Assembly Member's Second Hand Car Advice Unwelcome

Says anyone affected by ULEZ expansion could buy compliant vehicle for £3,000

Second hand car prices have been rising. Picture: Lewis Clarke


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A Labour member of the London Assembly member has suggesting that people in outer London could buy a ULEZ-compliant car for £3,000 if they are concerned about paying the daily charge.

Following the rollout of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone expansion last October, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan earlier this year launched a public consultation over plans to expand the ULEZ further to cover the whole of Greater London by August 2023.

The issue was raised at a Mayor’s Question Time session at City Hall on Thursday (23 June) by Conservative Assembly Member Neil Garratt.

Mr Garratt said that he had been contacted by “lots of residents” in his constituency of Sutton and Croydon who are concerned about the financial implications of further expanding the ULEZ.

Drivers of cars that do not meet minimum emission standards must pay a daily charge of £12.50 to drive into the Ultra-Low Emission Zone.

Mr Garratt said: “[Residents] are worried about what that expansion would mean because they can’t afford to pay £12.50 a day to use their car, they can’t afford to replace their car with a car that doesn’t incur that charge, and they can’t get to work or do their daily journeys any other way.”

In response to Mr Garratt, Sadiq Khan said he would encourage those with concerns to respond to TfL’s public consultation on the plans and added that it was important to have a scrappage scheme in place “to support those who have a polluting vehicle”.

But following on from the question, Labour Assembly Member Leonie Cooper suggested that it was not “impossible” for outer London residents to buy a used ULEZ-compliant car for around £3,000.

Ms Cooper said: “If you do the calculation of £12.50 a day, five days a week, let’s say 46 weeks a year so six weeks of holiday – that works out as a payment of £2,875. If you look in… trader magazines where you can go and look for second-hand vehicles that would comply with the current level of the ULEZ that are widely available at £2,875 or thereabouts.”

Sadiq Khan was criticised for a similar suggestion last year ahead of the first expansion of the Ultra-Low Emission Zone.

In an interview with the Standard in June 2021, Mr Khan said that he had sympathy for people whose vehicles did not meet minimum emissions standards, but that they could “buy a second-hand vehicle” to avoid having to pay the £12.50 levy.

Kevin Taylor, who lives just outside the current ULEZ and works in care home management said, "Advice like this most people could do without. Assembly members get close to £60,000 a year and generous benefits. However, they shouldn't assume that people can just rustle up three grand when it suits them and, if you have a family, you aren't going to get a suitable car for that price anyway and second hand prices are very high at the moment. I'm going to have to pay considerably more and get rid of a car which is taxed at a lower level by the government because of its low emissions."

Within the first month of last year’s ULEZ expansion, it was reported that 92 per cent of vehicles entering the zone were compliant with the new standards.

City Hall has estimated that expanding the zone to include outer London boroughs would remove an additional 20,000 to 40,000 polluting vehicles from London’s roads per day, reducing CO2 emissions by as much as 150,000 tonnes.

Londoners have until July 29 to respond to TfL’s public consultation on the proposed expansion.

Joe Talora - Local Democracy Reporter


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June 24, 2022