Press release

Londoners still unclear on ULEZ, say Auto Trader

With just a few days until London's Ultra-Low Emission Zone comes into force, confusion still reigns

  • Almost 90% of London motorists unclear about ULEZ says Auto Trader
  • Thousands of bamboozled drivers face fines of £80 or more
  • 19 cities set to introduce Clean Air Zones by 2021
  • Motorists in affected areas planning changes, including moving home

Barely one in ten London motorists is clear about which vehicles will be affected by the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which comes into effect on 8 April. That’s according to new research among 802 London car owners by Auto Trader, the UK’s largest marketplace for new and used cars. (1)

Only 11% of respondents  knew for sure that diesel cars registered before 2015 would have to pay the new charge, while only 16% were certain that petrol cars over 14 years old would also have to pay.

Clean Air Zones are being considered by eighteen other local authorities, including Manchester, Birmingham, Cardiff, and Glasgow. The plans vary from location to location but most involve charges for the most polluting vehicles. (2)

Almost one third of London motorists (31%) wrongly believe ALL vehicles will have pay the ULEZ charge while a similar proportion wrongly believe that any vehicle registered in the last ten years will be exempt.

Whilst there is confusion, the imminent introduction of new charges is having an impact on motorist behaviour. 17% of drivers living in Clean Air Zones say they are going to buy an electric or hybrid car as a direct response, while a further 17% say they will drive less often. 14% say they will switch to public transport. Among the more extreme countermeasures, 4% say they plan to move to a new house. (3)

Interest in electric and hybrid vehicles is increasing sharply among London motorists. In the 12 months to March 2019, searches for these Alternative Fuel Vehicles (AFVs) on the Auto Trader website shot up by 81 per cent compared with the previous 12 months. Diesel searches tanked by one third while petrol searches increased by 54 per cent.

It is estimated that between 2.4 million and 2.5 million cars, vans, motorbikes, lorries, buses and coaches will have to pay the daily charge, which is £12.50 for most vehicles. (3)

“With just days to go until ULEZ comes into effect the only thing that is clear is that confusion reigns among London’s 2.6 million car owners,” said Ian Plummer Director of Auto Trader. “Thousands of bamboozled drivers face fines of £80 or more in the first few months.”

TfL has trumpeted a major awareness campaign to ensure drivers are prepared for the introduction of ULEZ. It claims to be contacting more than 2.5 million Congestion Charge users whose vehicles do not meet the ULEZ standard. It also says it is contacting other drivers in central London whose vehicles are not ULEZ-compliant and that its online compliance checker has had 1.5 million visits.

“We support the introduction of ULEZ and its expansion in 2021, but it’s critical that more is done to ensure motorists are properly informed,” said Ian Plummer.

According to Auto Trader’s research, uncertainty about the Government’s policy on emissions and fuel types is causing motorists to delay buying a new car. More than 53% of London drivers said they may delay buying a new vehicle until there is greater clarity on incentives and duties.

“If the intention is to create a joined up policy across national and local government designed to usher in a new era of clean, green vehicles, we’ve got a long way to go,” said Ian Plummer

Ends

For more information etc

  1. Research conducted for Auto Trader by Research Now SSI in February 2019 among 802 London motorists
  2. Cities planning to introduce Clean Air Zones:
    • Bath & North East Somerset
    • Birmingham,
    • Bristol
    • Cambridge
    • Cardiff
    • Derby
    • Dundee
    • Edinburgh
    • Fareham
    • Glasgow
    • Leeds
    • London
    • Manchester
    • Oxford
    • Reading
    • Sheffield
    • Slough
    • Warrington
    • York
  3. Research conducted for Auto Trader by Research Now SSI in January 2019 among 1757 motorists UK wide
  4. https://www.statista.com/statistics/314980/licensed-cars-in-london-england-united-kingdom/
Our CEO Nathan Coe will be live on next week's webinar to answer your questions. You can submit your questions to him in the comments and when you register to join the webinar live at https://t.co/rdtNiD8APu https://t.co/d99VfhPofQ
Last week saw the 89th week of consecutive used car price growth, with prices rising 28.6% year-on-year. With used car prices continuing to rise it’s crucial to keep repricing your stock inline with the market to ensure you aren’t leaving profit on the table. https://t.co/MRHJVoNvzs
2021 was a record year for new electric vehicles on our marketplace which saw a record number of advert views in 2021, with 1 in 5 new car advert views now for an electric vehicle. What EVs do you think we'll see drawing the most attention in 2022? https://t.co/niblnnJaPl
Looking to evolve your business by breaking free of outdated data feeds and enabling your customers to have a real-time view of your digital forecourt? Then check out our ‘Essentials to connected retailing’ masterclass now 👉 https://t.co/VggO5GDvFa https://t.co/hRUW9aXDTf
We’re still faced with an element of uncertainty when it comes to the pandemic which means you need to be prepared for any eventuality. So in this week’s tip of the week, @AndrewKorpela shares some top tips on how to make sure you're prepared for whatever is thrown at you next. https://t.co/9cKawLT6Q9
In his latest update, our CEO Nathan Coe shares our latest market insights, including an analysis of consumer demand and pricing, and reveals our plans for 2022. https://t.co/oyxwpJf2U1
With record numbers of new electric vehicle sales and, as we reveal in our latest blog, an electric vehicle being the fastest selling of any used vehicle in 2021, last year really was a victory for voltage 👇 https://t.co/j4Al3nByBL
In our latest Monthly Market Intelligence Report, we analyse the 3 key trends that came to define the automotive industry in 2021, record demand, the growth in used car prices and the acceleration of EV adoption 👉https://t.co/tVW6vpQjxm Will these trends continue through 2022? https://t.co/rITl15odBm
A quick summary of what we have covered in today's webinar from @ClarkRjoclark. https://t.co/QFgNQYhCR8
Prices then are still strong, but we are still seeing under-priced stock on our marketplace which means there is profit being left on the table. It's key then to monitor the live market prices and re-price to the live market value to avoid missing out on profit. https://t.co/3jGvyFVPIn

Auto Trader Group plc
Registered in England (Company number: 09439967)

Auto Trader Limited
Registered in England and Wales (Company number: 03909628)

Registered address:

1 Tony Wilson Place
Manchester
M15 4FN
VAT number: GB 614 8918 20

Keep in touch

We use social media to speak to the UK’s largest car buying audience