Fewer than 500 ‘affordable’ Ulez-compliant cars for sale in London

Drivers that do not comply with Sadiq Khan's Ulez scheme must pay £12.50 a day to drive in London
Drivers that do not comply with Sadiq Khan's Ulez scheme must pay £12.50 a day to drive in London - Stefan Rousseau/PA

There are fewer than 500 “affordable” cars for sale in London that comply with Sadiq Khan’s Ulez rules, data show.

Just 461 vehicles that meet the capital’s emissions standards are available to buy for less than £2,000 in Greater London, according to figures from Auto Trader.

Londoners can claim a £2,000 grant for scrapping older cars that do not comply with Ulez emissions rules under a scheme introduced by the Mayor of London last year.

Yet the statistics show that the supply of affordable Ulez-compliant second-hand cars has all but dried up.

This is despite assurances from the Transport for London that there would be “affordable” second-hand cars available, allowing Londoners with non-compliant vehicles to trade up ahead of the mayor’s Ulez expansion last summer.

“There is no need to purchase a brand new vehicle, affordable compliant vehicles are available,” said the authority in June. The Telegraph revealed weeks later that second-hand car prices had shot up 45 per cent.

Susan Hall, the Conservative candidate for Mayor of London
Susan Hall, the Conservative candidate for Mayor of London, says she will scrap Ulez 'on day one' - Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

Susan Hall, the Conservative mayoral candidate, said London’s Ulez had achieved little except increasing the tax burden on Londoners and pledged to scrap it “on day one” if elected.

She said: “Sadiq Khan’s Ulez expansion is nothing but a tax grab and his scrappage scheme has just pushed up second-hand car prices even further.

“Families on low incomes, small business owners and charities are being hit hardest by this daily £12.50 charge, which does next to nothing to improve air quality.”

Ian Plummer, commercial director at Auto Trader, said: “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.”

Of the 24,500 cars advertised on Auto Trader on Wednesday, just 917, or 3.7 per cent, did not comply with Ulez emissions rules.

To drive in London without paying the £12.50 Ulez daily charge, petrol cars must comply with the Euro 4 emissions standard, while diesel vehicles that comply with the later Euro 6 emissions standard also comply.

Although the two standards were introduced at different times, their detailed rules on permitted nitrous oxide emissions are the same.

Scrappage scheme

Writing in The Guardian newspaper last year, Mr Khan claimed the scrappage scheme had been a success and helped reduce air pollution in the capital.

“I’ve funded the UK’s biggest-ever scrappage scheme so that people can afford to change their vehicles,” he wrote in September.

Affordability of new or second-hand cars is a concern for Londoners hoping to continue driving without paying the daily rate.

New cars typically cost between £20,000 and £30,000 depending on make and model. Prices for a Volkswagen Golf start from just under £27,000, while a battery-powered Nissan Leaf starts from £28,500.

Meanwhile, Auto Trader figures suggested that the average asking price for second-hand cars in January was almost £17,000.