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28 July 23 Press releases

Drivers pay price penalty to meet ULEZ rules

 

  • Some car buyers paying over £3,000 more for ULEZ compliant vehicles compared to identical models just a year older.
  • Volkswagen Golf leading the pack with a £3,601 jump in price from a 2015 non-compliant model to a 2016 ULEZ compliant model.
  • Cheaper options to comply with the rules can still be found on Auto Trader, the UK’s biggest online car marketplace.

 

London, 28th July: Drivers are having to pay a ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ) “premium” of more than £3000 in some cases to buy popular car models which follow the new emissions rules according to new Auto Trader research.

With the extension of the ultra low emission zone looming, the latest research from the UK’s biggest online car marketplace compares price data on ULEZ compliant models of some of the most commonly sold models with their non-ULEZ compliant predecessors just a year older.

The research, which focuses on 2015 diesel models set to be caught by Mayor Sadiq Khan’s extension of the ULEZ to the outer London boroughs, reveals the price premium being paid for models registered only a year later but – crucially - following the rules.

A used Volkswagen Golf 2016 model costs £3,601 more than a 2015 non-compliant model - an increase of 38% from £9,445 to £13,046. Similarly, a used Ford Focus 2016 model costs £2,828 more than a 2015 non-compliant model; an increase of 38% from £10,336 from £7,508.

Other popular sellers in June displaying a large ULEZ “premium” include a 23% or £2220 difference between a 2015 and 2016 Nissan Qashqai, a 16% or £2594 jump between a 2015 and 2016 Land Rover Epoque, and a 13% or £1645 difference between the 2015 and 2016 BMW 3 Series.

The extended ULEZ will force drivers to buy compliant vehicles or pay £12.50 a day in charges. ULEZ compliance is based on fuel type and euro emissions data which the TfL website states generally includes petrol vehicles registered after 2005 and petrol vehicles registered after 2015. Five affected councils have challenged the extension in a judicial review.

 


 

This doesn’t need to be a case of pocket over planet, it is possible to achieve both but it’s vital we get the balance right between the carrots and the sticks or we’ll lose people along the way.

Key spokesperson

Ian Plummer

Commercial Director

CONNECT

 

“This is hard evidence of the distortions in the market caused by the ULEZ extension. While the overall used car market is in good health nationally, drivers are having to pay a price penalty to follow the rules in London.”

 


 

Cheaper options to comply with the rules are still available before the ULEZ extension comes in on August 29th, according to Auto Trader data. As of June 2023, the three cheapest compliant cars for sale in London across different models are a 2007 Vauxhall Astra at £2,172, followed by a 2006 Ford Focus for £2,250 and a 2007 Vauxhall Corsa at £2,804. Auto Trader lists the ten best deals within London for compliant models below:

1
Vauxhall Astra
2007
£2,172
ULEZ compliant
Petrol

2
Ford Focus
2006
£2,250
ULEZ compliant
Petrol

1
Vauxhall Astra
2008
£2,483
ULEZ compliant
Petrol

4
Ford Focus
2007
£2,492
ULEZ compliant
Petrol

5
Ford Focus
2008
£2,569
ULEZ compliant
Petrol

6
Vauxhall Corsa
2007
£2,804
ULEZ compliant
Petrol

7
Vauxhall Corsa
2008
£2,935
ULEZ compliant
Petrol

8
Ford Fiesta
2008
£2,949
ULEZ compliant
Petrol

9
Vauxhall Corsa
2009
£3,107
ULEZ compliant
Petrol

10
Vauxhall Astra
2009
£3,159
ULEZ compliant
Petrol

 


 

NOTES TO EDITORS

About Auto Trader

Auto Trader Group plc is the UK's largest automotive marketplace. Auto Trader listed on the London Stock Exchange in March 2015 and is now a member of the FTSE 100 Index.

The marketplace is where UK consumers buy and sell cars with the largest number of car buyers and the largest choice of trusted stock. Auto Trader exists to Drive Change Together. Responsibly and creating a diverse and inclusive culture is at the heart of the business. It is focused on changing how the UK shops for cars by providing the best online car buying experience and enabling all retailers to sell online. It aims to build stronger partnerships with its customers and use its voice and influence to drive more environmentally friendly vehicle choices.

Auto Trader publishes a monthly used car Retail Price Index which is based on daily pricing analysis of circa 900,000 vehicles, this data is used by the Bank of England to feed the broader UK economic indicators.

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