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/
Missed this week's webinar with special guest @vertumotors? Well fear not - the whole webinar is now available on demand at https://t.co/A8vB2i49FU https://t.co/fpMbEkaRgB
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Exactly one week ago @MrRoryReid & @ErinBakerMotors announced the winners of the Auto Trader New Car Awards – revealing the best #newcars in the UK according to over 181,000 car owners! You can check out the #award winners at https://t.co/FMgf5HByCM #ThrowbackThursday https://t.co/CLdSORmOV0
Exactly one week ago when @MrRoryReid & @ErinBakerMotors announced the winners of the Auto Trader New Car Awards – revealing the best #newcars in the UK according to over 181,000 car owners! You can check out the #award winners at https://t.co/FMgf5HByCM #ThrowbackThursday https://t.co/SAFHIczDhl
#Dacia have done it once again! The @daciauk Duster once again won the Best Value New Car at the Auto Trader New Car Awards 2020 - an award they also took home in 2019! https://t.co/vf00Z0g60W https://t.co/rn5qZX59Gh
We've seen a record number of #newcar and van #leads with new car retailers enjoying a massive 91% monthly increase in leads! Discover the latest new car data and how to drive even more leads as we see demand continue to spike now > https://t.co/8l2Mkx0ldn
Big thanks to everyone who joined today's webinar and of course to our guest speaker @vertumotors!
Reminder that next week we'll be launching #ATHighlyRated! Retailers who met the criteria will be receiving a pack next week to promote their achievements to consumers. https://t.co/UJgS71ytoP
Over to @stuart_trader who reveals the result of our earlier poll - a majority discounting prices much less or maintaining pre-#covid19 approach https://t.co/t8PfkUzrtU

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