Revealed: Costs of Ulez compliant cars soar by up to 7% in the last month as 780,000 drivers race to sell their old motors ahead of looming expansion
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Mayor Sadiq Khan‘s extension of Ulez from next Tuesday will see the scheme cover all London boroughs and force drivers of non-compliant vehicles to pay £12.50 a day.
And 18 per cent of Londoners are still planning on selling their vehicle ahead of the controversial expansion, according to a study by used car marketplace Motorway.
It added that some of the most popular Ulez-compliant models including the Audi A1 and Nissan Qashqai have risen in price by up to 7 per cent over the past month.
The research also found 14 per cent of Londoners have now sold their car because of the expansion, and 39 per cent cannot afford to buy a car that is Ulez compliant.
Experts claim demand for non-Ulez compliant cars is holding firm in areas outside London which do not have clean air zones – with used cars retaining their value amid continuing supply shortages since the pandemic began creating a seller’s market.
The UK’s used car market grew 4 per cent in the first half of 2023, with 1,832,267 vehicles changing hands in the second quarter of this year – up by 72,583 on the same period in 2022, according to the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders.
And Motorway said the average sold price of used cars on its platform increased by 5.44 per cent from the end of June to mid-August.
It added that some Ulez-compliant models under five years old and had seen prices jump between July and August – including the Audi A1, up by an average of 6.7 per cent; Nissan Qashqai, up 4.9 per cent; and Ford Kuga, up 4.0 per cent.
Others posting rises were the Hyundai Tuscan, up 2.8 per cent; the Audi A3, up 2.3 per cent; and the Volkswagen Golf, up 1.5 per cent. Prices were flat for the Ford Fiesta, Jaguar F and Volkswagen Tiguan.
Motorway said users of its website had made 25,000 Ulez compliance checks in a recent 30-day period, with 8,944 vehicles coming back non-compliant, or 34 per cent.
Of these non-compliant vehicles, 15 per cent were Ford, 11 per cent Mercedes, 10 per cent Volkswagen, 9 per cent BMW and 7 per cent Vauxhall.
Motorway also said its research found 71 per cent of Londoners say the car they currently drive is Ulez compliant, and 36 per cent are ‘deeply concerned’ about the impact the expansion will have on their personal finances.
Meanwhile, 42 per cent of Londoners fear they will not get a good price if they were to sell their non-compliant model, while 52 per cent said they would not be able to pay the £12.50 fee every time they drive in the Ulez zone.
Some 26 per cent are concerned they will not be able to afford to switch to public transport, and 46 per cent agree that the cost-of-living crisis means they cannot afford to switch to an electric vehicle or compliant petrol car.
Meanwhile 24 per cent of Londoners agreed that the expansion would inhibit their ability to travel to work.
Alex Buttle, co-founder of Motorway, which has a network of more than 5,000 verified car dealers, told MailOnline: ‘With London’s Ulez expanding on August 29, car owners across Greater London are deciding if they need to sell.
‘In the final days leading up to the expansion date, we are seeing car values changing, with the price of some compliant models going up due to demand.
‘And while non-compliant cars could see a drop in value, much of the UK still sits outside of clean air zones, so with the UK used car market as strong as it is, there will still be willing buyers for these non-compliant models.’
It comes amid ongoing controversy about the so-called ‘war on motorists’ which opponents of Mr Khan claim he is carrying out – but he denies is the case.
Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer has blamed the Ulez policy for his party’s recent by-election loss in Uxbridge last month, which will now be included in the scheme.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has urged Mr Khan to ‘think twice’ about the expansion, while Sir Keir suggested cities should look at other options for tackling air pollution.
Mr Khan has previously admitted his decision to expand Ulez was ‘very difficult’ but insisted it would ‘see five million more Londoners being able to breathe cleaner air’.
But the Mayor has seen his popularity plummet among suburban voters, who will be impacted by the expansion.