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/
In next week’s webinar we’ll be joined by @mikejonesase to talk through what the latest budget means for retailers. We’ll also discuss what independent and franchise retailers can learn from each other as they prepare to reopen physical forecourts > https://t.co/rKjsWxrWjN https://t.co/tTxqOKW63A
Our teams were delighted to be a part of #BreakoutForBen, raising £12,225 towards the staggering total achieved by all who took part @BenSupport4Auto https://t.co/JqHkpGF9cE
To celebrate #InternationalWomensDay on Monday 8th March, we'll be hosting a webinar centred around this year’s theme #ChooseToChallenge. Find out more and register at https://t.co/z83jRsYDtp https://t.co/Yfvh2KkK1A
Our Data & Insight Director @therickw shares our latest audience data along with what we are seeing in terms of overall market and retailer performance. https://t.co/r5vdGHI1UM
In our next webinar we welcome back @mikejonesase ,chairman of @ASE_Global, to give the latest update on government financial support and answer your questions which you can pre-submit by following the instructions below. https://t.co/al6EzwaeJ3
Whilst the latest data from the @SMMT shows new car registrations were down -35.5% last month, we’ve seen a significant increase in new car engagement on our marketplace. https://t.co/NWLpyJ1j2W
Our Retail Price Index, which is based on daily pricing analysis of circa 900,000 vehicles, revealed the average price of a used car in February was £14,096: a YoY increase of 6.6%. https://t.co/HrAEkAqpOV
From May 1st admin fees will be displayed on your full-page adverts. Fees will not appear in search pricing until later this year. https://t.co/ernaPgaJsL
Buyer's confidence in being able to afford their next car remains extremely high. https://t.co/ktR6FungW8
First up our Data & Insight Director @therickw shares our latest audience update. Last week audience grew 8.8% compared to the same time last year, with our marketplace seeing an average of 1.4 million users each day last week. https://t.co/fNyeiSr1AG

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