ULEZ surcharge API being closed?

We have built some logic to check a vehicles Euro status but we are seeing maybe 50% of Euro 3 cars coming back as compliant on the TFL API when we check, and on our own logic (based on the TFL rules: ULEZ standards - Transport for London), they all should be non-compliant.

Any ideas why this may be happening @jwithers or @jamesevans ? Example VRMs:

LM54FXO
WN55HKV
GN53UOT
P13BRG
EF05YAH

Is there something else other than Euro status TFL is factoring in? I’m assuming they arent exempt as there is an exempt response in the API, and we arent getting that with these.

Any help would be hugely beneficial, or if you could share the backend logic you use so we could replicate?

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We too have had some success doing a roll-your-own and have found similar anomalies with some vans. Our source says they’re Euro 5 diesels, so you’d think they would be non-compliant. TfL API says they’re compliant though.

SG67OXR
FL66DUU
MT66UFD

Hello,
Could we have an update on the situation here. What exactly is the licencing issue and what are the alternatives for those wishing to check the ULEZ status? It is confusing as users will still be able to use the TFL website to check the ULEZ status of their vehicle, but no one else can use this data? Is this correct? How does this fit in with the TFL open data policy?

@jwithers et al, some more sample VRMs that we believe your API is throwing up the wrong answers for.

TfL API says they’re non-compliant but we believe they’re EURO 6 diesels and thus are compliant

M15USL
RRZ7414
HG15URT
KC15AVW
BU15RWF
AY64GUX

TfL says they’re compliant but we believe they’re EURO 5 diesels and thus should be non-compliant
it might be coincidence but most of these seem to be Mercedes

RX65NTE
YS15AZZ
VU65WPO
MT65JZO
EK65YBU
PJ15EEU
LP15MPV
FV65WUK
NJ66PNF
HY65JGX
LO65VNT
GY15YOW
LK65XXT

This does again come back to the question though of what is deemed to be the ultimate source of truth on this matter? I believe the primary source of the EURO status data i’m using is MVRIS. These discrepancies are only from a total pot of just under 500 unique VRMs sampled so its not like disagreements with the TfL API are particularly rare.

Our one guess was whether exempt vehicles were coming back as compliant, though I think there is also a ‘exempt’ status so you’d think those vehicles would come back using that.

My own mostly untested working theory is that there is some faulty assumption based on vehicle age/registration date that has crept in somewhere. The majority of the cars on my list we believe to be really Euro 5 would’ve been registered at around the time Euro 6 for diesels became the base standard?

Hi everyone,

There have been a few questions about the licensing situation here so I reached out to the team working on this to ask for any more detail, had this response:

“My understanding is that, this is partly DVLA data and it is not for us to share their data. In terms of what has changed, there isn’t anything that has changed but we simply reviewed what data we are exposing and identified this was an area which we needed to stop exposing for licensing purposes”

Hope this helps

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@jwithers
I’m not a user of these data but while I understand that there are licensing issues, DVLA and TfL are both providers of open data, surely but here is something that seems to be falling down the cracks between them. The whole idea of open data was, I thought, that it gave the opportunity for innovative combination of data sources by developers for use in the outside world. It would seem bizarre if outside developers are able to do that but a public service developer cannot.

“My understanding is that, this is partly DVLA data and it is not for us to share their data. In terms of what has changed, there isn’t anything that has changed but we simply reviewed what data we are exposing and identified this was an area which we needed to stop exposing for licensing purposes”

Thanks for looking in to this further. So is this just an internal decision? Has there been any discussions with the DVLA regarding you sharing this data? Have you sought to request a licensing change to permit this data being provided to via the API?

@jwithers thanks for the clarification. just a shame that the DVLA VES API data (which appears to be the only publicly accessible option) was so full of gaps that it was basically unfit for purpose for myself and others to base an alternative solution on.

Is it possible someone can comment on the anomalies myself and max_mw listed up thread? Also how would a hypothetical dispute be resolved where someone’s car might be misidentified as a ‘false negative’ with regard to compliance? I’m more than happy to have a more detailed conversation via email/virtual meeting with someone at your end in regard to the ones i’ve raised.

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If the issue is with the DVLA data being shared, please simply remove it from the API as opposed to shutting down the entire service.
People simply want to know if a vehicle is ULEZ compliant, they pass in a vehicle VRM and the service can pass back a true/false.

Perhaps someone can explain how this would contravene any licencing agreements as you would not be sharing any data at all?

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Has it now been shut down? we are getting error messages from the API today.

Hi everyone, as notified on 21 Feb, the feed has now been shut down and the endpoint is no longer reachable.

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