Avoid the ULEZ charge! Some tips for buying a car…

By Eleanor Smith

With the introduction of the ULEZ (ultra-low emission zone) in all areas, it’s possible that people are looking for cars which meet the standards to avoid paying the £12.50 charge a day.  Young people typically have older, cheaper cars as they are cheaper to insure and run. The issue? Lots of these old cars won’t reach the regulations that the government’s new guidelines require it too.  Most petrol cars made after 2005 meet the ULEZ standards, however when it comes to diesel cars, they tend to be first made available after September 2015. And this isn’t a charge that you can afford to skip on, as the penalty charge is £160, or £80 if you pay in the first 14 days.

So with all these charges, that you probably can’t afford, here are the best ways to buy a car that matches all the criteria:

  1. Use the Cleaner Vehicle Checker

This is from the Mayor’s office, and helps to identify if a second hand car you are buying can fill the regulations.  This is the quickest way to check if it’s okay for London life.

   2. Try and buy petrol

Petrol cars are favoured in the rules of the ULEZ, and with over 200 low emission zones across Europe, this won’t just impact you at home.  The UK government is also considering bringing forward the date that new diesel cars are banned to 2032, effectively making the sales of them more redundant as the years go by.

   3. Just don’t buy one

If you live in London, you have every public transport imaginable at your fingertips, so do you really have any need for a car at all?  Consider the prices of the tube v a car, petrol and parking and you might be surprised to know that actually, there’s really no point in buying a car at all (you’ll also be able to skip out on insurance and road tax costs.)

   4. Electrify your transport

No toxic chemicals are released from electric cars, and in addition, they’re extremely quiet, so if you’re trying to make sure your kids stay asleep in the back when you’re driving it really is the best option.


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