London retailers will be entitled to discounts on new vans to help them prepare for next year's changes to the capital's Low Emission Zone.

A range of manufacturers have pledged offers to help van owners buy new, cleaner vehicles in order to avoid fines when changes to the LEZ come into effect on January 3, 2012. From that date large vans and minibuses will need to meet specified emissions targets for the first time.

Citroen, Ford, Mercedes-Benz, Peugeot, Volkswagen and Ashwoods will all be offering a range of deals.

Among the offers, Ford is operating a commercial vehicle scrappage scheme in which owners of vans of 10 or more years old will qualify for up to £3,000 off a new Ford van. Citroen will provide a 'Go Green & Clean Allowance' of up to £3,500 towards a new Citroen LCV to help van drivers.

Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "This noble bunch [van drivers] is mostly small business owners and independent traders who are focused on grafting hard to support their families and build a better future."