All you need to know about London’s ULEZ

What is the ULEZ scrappage scheme?

Blue Mk1 Vauxhall Zafira behind a crane in a scrapyard

All London residents can apply to receive £2000 from TfL for scrapping a car that does not comply with ULEZ standards.

For a successful application, you must live within one of the 32 London boroughs and have been the registered keeper of the vehicle since 30 January 2022 (or earlier). It must also be insured, taxed and have a valid MOT. You should evidence these with a copy of the V5 and a valid insurance certificate.

If your application is approved, you must scrap the vehicle at one of TfL’s approved treatment centres within one month. The centre will provide a certificate of destruction, which you should send a copy of to TfL as evidence of scrappage.

Do not scrap the car until TfL has approved your application and told you to do so, because this is likely to bar you from receiving payment.

Once TfL has received and verified the evidence that you have scrapped your car, it will process the payment.

What cars are exempt from ULEZ?

Beige Mk1 Austin Metro leans while cornering – front

As detailed above, most petrol cars registered since 2006, and diesels registered since September 2015 are compliant with the ULEZ.

However, classic cars that qualify for the historic vehicle tax exemption – built more than 40 years ago and registered as such with the DVLA – are also exempt from paying the ULEZ charge. 

Additionally, all vehicles built before 1 January 1973 are exempt from paying the charge.

If you’re looking to replace your car with something more modern for driving in the ULEZ, read our guide to the best ULEZ-compliant used cars.

London ULEZ advice

Before driving through London, you should run your vehicle’s registration through TfL’s online ULEZ checker. That will tell you whether you need to pay to enter the zone.

If you’re travelling through London on more than one day, you might want to consider setting up automatic payments to save yourself the hassle of repeatedly going online to pay the charge.

Various sat-nav systems and mapping apps offer an option to navigate around tolls such as the ULEZ, which may prove useful if you want to cross London – for example, driving from Brighton to Cambridge or from Swindon to Southend – in a non-compliant car.

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