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25 October 21 Press releases

Old diesels still rising in price despite imminent ULEZ charge


Old diesel cars that will be non-compliant with the expanded ULEZ area in Greater London are still increasing in price, according to Auto Trader. This despite the fact that these vehicles will incur a daily charge of £12.50 from today.

 Ian Plummer, commercial director of Auto Trader, said;

“You might expect there to be a big dip in demand levels and the price of cars that are not compliant with the new ULEZ zone, but that’s not the case. The used car market is so hot that even diesel cars over five years old are continuing to increase in price.

“We’re seeing this not only nationally but also in Greater London where these vehicles will incur a daily charge of £12.50 from Monday. The average price of a used car was £19,018 last week, up almost 24 per cent year on year. That’s 76 weeks of consecutive price growth dating all the way back to when we exited the first lockdown last spring.

“The average five year old diesel increased in price from £13,513 to £ 18,293 in the last twelve months.

“Penalising people for driving dirty vehicles is one thing, but incentivising them to drive cleaner cars is probably going to be more productive in the long term. The £620m investment in grants for electric vehicles and street charging points that has just been announced is welcome, but Ministers should consider how that investment is targeted. 

“Our data shows that interest in electric vehicles is coming almost exclusively from wealthier postcodes. The comparatively high up-front cost of EVs is proving to be a massive barrier for people on average or below average incomes. The Government and industry simply has to grasp this nettle if it is to supercharge mass adoption.

“Ideally, that would mean removing VAT from purchases of new and used EVs. And it could also mean introducing some kind of means testing. Incentives are needed to bridge the gap between traditionally fuelled cars and EVs for those who simply cannot afford the “green premium”. The Government highlighted the potential social injustice in EVs due to price issues, which makes it all the more frustrating that it’s failing to address it, choosing to prioritise targets over genuine substance.”


Londoners remain fuzzy about ULEZ details

Auto Trader conducted an onsite survey of circa 1,000 car buyers within the Greater London area (either currently within, or soon to be within the ULEZ) during 5-18th October. What we’ve discovered is that a proportion of car buyers remain unclear on some of the key details of the expansion:

 When asked whether they were aware that ULEZ was expanding:

  • 17% knew it was expanding, but didn’t know which areas it was covering

  • 12% knew it was expanding, but didn’t know when

  • Only 11% knew which areas it will include and when it was happening

 When asked when the expansion will occur:

  • 61% accurately said it will occur by the end of October, but nearly a quarter (23%) were unsure

  • The remaining 16% either said end of November (5%), end of December (4%) or sometime in 2022 (7%)

 When asked how confident they were about which areas of ULEZ expansion will cover:

  • 61% of on-site users said they were confident or very confident. However, 22% were unsure, and 17% were not very confident or not confident at all

 When asked whether they knew how much the daily charge would be:

  • 63% correctly identified the daily charge of £12.50 but nearly a third (31%) were not sure, and the remaining 6% were wrong in their answers

When asked what changes they’ll make if the area they live or work in falls within the expanded ULEZ zone (which would be all that were surveyed):

  • 58% of on-site users will buy a ULEZ compliant petrol/diesel car

  • 22% would buy and electric or hybrid

  • 13% would avoid the ULEZ

  • 7% would switch from driving to public transport

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