Ulez loophole can help drivers avoid daily £12.50 charge with 'no shortage' of options

A Ulez website

Drivers can still apply for the Ulez scrappage scheme

Felix Reeves

By Felix Reeves

Published: 30/08/2023

- 15:29

The scrappage scheme offers grants of £2,000 to drivers of non-compliant vehicles

Following the expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone yesterday, many motorists are concerned about whether they will be able to switch to a compliant car or face the £12.50 daily charge.

With Greater London now included in the expanded Ulez scheme, hundreds of thousands of motorists are expected to be included in the zone.

As with other emissions-based charging zones, there have been concerns about people and businesses getting their hands on cleaner, compliant vehicles.

Transport for London’s scrappage scheme was extended to all Londoners with non-compliant vehicles allowing them to apply for a £2,000 grant.

Cars near a Ulez sign

The Ulez expansion was rolled out yesterday


According to data from Auto Trader, there are 1,520 Ulez-compliant cars within a 50-mile radius of central London under £2,000.

By increasing the price to £5,000, Londoners have the choice of over 10,000 compliant vehicles within 50 miles.

In total, there are a staggering 65,577 compliant cars within a 50-mile radius of central London, although prices can get as high as £2.895million for a Koenigsegg Agera.

To comply with the Ulez emissions regulations, a petrol car must be registered with the DVLA after 2005, although some cars that meet the standards have been on the road since 2001.

For diesel vehicles to be compliant, they must meet Euro 6 standards, meaning they have been registered after September 2015.

On a national scale, 20 per cent of compliant cars are under £10,000, while 28 per cent of petrol cars and 10 per cent of diesel cars fall under that price threshold.

The current cheapest car being advertised which abides by the Ulez standards is a 2008 petrol Ford Ka for £1,386.

Another Ford model is also being offered on Auto Trader for a low price, with motorists able to buy a 2004 petrol Fiesta model for £1,481.

Other cheap vehicles under £2,000 that meet compliance include a Fiat Grande Punto and a number of Citroen 207 models.

Ian Plummer, Commercial Director at Auto Trader, reassured drivers that they are able to avoid the daily Ulez charge by switching to an affordable and compliant car.

He said: “Now that the new Ulez expansion is live, it’s important those with non-compliant vehicles know what their choices are and the best place to start is by getting a valuation of their current vehicle on sites like Auto Trader.

“Utilising the newly expanded scrappage scheme might be a good option if your car is worth around the £2,000 mark, but if it’s worth more, then selling it privately or to a dealer might be more fruitful.


A 1991 Ford Fiesta RS Turbo

Petrol cars must be registered after 2005 to be compliant


“The greater your budget, the more choices of vehicle you’ll have, but there’s no shortage of affordable petrol, diesel or electric compliant vehicles with the cheapest compliant models on Auto Trader starting from under £1,500.”

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