Signs drivers are buying "Historic" cars to avoid the ULEZ daily charge

The daily ULEZ charge for non compliant vehicles driving in the expanded ULEZ is £12.50 -
if a non-compliant vehicle is used every weekday for 48 weeks a year that would amount to an annual ULEZ cost of £3,000!

Our Pricewatch spotter Keith Belcher has seen a report on the MailOnline website which highlights a trend following the expansion of the ULEZ in London. The trend mentioned there could have worrying consequences for parts of the classic car market if good pre-1983 vehicles are bought in significant numbers for daily use to save users the daily ULEZ charge.

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Acknowledgment: MailOnline
MailOnline reports Londoners are snapping up classic cars in a bid to avoid the daily ULEZ charge
In August 2023 the ULEZ zone was extended to a far wider area covering London and its outer areas. The extension has been very controversial, particularly with many of the outer areas of Greater London and beyond. Many people living in areas covered by the larger ULEZ are facing heavy costs with non compliant cars or the cost of replacing them.

MailOnline reports "d
ealers across the capital have noted a surge in sales of cars manufactured before 1983, which are exempt from the £12.50 daily access charge as they are classed by DVLA as 'Historic" vehicles exempt from the daily ULEZ charge".
What is behind the new group of buyers in the classic car market?
Many drivers on a tight budget may have been driving an older vehicle in areas in what used to be the smaller ULEZ until August 2023 when the ULEZ was expanded to reach the outer boroughs of the London area, in many cases almost reaching the M25 motorway. Those drivers will now be facing heavy additional motoring costs from paying the daily £12.50 ULEZ access charges if their vehicle is not ULEZ compliant. If a car is used every weekday for 48 weeks a year that would amount to an annual ULEZ access cost of £3,000!

So what are the options to avoid that annual ULEZ cost?
> Buy a new or secondhand car which meets the emissions standards so no ULEZ charge is payable. That would probably need a spend of anywhere between £7,000 to £15,000 or more. A new MG3 for example is available from £13,820 on the road.
> Buy a ULEZ exempt classic car which has "Historic" road tax status - for example a 5 door hatchback like a pre-1983 Ford Fiesta or Escort of VW Golf for £3,000 to £10,000.

Saving £3,000 a year on daily ULEZ charges would repay that outlay in between 1 and 4 years.

MailOnline goes on to say "a vintage car dealership said they had seen customers opting for more affordable classic cars to avoid paying the clean air ULEZ levy. He branded the surge in sales 'ironic' as although the cars are exempt from the charge, the older cars are more polluting than their modern equivalent.
ULEZ is now the major deciding factor for most Londoners buying motors, the car salesman said".

Classic sportscars could also be caught in this trend to avoid paying the daily ULEZ charge: MG Midgets and MGBs and also Triumph Heralds and Spitfires for example.