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Clean Air Zones could unlock fresh opportunities for retailers, says Carwow

Clean Air Zones are driving consumers to sell their vehicles and search for alternatives, according to data from Carwow.

Since the expansion of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) was announced in November 2022, Carwow has seen a 101% increase in the sale of used cars via its Sell My Car service.

The car buying and selling platform now expects this to continue growing significantly as the August 29 deadline approaches.

But as well as the expansion of the ULEZ, Glasgow’s Low Emission Zone (LEZ) comes into effect next week (June 1), bringing with it an outright ban on non-compliant cars.

Clean Air Zones have also appeared in Birmingham, Bristol and Oxford, which now charge drivers to enter the zone. And more look set to come, with Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Dundee will all bring in bans for drivers from May/June 2024.

James Pollard, director of Sell My Car at Carwow, said: “We’re seeing that non-compliant cars are still selling successfully on Carwow’s platform as retailers in regions that are not affected by ULEZ or Clean Air Zones, such as in the North or West of the UK, are well aware that there is still high demand for these vehicles from drivers seeking affordable and fuel-efficient used cars.

“For those retailers based in areas with schemes in place, or on the way, our data shows that the majority of car sellers are looking to replace their vehicle, so we expect to see a corresponding bump in sales of compliant cars or low-and no-emission models at the same time.”

According to new Carwow research, public support for such schemes is high, with more than half (54%) of those surveyed agreeing that the ULEZ expansion and other new Clean Air Zones will help build a better world for future generations.

Carwow purports that such positivity will likely be reflected in consumer buying behaviour with a readiness to switch their current vehicle to one that complies, avoiding hefty fiscal penalties.

Three in four (74%) of those surveyed did not know if their car was compliant. One in 10, however, know their vehicle is non-compliant but say they could not afford to switch, which opens the door for dealers to discuss PCP and finance options.

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