Press release

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
Whilst the current market is far from predictable, it’s a safe bet that those buyers looking to make a purchase early next year are looking at your adverts on our marketplace right now. So what do you need to do to prepare for January?👇
EVs have proven again to be a bright spot in the latest @SMMT figures says @IanJPlummer. Fuel anxiety, greater environmental awareness, and the ‘cool factor’ are all helping to drive sales.
The record growth we’ve seen in used car prices in recent months shows no signs of slowing with November marking the 20th month of consecutive price growth. So where are prices currently at and what we can expect in the near future. Find out now 👉
Did you know that 42% of buyers in January this year did their research in December 2020? With this trend set to continue this year, @AndrewKorpela shares some advice on how to entice January's buyers to your adverts right now, setting you up for success next year.
It's no secret that we've seen the number of buyers considering an electric vehicle grow through 2021. But are buyers really interested in electric vehicles and how does this translate into buying intent? Find out in our The Road to 2030 Report👉
We recently marked our 1 year anniversary since we launched RPM, our online learning platform for retailers. In the last 12 months, we’ve found that retailers who’ve attended these masterclasses go on to sell their vehicles 10% quicker! Find out more -
Auto Trader Connect is now live to all retailers who requested access and who's partners have integrated with us. Auto Trader Connect puts the power of real-time data in your hands, enabling you to more efficiently manage your forecourt. Find out more -
We're still seeing retailers underpricing stock. With demand still high, there is a huge opportunity to make additional profit by pricing to market.
Of all the sales in January 2021, 42% were the result of searches made in December 2020. Make sure you're advertising all of your stock now so that you can kick of 2022 with a bang.
We’ve seen 4 years of price growth in just 5 months and this shows no signs of slowing, with mid November seeing the average price of a used car rising to a staggering £19,852.

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
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