Drivers risk 'being forced off the road altogether' with only 461 'affordable' Ulez-compliant cars on sale

Drivers risk 'being forced off the road altogether' with only 461 'affordable' Ulez-compliant cars on sale

WATCH: Ulez protestors interview with GB News

Hemma Visavadia

By Hemma Visavadia

Published: 01/03/2024

- 12:06

Updated: 15/03/2024

- 11:24

A total of 917 vehicles listed failed to meet the Ulez requirements

Less than 500 affordable vehicles on sale in London meet the requirements of the Ulez scheme's emissions standards around the capital.

New research has found that only 461 vehicles are on sale for less than £2,000 which comply with the strict Euro 4 and Euro 6 rules just months after the latest Ulez expansion.

The Ultra Low Emission Zone charges drivers of older and more polluting vehicles which emit high levels of emissions within Greater London, requiring them to pay £12.50 per day or face fines.

The zones operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, every day of the year, except Christmas Day and is in place across all London boroughs, but does not include the M25.

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Ulez zone in operation

TfL said in June 2023 that there was no need to purchase a new vehicle


Transport for London said in June 2023 that there was no need to purchase a brand new vehicle as affordable, compliant vehicles are available, although some drivers have disputed this.

Data from Auto Trader found that six months on from the expansion of the Ulez scheme to Greater London, only 461 vehicles on sale for under £2,000 meet the capital’s emissions standards.

A total of 917, or 3.7 per cent, of the 24,500 vehicles listed on the online marketplace failed to meet the Ulez requirements.

Ian Plummer, commercial director at Autotrader, explained that for those on a tight budget, there are few options for affordable motoring left in London six months on from the introduction of the extended Ulez zone.

He added: “With fewer than 500 cars for sale below the £2,000 limit of the Mayor’s scrappage scheme, many could be faced with the unpalatable choice of paying up to £3,000 in Ulez fees or being forced off the road altogether.”

In June last year, the AA reported that nearly two in every five London drivers said that being forced to abandon their cars would be an obstacle to being able to travel and would essentially force them to become marooned in their local area.

Edmund King, the AA’s president, said at the time: “Everyone wants cleaner air but the AA survey among our London members shows that for those that can’t afford to upgrade their cars and now face being priced off the road, the expanded Ulez’s daily charges are a threat to their health, their well-being, their safety and family life.

“The Mayor has announced an expanded scrappage scheme for private car owners but, once again, it is limited to those on benefits.

"Not those working long hours and multiple jobs to improve their quality of life, nor the elderly who invested in cars they thought would be their last and provide the mobility for their health needs, nor those for whom cars make them feel safe when they travel – particularly at night.”

Susan Hall, the Conservative candidate who will be running for Mayor of London in May, has been fighting against Ulez since “day one” and vowed to scrap the Ulez expansion.

She said: “Sadiq Khan’s new £12.50 per day Ulez tax has been absolutely devastating for people who cannot afford to go to work, get to the hospital or visit their family.

“It is those on the lowest incomes who are most likely to own non-compliant cars and be hit by this tax. And despite the Mayor’s rhetoric, his own independent impact assessment found it would do next to nothing to improve air quality.


Ulez zone in London

Non-compliant vehicles are charged £12.50 per day


“I have been campaigning against the Ulez expansion since the beginning. It is nothing but a tax on hardworking Londoners, in places where public transport alternatives are few and far between.”

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