WAV.

Also, you don’t have to pay If your vehicle is registered with the DVLA as being in either the ‘disabled’ or ‘disabled passenger vehicle’ class; you don’t need to do anything unless the vehicle is registered outside the UK, in which case you will have to give the details to TfL.

The good news, once you have done all this (whether it’s a WAV or in the relevant tax bracket) then your grace period lasts until 25 October 2027.

Used Disabled Vehicles for Sale in Suffolk from Ransome Mobility

At Ransome Mobility we have a wide selection of used disabled vehicles for sale; we supply to customers in Suffolk, Essex, Norfolk and across East Anglia. Follow this link to check out what we currently have for sale; we also have some available for hire.

If you can’t find what you are looking for there, call us on 01473 727263 – we should be able to source your ideal vehicle thanks to our contacts in the motoring trade. And we can fit many different types of vehicle adaptations – including left foot and twin flip accelerators, steering wheel balls, and push pull hand controls ­– so we may well be able to adapt something from our existing stock.

Image: DAVID HAWGOOD/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

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