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Plenty of pre-2007 motorcycles are passing the ULEZ exemptions test

Owners are proving their pre-2007 (Euro 3) motorcycles are exempt from London’s daily £12.50 ULEZ charges.

Don’t sell your older motorbike just yet. Ever since it became clear that anyone riding an older bike in London could be liable for a £12.50 daily under the new Ultra Low Emission Zone charge, motorcyclists in the South East have had to consider whether they should sell their Pre-Euro 3 motorcycle. But there is a way around it for many owners.

See also: The ULEZ charges

Around a month ago we released news that the Motorcycle Action Group (MAG) had lobbied Transport for London asking for motorcycles that had lower emissions than TfL’s NOx limits to be excluded from the daily fee, even if they were pre-Euro 3 older than 2007.

See also: How to check if your older bike could be exempt

TfL agreed to the measure, as long as owners can prove their bikes have a NOx emissions rating of 0.15 grams per kilometre or less, which can be done from documents supplied by your bike’s manufacturer.

The good news is that hundreds (and maybe even thousands) of motorcyclists are discovering their bikes have not just a lower rating but, in some cases, a much lower rating. It indicates there are potentially dozens of motorcycle models that could be exempt from the ULEZ charge and also proves that motorcycles are a viable solution for reducing pollution.

Jeremy Swanson contacted us to say he rides a Honda CBR600 that is now exempt after he followed the advice in our article. Although it was registered in 2007 it is the pre-Euro 3 PC38 model and he was able to supply proof from Honda that his NOx emissions were below the maximum allowed. Commuter Carsten Olliver has done the same with his 2002 Honda Dylan 125cc. In both cases, Honda has not charged for the certificates that confirm their vehicles’ NOx emissions are lower than 0.15 g/km.

We also know of 2003-2006 Triumph Bonnevilles coming in under the limit, a 2003 Honda ST1300 Pan European (big, big bike…) coming in at under half the limit and another Honda, the Hornet 600, on a 2004 plate, coming in at 0.094 g/km, much lower than the 0.15 g/km limit imposed by TfL.

London motorcyclist and MAG member Dougie Dickson had to jump through a few hoops with BMW but eventually came up trumps: His 2004 BMW R1150RT is exempt, with a NOx reading of 0.118 as proved by his EC Certificate of Conformity. BMW charged him £120 for his certificate, but this is still a lot less than the £62.50 he would be paying every week for his commute to work.

Dougie realised that other owners might not need to pay for certificates if TfL kept a record of the models that manufacturers had confirmed should be exempt. However, when he challenged TfL as to why they didn’t add his vehicle model to their database they wrote to him saying they had, ‘…found that blanket exemptions are not possible due to the inconsistencies in recording vehicles at the time of first registration.’

This seems like blatant nonsense. If one 2004 model year R1150RT is exempt according to the manufacturer’s Certificate of Conformity surely all vehicles of that model are too? We know that 2002 models of the same bike have been exempted also.

Unfortunately, it seems TfL are determined to make life harder for us, and themselves, by not keeping a record of which motorcycles do have a lower NOx rating than the limit they have set. If they did, owners of the same model could simply check against that list. Instead, they have to contact their bike’s manufacturer to gain a copy of either the vehicle’s Homologation Certificate or, if that is not available, a Certificate of Conformity.

The issue is that many manufacturers are charging for these certificates. And taking their time. BMW are charging £120 per vehicle request, which can take two weeks. Of course, this is much less than the owner would have to pay in daily charges or the amount they would have to spend replacing the bike with a new model. But if TfL kept a list of compliant vehicles, there would be no cost at all for many owners and they would know instantly if their older bike was exempt.

MAG has identified that it takes several weeks to enter the information onto TfL’s database and this, plus the time required to obtain the CoC from the manufacturers, has led to concerns that people will be charged – even though their vehicle is exempt.

Maybe Transport for London could be persuaded to start a list, with the models added to their online database, to save Londoners further unnecessary costs and TfL themselves manpower having to administrate certificates?

In the meantime, BMW has confirmed they are receiving ‘a large number of requests’. From the responses we are getting it looks like they might not be the only manufacturer helping London riders avoid TfL’s unfair tax on vehicles that actually help reduce pollution, not increase it.

Get yourself sorted:

Here’s how you check to see if your motorbike is exempt from ULEZ charges. Do it now, to avoid the risk of a fine.

Our thanks go to MAG, especially the Greater London team, for the work they are doing behind the scenes to get a fairer deal for motorcyclists that may be impacted by Transport for London’s unfair charges. And also to the numerous people who have contacted us to say they will now be exempt after following the advice.

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