In anticipation of the forthcoming Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expansion across all London boroughs from August 29, Transport for London (TfL) has announced significant changes to the scrappage scheme.
The aim is to support more Londoners and businesses in transitioning to cleaner vehicles, helping to improve air quality in the capital.
According to recent data, 90% of cars observed in outer London on an average day already meet the ULEZ emissions standards, ensuring their drivers will be exempt from the daily charge. However, individuals driving petrol vehicles over 16 years old or diesel vehicles over 6 years old are encouraged to check their vehicle’s compliance using TfL’s online vehicle checker.
Recognising potential concerns about the financial implications of the ULEZ expansion, the Mayor of London has allocated £110 million to fund an expanded scrappage scheme. These changes, set to be implemented at the end of July, aim to provide financial assistance to Londoners in need.
The updated scrappage scheme offers various forms of support, including:
- Londoners on certain low-income or disability benefits can receive up to £2,000 when scrapping their car or motorcycle.
- Individuals receiving child benefits will be eligible to apply to the scheme starting from the end of July.
- London-based sole traders, micro-businesses, and registered charities can apply to scrap or retrofit their van or minibus, with payments ranging from £5,000 to £9,500.
- Businesses registered in London with fewer than 50 employees may apply to the scheme (currently only those with up to 10 staff can apply) and charities operating in London may scrap or retrofit up to three vans or minibuses instead of just one.
- A new grace period will be provided for London-based sole traders, micro-businesses, small businesses, and registered charities who have ordered compliant vehicles or booked retrofit appointments but face delivery delays before August 29.
Funding for the scrappage scheme is limited, and grants will be awarded on a first-come, first-served basis. To determine eligibility and apply, interested parties are encouraged to visit the TfL website for further details, which will be available at the end of July.
In addition to the scrappage scheme, all Londoners can benefit from various support measures, such as deals on car clubs, car and van rentals, vehicle leasing, bike and e-bike hire discounts, subscriptions, and purchases. Furthermore, scrappage grant recipients will have access to additional support offers.
To explore the available support options and access an interactive map of the ULEZ expansion area, individuals are advised to visit the TfL website.
For registered Auto Pay users, TfL will automatically assess whether the ULEZ daily charge of £12.50 applies to their registered vehicles and bill them accordingly. Existing vehicles do not need to be re-added to the account, and the Auto Pay annual registration fee has been waived.
The ULEZ will be operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round, with the exception of Christmas Day (25 December). It’s important to note that driving within the Congestion Charge zone in central London will still require payment of the daily Congestion Charge unless the vehicle qualifies for an exemption or is registered for a 100% discount. The Congestion Charge zone, however, will not be expanding along with the ULEZ.