Ulez expansion forces classic car festival to cancel plans as drivers face daily £12.50 charge

Ulez expansion forces classic car festival to cancel plans as drivers face daily £12.50 charge

The panel reacts to a man driving a tank to protest the Ulez expansion

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 08/01/2024

- 10:05

Updated: 15/03/2024

- 11:26

Vehicles that are over 40 years old are exempt from paying the Ulez charge

A classic car show has been forced to cancel events in response to the expansion of the Ulez scheme with drivers potentially being hit with massive charges.

The 2024 Bromley Pageant of Motoring in Greater London is now included in the expansion Ultra Low Emission Zone after Mayor Sadiq Khan’s decision to extend the limits of the clean air scheme.

Petrolheads and car enthusiasts had hoped the festival would return to its home at Norman Park this year, but a decision has been made to cancel the celebrations.

Hundreds or potentially even thousands of motorists would have been fined if the festival had gone ahead with non-compliant petrol and diesel vehicles facing a daily charge of £12.50.

Ulez sign and a classic car

A classic car event has been forced to shut down after the Ulez expansion


While older, more traditional cars would have escaped the fines, modern classics and any non-compliant vehicles owned by people attending would have been liable to pay the fee.

Organisers are now looking to host the event in 2025 at an alternative location in a bid to ensure drivers are not charged unfair costs.

Pippa and Jason Griffiths, from A-ME, the organisers of the event, said: “Following the introduction of the Ulez zone across Greater London, we have taken considerable time to evaluate all options for the future of the Bromley Pageant of Motoring, including whether it would be viable to still hold the Pageant at Norman Park, Bromley.

“It became clear that Norman Park is no longer an option and any move to a new venue and date needs to ensure that this firm favourite of the classic car calendar has a bright future.

“We have made the very difficult decision to not hold the event in 2024 but are working on plans to bring back the Bromley Pageant of Motoring in 2025,” The Telegraph reported.

Transport for London has a number of exemptions on offer for motorists of specific vehicles when travelling in the capital through the Ulez charging area.

This includes classic cars, with TfL having two categories for historic vehicles – both of which are exempt from the Ulez.

The first category addresses all cars built before January 1, 1973, with drivers of these vehicles not having to pay the £12.50 daily charge.

Similarly, vehicles over 40 years old that have been successfully registered with the DVLA for a historic vehicle tax class are exempt.

If someone’s vehicle meets the criteria but is registered outside of the UK, it is also free from paying the fee.

However, they must register the vehicle with TfL before travelling in the zone as some drivers from the continent have been hit with charges without their knowledge.

In protest of the Ulez expansion, some drivers have challenged the eligibility of cars in the zone by using vehicles which are technically exempt, even if they are rare.

These vehicles include specialist agricultural vehicles and showman’s vehicles, with Nick Mead, owner of Tanks-A-Lot, driving a 1965 tank through central London in August last year.

Owners of vehicles that are over 40 years old are officially considered “historic” meaning they do not have to pay Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) and are exempt from MOTs.


Ulez sign

The Ulez was expanded in August 2023


There has been an uptick in the number of people looking for older vehicles with data from Car and Classic showing that searches for “Ulez” are 30 times higher compared to 2022.

You may like