TFL LEZ charges. I beat them!!
Would like to let as many Land Rover owners as possible know that Transport for London's rules on the LEZ (omissions charge) for 4x4 light utility vehicles are not clearly laid out and, I believe, they have probably scammed thousands of pounds out of 4x4 Light Utility Vehicle owners because they just didn't fight them. I am the proud owner of a 2001 Defender 110 Diesel. It has 9 seats and windows throughout. The first time I drove into the LEZ zone and received a £250 fine, I was shocked as there is no way I thought that my vehicle could be classed as a 'commercial vehicle'. When I looked into their rules regarding 4x4 light utility vehicles, there really was no clear guidelines, there was a lot of 'in special cases' otherwise meaning, they could decide whether you did or did not comply. Their first letter explained that if I were to contact DVLA and get the seating confirmed as 9 (as there was currently nothing on the Log Book regarding seats) then it could be exempt. I promptly did this and supplied them the evidence. Then they decided that they would like to see photographs of the inside and out showing the number of seats and the windows, which, of course, I supplied. Then they wrote back and said that this was not good enough and that the vehicle type on my Log Book needed to show M1. I had never heard of M1 or even knew what it meant and was getting increasingly frustrated. After about 3 months of moving the goal posts and continuously sending me fines (as I needed to go into London to work) I took it upon myself to contact DVLA and ask them to change the vehicle type from a 4x4 Light Utility to a car. After supplying them them the same pictures sent to TFL, they apologised and promptly changed the vehicle type to an Estate. I have today received confirmation from TFL that all 30 fines (£7,500) in total have been cancelled. After thoroughly reading their Guidelines, I have since also found out that if your vehicle has 9 or more seats and is not registered as a bus with DVLA, then it is exempt from the central London Congestion Charge. However, in order to qualify for this, you need to register this fact with them before entering. My question to TFL now is, if they can access DVLA database in order to ascertain certain details in order to issue a fine, how come they cannot access those same details in order to make a vehicle exempt? Why is it the responsibility of the vehicle owner to inform them of this fact? I shall tell you why......so that they can carry on being paid monies by vehicle owners that don't need to pay. It is disgusting and I'm pretty sure, unlawful practice and I would like as many people as possible to know what they are doing. Please let Landy owners everywhere know. Thanks Tanyamort