All you need to know about the latest ULEZ expansion
Back in 2021, we wrote about the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expansion at the time, and what effect that could have on the types of cars being driven in and around London’s roads. Following on from that blog post, we’re back to discuss the latest ULEZ expansion which will be coming into effect on August 29 2023 across all London boroughs. With a large emphasis on environmental protection and clean air, the expansion looks to improve living conditions for everyone living in London. Many drivers in London simply aren’t aware of the changes and issues caused by the expansion, so, before you panic and ride off into the sunset, allow us to explain everything you need to prepare for the upcoming changes.
The Ultra Low Emission Zone scheme, or ULEZ for short, ensures that all vehicles driving in a built-up area emit as little emissions as possible. The scheme, introduced originally back in 2019, applies a fee for those who drive vehicles that do not meet the strict emissions standards – up to £12.50 a day. This is a big step forward in the government’s plan which seeks to cut the UK’s emissions 78 per cent below 1990’s levels by 2035 and would bring the UK more than three-quarters of the way to net zero by 2050.
Additionally, the ULEZ scheme aims to tackle the issue of poor air quality in London. Air pollution is impacting the health of thousands of Londoners each year and increases the risk of life-changing illnesses such as cancer, asthma, lung disease and dementia in older people, even death. With the greater number of death affecting people mostly in outer London areas, this is the main reason for the further expansion and will aim to give the five million Londoners in outer boroughs clearer air to breathe.
The expansion will bring in the restrictions from Upminster in the east to Heathrow in the west and will include installing ULEZ cameras which will be able to read your numberplate and check whether your vehicle is compliant or not. Covering all 33 Greater London boroughs, the zone will, in some places, even border the M25.
Although this expansion has good intentions, it has the potential to catch out a lot of youngtimer car owners, as the current regulations state that a car has to be over the age of 40 to be eligible for a historic vehicle tax. This means that if you’re lucky enough to own a car that was made in 1983 or before, you are exempt from paying any ULEZ fee and are free to drive your classic in London. But what if your car isn’t 40 years old yet? Many classic car enthusiasts might end up storing their pride and joy and maintaining it until the 40-year rule can be applied to their cars, or even worse, sell their beloved classic in favour of an emission-meeting vehicle. We must also assume that the rolling 40-year rule won’t last forever either, or forget the fact that even if your historic vehicle meets the criteria but is registered outside the UK, you’ll still need to register it with TfL before driving it in the zone to avoid any fines.
However, if you want that classic car thrill without the worry of any fee at all, then there are companies out there that can help. Lunaz Design specialises in the electrification of classic cars, making them exempt from any ULEZ charge and even up to 100 per cent discount on the Congestion Charge until 2025, too. Lunaz promises to preserve the history of some of the world’s most iconic brands and install up-to-date efficient powertrains to ensure the legacy of the automotive world won’t be forgotten. Re-imagining cars like the Aston Martin DB5, Jaguar XK, and the mesmerising Rolls-Royce Phantom, Lunaz offers a fantastic workaround for the classic car enthusiast.
In addition to the ULEZ expansion, the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, also introduced further schemes to help car owners manage their payments more efficiently. The development of the Auto Pay scheme aims to help drivers who want to pay the ULEZ or Congestion Charge fee for multiple days. This means you can set up payments in advance, so you don’t forget to pay the relevant fees which apply to you and avoid the huge fines that come if you do. Furthermore, a £110 million scrappage scheme has been announced that will provide further financial assistance to those who need it most, and which will pay eligible Londoners for scrapping their car or issue them with a TfL Annual Bus & Tram Pass (that is worth more than the payment alone).
You can check whether your car is ULEZ compliant and the relevant fees you might have to pay in order to drive in London by entering your registration number on the TfL website.
Here at Marc Brunel Recruitment, we’re passionate about the future of the automotive scene, not only in London but the rest of the world too. We’re more than aware of the environmental impact of the automotive industry, and fully support the fact that the automotive manufacturing sector has sought to massively reduce emissions in recent years and will continue to do so in the future for the betterment of the environment.
We want to help those individuals who, like us, want to see all types of cars on the roads of London, for a long time to come. If you’re enthusiastic about any type of vehicle, on four wheels or two, then get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org and see how we can help you progress your automotive career to the next level.
– Akash Cheeda