What to know about the Ulez vehicle scrappage scheme

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The ultra low emission zone (Ulez) fee is expanding to cover the whole of London this summer, meaning extra charges for many drivers.

ULEZ zone sign
PA Wire

From August 29, 2023, almost 700,000 car drivers will have to pay the £12.50 daily charge, according to data from RAC. This number doesn’t take into account other vehicles such as motorcycles.

TfL is running a scrappage scheme for vehicles that do not comply with the Ulez standards.

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Sadiq Khan has launched the scheme, which provides grants to scrap or retrofit vehicles which do not meet the emission standards – including motorcycles.

The scheme is for eligible drivers such as those on low incomes or the disabled, and for charities, sole traders and small businesses scrapping or retrofitting vans and minibuses.

Applicants must live within one of the 32 London boroughs or the City of London and receive one or more of the following benefits:

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  • Universal Credit
  • Armed Forces Independence Payment
  • Attendance Allowance
  • Carer’s Allowance
  • Child Tax Credit
  • Constant Attendance Allowance
  • Disability Living Allowance
  • Employment and Support Allowance
  • Housing Benefit
  • Income Support
  • Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
  • Jobseeker’s Allowance
  • Pension Credit
  • Personal Independence Payment
  • Severe Disablement Allowance
  • War Pensioners’ Mobility Supplement
  • Working Tax Credit

You can check if your vehicle meets emission standards on the Ulez website.

For those who elect to scrap their vehicle, there will be several grant payment options. For those scrapping motorcycles, options include £1,000, £600 and one adult-rate Annual Bus & Tram Passes, or £200 and two adult-rate Annual Bus & Tram Passes.

Applications for the scheme can be made here.

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Speaking on Thursday, Mr Khan said that the aim of the Ulez is to “get the most polluting vehicles off our roads in order to protect both the health of Londoners and our environment”.

He went on: “People, businesses and charities understand the impact of air pollution on health and are preparing for the change.

“It’s now just one in 10 cars seen driving in outer London that aren’t Ulez compliant – a fantastic result.

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“We expect the number of compliant vehicles to go up even more as people prepare for the expansion, but we know there is more to do to ensure every Londoner can breathe cleaner air.

“For drivers of the very few non-compliant vehicles, I have launched the biggest scrappage scheme ever.”

RAC head of roads policy Nicholas Lyes said: “Cleaning up London’s air should undoubtedly be a priority, but the sheer number of vehicles that don’t meet Ulez emissions standards in Greater London suggests there will be a massive financial impact on motorists and businesses through having to fork out £12.50 every day they drive in the zone.

“We desperately need more co-ordination between the mayor and the Government to help small businesses, tradespeople, NHS staff and carers who have no choice but to drive into the expanded Ulez for work purposes from outside Greater London.

“Consideration should also be given to those who work at night when public transport is greatly reduced in the outer boroughs.”

Mr Lyes urged Mr Khan to consider delaying charges by a year for certain key workers, or a scheme where TfL partners with a leasing company to provide discounted Ulez-compliant vehicles to small businesses and traders.

He went on: “Changing to a compliant vehicle at such short notice simply won’t be something many will be able to afford, especially during a cost-of-living crisis and at a time when second-hand car prices are so high.

“We need more creativity from London’s mayor and his team to help people out as the current scrappage scheme is akin to using a plughole to drain an Olympic-sized swimming pool.

“It’s simply not big enough for the scale of the job.”


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