With the increasing number of Towns and Cities in the UK demanding that only the cleanest trucks and vans may enter without a penalty charge, it is becoming more important that truck buyers focus on future-proofing their truck purchase by only buying a Euro 6 truck. The prime example of this is the ULEZ (Ultra-Low Emission Zone) in London.
This is a standard for the levels of emissions that a vehicle may emit. As you would expect, there were five previous Euro levels, all becoming cleaner with each introduction.
The current standard was introduced for trucks at the end of 2013, although many truck operators bought lots of the earlier Euro 5 standard, as these were seen to be a ‘known’ technology and cheaper to maintain and run. This meant that Euro 6 trucks were not seen on the UK’s roads until the latter part of 2014.
The information below is just a guide – remember to check all details carefully before parting with your cash and buying a used truck. The seller will have the information on the Euro level and you can always see if it a Euro 6 by using the TFL ‘check your vehicle‘ service if you have the registration number of the truck.
Most truck manufacturers opted to use a combination of EGR and SCR technologies to reach the tough Euro 6 standard. There was one exception to this rule – that was Iveco who opted for an ‘SCR only’ approach. This meant that the trucks could be simpler, required less cooling and therefore smaller radiators and o cab redesign. This meant that Iveco’s cost base became lower than the competition. The downside was potentially higher Adblue consumption. As every truck was new at Euro 6, there was little to compare with at the time, so every new truck purchase was a leap of faith.
This is why there were not may new trucks sold in the first half of 2014 as many truck buyers were adopting a ‘wait and see’ strategy – unsure of pricing, technology and reliability of these new trucks.
It is understandable why operators bough plenty of the outgoing technology EU5 trucks before the deadline and then waited until late 2014 or early 2015 before considering a new, high tech truck.
As it turns out, the new trucks were great – better MPG, cleaner emissions, better corporate image and better residual values.
The Euro levels for trucks have been slowly introduced since as far back as 1989 when we were on ‘Euro Zero’, written ‘Euro 0’.
The first Euro 1 directive was introduced in 1993 – so if you are looking at buying used trucks that old, look out for the year letters K, L, M, N and some of the ‘P’ registrations.
Running from October 1996 until October 2000, Euro 2 trucks will typically have the registration plates between P and X – remember that these were the prefix style.
This ran from 200 up until 2006, so starting with the X and Y prefix style right up to some trucks with a 55 plate.
Starting in October 2006 and running for just three years, there are plenty of these reasonably modern trucks at Euro 4 still on the road. This was the level that used to be needed to enter into the old LEZ for London before the ULEZ standard came in requiring Euro 6.
Replacing the Euro 4 standard in October 2009, many manufacturers brought Euro 5 in early, bypassing Euro 4 going straight to Euro 5 Lasting until October 2013 when the current emissions level appeared, many trucks with the old EuroV technology were registered under derogation, which meant that very few Euro 6 trucks were sold in the first half of 2014 even.