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/
Thanks to everyone that played #ATFestive today. In case you weren't sure of the answer, here it is... We'll announce the winner on Monday along with the next question. Have a great weekend 🎅 https://t.co/sLZI6mTlKr
Day five of the #ATFestive giveaway. If you work in the UK automotive industry and fancy winning a £50 Amazon voucher for you or your team, just answer this question....you shouldn't have too far to go to find the answer 😉Good luck! 🎄🎄 https://t.co/wKLWluYym9
According to data from the Auto Trader Fastest Selling Index the @renault_uk Zoe was the UK's fastest selling used car in December AND 2019 as a whole. It marks the first time a pure #electricvehicle has taken the annual top spot. Read more here: https://t.co/UnmbW8lHEz https://t.co/XBRj8E9EsW
Thank you to everyone who's been playing #ATFestive this week. Yesterday's winner, who answered correctly that the @PeugeotUK 3008 was the Auto Trader New Car of the Year 2019 is....@chevroncars 🥳 Well done guys. Stay tuned for today's question https://t.co/elccev0yz3
And that's it for day four of #ATFestive. Here's the answer - it is of course the brilliant @PeugeotUK 3008. Thank you to everyone who played today. We'll reveal the winner tomorrow along with question 5 🎄 https://t.co/TcZCTDL5Xh
Day four of #ATFestive and your chance to scoop a £50 Amazon voucher for you or your team. If you work in the UK automotive industry, all you need to do is answer today's question by 5pm this evening. Good luck! 🎁🎁 https://t.co/PJiYCT6MrL
Congratulations to the team at @RobinLuscombe ...you've won yesterday's #ATFestive giveaway and a £50 Amazon voucher 🥳 Stay tuned for today's question 🎅 https://t.co/OPcrvnLtng
And that's it for another day of #ATFestive - here is the answer. Did you get it right? Thanks so much to everyone that's playing along. We'll be revealing the winner tomorrow, along with question 4. Good luck! 🎄🎁 https://t.co/sOnAmMEF1x
Day three of #ATFestive. If you work in the UK automotive industry then here's your chance to win a £50 Amazon voucher. Just answer the question below by 5pm. Good luck 🎄 https://t.co/TyJ26ehSDe
Congratulations to the team at @RMI_NFDA for answering yesterday's #ATFestive question correctly. A £50 Amazon voucher is on its way! Stay tuned for today's question 🎅🎁 https://t.co/n8Qp2Tla2a

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