What’s the Impact of ULEZ On the Used Car Market?

What’s the Impact of ULEZ On the Used Car Market?

Sadiq Khan’s ULEZ changes are having a massive impact on motorists across London, is there worse to come? On August 29th 2023, London’s Ultra-Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) expanded to reach out to the M25.

London Mayor, Sadiq Khan’s decision was met with challenges from Conservative councils and concerns from other London councils, primarily centred on the fairness of the scheme, the financial strain on residents, and the current cost-of-living crisis.

For motorists, non-compliance with emission standards will result in a daily charge. While some Londoners might benefit from a £110 million scrappage scheme, others are considering alternatives like car clubs. As the ULEZ evolves, further regulations and higher charges might be on the horizon, raising questions about its impact on less affluent residents and the broader goal of environmental sustainability.

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ULEZ sparks changes in the motor industry

Data from the online car marketplace, carwow, indicated that just a week out from the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expansion 22% of its customers remained uncertain about what the specific vehicle requirements were.

A big concern among motorists is the potential decrease in the resale value of their vehicles. 44% of those who own non-ULEZ-compliant cars fear the initiative has diminished their car’s value, even if they don’t live inside the new parameters of the ULEZ zone.

In the lead-up to the ULEZ implementation, carwow observed a 68% surge in listings for cars over 15 years old (non-compliant with ULEZ standards) from London areas. The RAC estimates that the new ULEZ regulations affect about 700,000 vehicles in Greater London, and owners of non-compliant vehicles driving into the restricted areas could suffer daily charges of £12.50, translating to £375 per month for drivers doing so on a daily basis.

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The ULEZ changes have led 25% of respondents to consider purchasing an electric vehicle (EV).

Should motorists sell their cars because of ULEZ?

The Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) initiative in London has turned heads and ignited discussions among car owners. Implemented to combat rising pollution levels, the ULEZ spans the area between the North Circular and South Circular roads. Every day (apart from Christmas day) a charge is applied to vehicles driving within this zone. Even if you’re a resident, the fee applies unless your car remains parked.

Transport for London (TfL) advises motorists to use their ‘Check Your Vehicle’ tool to determine if their vehicle meets the ULEZ standards. They claim 9 out of 10 cars driven in outer London on an average day already comply.

London residents with low income or disability benefits can apply for the £110 million scrappage scheme. This allows individuals to receive up to £2,000 for scrapping a car or £5,000 for a wheelchair-accessible vehicle. There’s also a scrappage scheme for vans and minibuses targeted at sole traders, micro-businesses, and charities.

For many Londoners outside the scrappage scheme, the rising living costs combined with ULEZ charges might force them to give up car ownership altogether. A survey by Motorway revealed that 23% of Londoners find it too expensive to use their vehicles for work due to ULEZ costs.

Alternatives, like joining car clubs, are emerging. This solution offers a pay-as-you-go approach to car usage. Enterprise Car Club, for instance, provides cost calculators to determine potential savings over traditional car ownership.

The Future of Car Buying and Selling in London

If you’re in the market for a used car in the ULEZ area, it’s paramount to confirm its compliance. Avoid blindly trusting seller’s claims; ensure you check for yourself. And if you’re planning to sell your older car, platforms like Motorway can help connect you to car dealers across the UK. Alex Buttle, a co-founder at Motorway, advises selling non-compliant cars sooner rather than later to maximize returns.

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Moreover, car values fluctuate. Motor traders have reported that the price of some ULEZ-compliant models has surged due to increased demand. For example, the average sold price for Volkswagen Polo and Ford Focus has increased by 18% and 9% quarter-on-quarter, respectively.

London’s ULEZ isn’t the only emissions-based initiative in the UK. Cities like Bath, Birmingham, and Newcastle have implemented clean air zones, though private cars are currently exempt. Meanwhile, the Greater Manchester clean air zone could potentially rival London’s ULEZ, which might further influence used car values.

Some of the most sought-after ULEZ-compliant used cars include:

Skoda Octavia: Known for its spaciousness and comfort, this family car is priced from around £6000, offering exceptional value for money.

Seat Ibiza: This compact car, reminiscent of the Ford Fiesta, promises a smooth driving experience, with prices starting at £7000.

Skoda Citigo: Perfect for city driving, this car is available from a mere £2000, making it an economical choice.

Ford Fiesta: Always a favourite, this car’s engaging drive is complemented by its affordability, with 2016 models priced around £5000.

Audi A3: Marrying luxury with performance, this family car’s price tag starts at £7000, offering a touch of opulence without breaking the bank.

Renault Zoe: For those looking to go electric, this model offers a compelling range and is priced from £5500.

Suzuki Celerio: Known for its commendable fuel economy, this city car is available from around £4000.

The list goes on, with the likes of Seat Arona, Peugeot 5008, Volkswagen Passat Estate, and more also making the cut as desirable ULEZ-compliant vehicles. Remember to always input that the exact model (with its year of manufacture) on the Check Your Vehicle’ tool to ensure it’s ULEZ compliant.

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With the ULEZ changes around the corner, the UK’s automotive landscape is undergoing a transformation. While there’s a palpable sense of apprehension amongst a section of motorists, the silver lining is the increasing accessibility of ULEZ-compliant used cars.

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