ULEZ and early 2000 era petrol BMWs

This article is based on a 3 Series register news in the Straight Six.

I have had the subject of ULEZ in the back of my mind, as a year or two ago I sold a 2000 13K-mile 330i saloon to a chap in London. The deal was predicated on him being able to register for ULEZ, so he could drive the car in central London. I believe that Manchester is going to implement something similar in the not too distant future. When you entered the registration number into the system, the computer said no. Now I know that later E46 330s did conform and fortunately there is an appeals system. From what I can establish, it seems that around the year 2022 a car’s V5 has the emissions values displayed. I have a 97, 98, two 2000 and a 2002 3 Series, and it is only the newer car that displays emission data. The irony, in my personal case, is that my 2002 car falls into the highest band of daily charge. My assumption is that this is how the ULEZ software decides if you are good to go, or not.

The worst part of this saga is that there are undoubtedly are car owners who are under the impression their car is not allowed without being heavily penalised, and this may not be the case. This could be a crucial factor in them deciding whether to keep a vehicle. It is possible to research the exact values that are permissible and those that relate to your particular car, but that will not satisfy the suits at City Hall.

To meet the ULEZ standards a petrol car needs to meet Euro 4 standards. Euro 4 became mandatory for all new cars in 2005, however many petrol engined BMW cars met the standard years before this but do not have the info on the V5C to domenstrate this.

What you need is a Certificate of Conformity from BMW. This is available from the following email address; eccoc@bmw.co.uk. I am aware from the purchaser of my 330i saloon that he had done this with previous vehicles and that some manufacturers had charged for the privilege, but that he now has a COC for the E46 and it was provided for free by BMW. The car is now ULEZ compliant as he has provided the correct paperwork via the appeals process.

If your car fails the ULEZ checker on https://tfl.gov.uk/modes/driving/check-your-vehicle/ then scroll to the bottom of the page and find the link “You need to register your vehicle with us if you believe it meets the required standards for ULEZ or LEZ.” You will need to set up an account, and then submit a PDF of your V5C and the Certificate of Conformity and claim as an Early Adopter. Then just wait about 10 days.

So the moral of the story is simple, don’t take no for an answer. It may be that you are good to go or you may be thinking that it doesn’t matter. Well, the sale of a vehicle could depend on it, especially when the potential purchaser intends to use the car in a ULEZ. If it is free, why not get that COC?

I hope this information has proved of interest and I would like to know how you get on if you do apply. Does your car indeed quality and if so could you let fellow club members know ?