Up to 780,000 motorists in London are still trying to sell non-Ulez compliant cars – just five days ahead of the area’s expansion.
Mayor Sadiq Khan’s extension of the Ulez scheme from next Tuesday will see the scheme cover all London boroughs and force drivers of non-compliant vehicles to pay £12.50 a day.
According to a study by used car marketplace Motorway, 18 percent of Londoners still plan to sell their vehicle ahead of the controversial expansion.
It added that some of the most popular Ulez models, including the Audi A1 and Nissan Qashqai, have increased in price by as much as 7 percent over the past month.
The research also found that 14 per cent of Londoners have now sold their car as a result of the enlargement and 39 per cent cannot afford to buy a car that meets Ulez regulations.
Experts claim demand for non-Ulez compliant cars in areas outside London that lack clean air zones has persisted – with used cars holding their value despite ongoing supply shortages since the pandemic created a sellers’ market.
The UK used car market grew 4 per cent in the first half of 2023, with 1,832,267 vehicles changing hands in the second quarter of this year – an increase of 72,583 from the same period in 2022, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
A Motorway advertisement on a billboard in London ahead of next Tuesday’s Ulez expansion
London Mayor Sadiq Khan (pictured August 8 in Ealing) will expand Ulez next Tuesday
And Motorway said the average selling price of used cars on its platform rose 5.44 percent from late June to mid-August.
How Prices of Ulez Compliant Cars Are Rising
According to Motorway, the average selling price of used cars on its website rose 5.44 percent from late June to mid-August.
These special models – all under five years old and therefore Ulez compliant – are on sale month after month from July to August:
- Audi A1 – increased by 6.72%
- Nissan Qashqai – increased by 4.92%
- ford Kuga – increased by 3.96%
- Hyundai Tuscan – increased by 2.81%
- Audi A3 – increased by 2.3%
- Volkswagen Golf – up 1.44%
Of the 25,000 Ulez compliance checks over the last 30 days, 8,944 vehicles were non-compliant (34%). Here is the proportion of these non-compliant vehicles by model:
- ford 15%
- Mercedes 11%
- Volkswagen 10%
- bmw 9%
- Opel 7%
It added that some Ulez complaint models younger than five years saw prices rise between July and August – including the Audi A1, which rose an average of 6.7 percent; Nissan Qashqai, up 4.9 percent; and Ford Kuga, up 4.0 percent.
The Hyundai Tuscan recorded further growth with an increase of 2.8 percent; the Audi A3, up 2.3 percent; and the Volkswagen Golf, up 1.5 percent. Prices remained unchanged for the Ford Fiesta, Jaguar F and Volkswagen Tiguan.
According to Motorway, users of its website completed 25,000 Ulez compliance checks in the past 30 days, with 8,944 vehicles returning non-compliant, or 34 percent.
Of these noncompliant vehicles, 15 percent were Ford, 11 percent Mercedes, 10 percent Volkswagen, 9 percent BMW and 7 percent Vauxhall.
Motorway also said its research found that 71 per cent of Londoners say the car they currently drive complies with Ulez regulations and 36 per cent are “deeply concerned” about the impact the enlargement will have on their personal finances will have.
Meanwhile, 42 per cent of Londoners fear they will not get a good price if they sell their non-compliant model, while 52 per cent said they would not be able to pay the £12.50 fee every trip in the Ulez zone to pay .
About 26 percent worry they can’t afford to switch to public transport, and 46 percent agree they can’t afford to switch to an electric vehicle or compliant petrol car due to the cost of living crisis.
Meanwhile, 24 percent of Londoners agreed the expansion would limit their ability to travel to work.
Alex Buttle, co-founder of Motorway, which has a network of more than 5,000 verified car dealers, told MailOnline: “With the expansion of London dealership Ulez on August 29, car owners across Greater London are deciding whether they need to sell.”
The expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) is scheduled to take effect on August 29
Demonstrators demonstrate against the enlargement in Orpington, south-east London, on August 19
“In the last few days before the expansion date, we are seeing the values of the cars changing and the price of some compliant models increasing due to demand.”
“And while non-compliant cars could see their value fall, much of the UK is still outside clean air zones. So with the UK used car market being as strong as it is, there will still be willing buyers for these non-compliant cars’ models.’
This comes amid ongoing controversy over the so-called “war on motorists” that opponents of Mr Khan claim he is waging – but he denies this is the case.
Labor leader Sir Keir Starmer has blamed Ulez policies for his party’s recent by-election defeat in Uxbridge last month, which is now being factored into the programme.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak urged Mr Khan to “think twice about expansion”, while Sir Keir suggested cities look at other options to tackle air pollution.
Mr Khan has previously admitted his decision to expand Ulez was “very difficult” but stressed it would “allow five million more Londoners to breathe cleaner air”.
However, the mayor has suffered a slump in popularity with voters in the suburbs who will be affected by the expansion.
Anti-Ulez protesters demonstrate outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London on July 29
According to a survey of 1,000 Londoners by the polling institute YouGov, he has a popularity rating of minus 12 across the capital. 52 percent of those surveyed gave him a negative rating, compared with 40 percent positively.
But in the outskirts, Mr. Khan’s net rating drops to minus 24.
There were also reports this week that government plans to potentially block the Ulez expansion have been put on hold.
Cabinet ministers have reportedly been exploring the use of a little-known legal power that would allow them to overrule Transport for London (TfL) plans if they are inconsistent with national policy.
But government lawyers appear to have said the case would fail in court, the Daily Telegraph reported.
Other Ulez news this week said that drivers who flout the rules of the new regulations may initially be warned rather than fined as TfL is given “discretionary power”.
TfL states that it may issue warning notices in lieu of PCNs at its “discretion”.
The AA said it is “essential” that motorists are not fined “until the system is rolled out in the new Ulez areas.”
Traffic passes signs indicating the Ulez border near Hanger Lane in west London on July 22
A spokesman for the Mayor told MailOnline today: “The Mayor has made it clear that the decision to extend the Ultra Low Emission Zone across London was not easy, but necessary to tackle toxic air pollution.”
“Around 4,000 Londoners die prematurely every year from air pollution, children grow up with atrophied lungs and thousands of people in our city contract life-changing diseases such as cancer, lung disease, dementia and asthma.”
“Nine out of ten cars you see outside of London on an average day already comply with the Ulez regulations and their drivers don’t have to pay the fee.”
“The Mayor is doing everything he can to help Londoners make the switch to cleaner vehicles and has extended the scrappage scheme so any Londoner with a non-compliant car can apply for a £2,000 grant.”
“Most car scrap companies also give their customers money for their vehicle on top of the TfL grant – this means people can often get hundreds of pounds more for scrapping their car.”
“Only a few days until the ulez is extended to all of London. The Mayor is urging everyone to first use TfL’s vehicle checker to check if their car complies with the regulations and if they don’t, to apply as soon as possible for the scrappage scheme. “TfL processes applications as quickly as possible and the response times are good.”
Sources close to the mayor have also insisted there are many affordable Ulez-compliant cars on the market. A search of a major vehicle dealership website on August 3 revealed nearly 5,000 were for sale within 200 miles of central London for less than £2,000.
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