If you live in London the likelihood is you will have heard of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (or ULEZ as it’s more commonly known). 

What you’re probably not so sure about though is if the car you’re planning to buy is liable for the ULEZ charge

That’s why we’ve put together this little article to explain how ULEZ applies to cars and help you figure out if the car you’re planning to buy is a good purchase or not. 

New vs Old 

To keep things simple, the Ultra Low Emission Zone charges are more likely to apply to an older car. So, the first tip we’d offer is: seek to buy new. 

Having said that, the ULEZ is based on emissions and not age. It’s just far less likely newer vehicles will have high emissions. 

For petrol cars, you can be reasonably confident your car will meet the standards if it was registered after 2005. If you’re looking to buy diesel, then it would need to have been registered after 2015 to stand a chance of meeting ULEZ standards. 

If in doubt, you can always refer to our handy vehicle checker to see if the car you’re looking to buy is chargeable under ULEZ or not. 

Euro 4 and 6 – what’s that all about? 

Transport for London have stated that petrol cars meeting Euro 4 emission standards and diesel cars meeting Euro 6 standards will not be chargeable under ULEZ. 

But, what does this mean? Well, the classifications are based on a number of harmful emissions a car can produce. 

Of particular note: 

  • Nitrogen oxides (more commonly known as NOx)
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Particulate matter
  • Carbon Monoxide (CO)

So, a car in the Euro 4 category produces less than the following: 

1 gram of CO emissions per Kilometre

0.10 grams of HC emissions  per Kilometre

0.08grams of NOx  emissions per Kilometre

And, a car in the Euro 6 bracket would produce less than: 

0.50 grams of CO/KM

0.08g NOx/KM

0.005g Particulate matter/KM

How do I measure these things? 

The easiest way to get to the bottom of the issue is to ask the seller/dealership what Euro emissions standard the car fits into. 

If the dealer is unaware, you can gauge a rough estimate based on year of registration (as we mentioned above). 

Ultimately, for peace of mind, take the registration details of the car you have in mind and check whether it is liable for ULEZ or not here.

Are there incentives to sell my old car under ULEZ? 

Transport for London and the Mayor of London have announced a scrappage scheme. The aim of the scheme is to support low-income vehicle owners and disabled vehicle owners to own greener vehicles. 

The scheme is based on various benefits you may or may not receive. Ultimately, you can recieve a grant of up to £2000 to help meet the cost of an ULEZ compliant car. 

For more information on grants and scrappage, please see TFL’s website.


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