Drivers are increasingly factoring in the impact of London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) emissions standards, according to vehicle history checking service carVertical.
Its findings indicate that 86% of used petrol vehicles shortlisted for purchase will meet ULEZ emission standards.
ULEZ will expand to the capital’s outer boroughs on August 29 when a £12.50 daily charge will apply for driving in the zone if the vehicle doesn’t meet certain emission standards.
Petrol cars need to meet Euro 4, 5 or 6 standards to enter the ULEZ without incurring a charge, while diesels must meet the tougher Euro 6 requirements.
London mayor Sadiq Khan is extending its ULEZ scrappage grant of £2,000 to any Londoners who scrap a non-compliant car – which may lead some to be in-market for an affordable replacement ULEZ compliant used car.
carVertical’s analysis of vehicle history searches by UK drivers found that 86% of petrol models checked by its platform this year met Euro 4 standards or better.
In comparison, just 37% of diesels checked since January met the more stringent Euro 6 standard.
In both cases, this represents an increase on the past two years. In 2021, just over a quarter (26%) of diesel cars checked by carVertical reached Euro 6 standards.
Meanwhile, the number of petrol cars meeting Euro 4-6 standards has risen slightly from 84% in 2021 to 86% in 2023, although the proportion meeting Euro 6 have increased from 28% to 36%.
In general, petrol cars from 2005 are likely to meet the minimum Euro 4 standards, while diesel vehicles from 2015 should meet the Euro 6 standards in most cases.
Matas Buzelis, car expert at carVertical, said: “The expansion of London’s ULEZ will have prompted many drivers to wonder whether their car would make the grade if a similar scheme was rolled out in their area.
“However, our research suggests that an increasing number of drivers are already buying vehicles that meet clean air requirements — especially when it comes to petrol cars.
“It is more challenging to buy a diesel that makes the grade, as they are inevitably newer cars and therefore likely to be more expensive.
“While only a few UK cities have clean air standards at the moment, many more could be introduced in the coming years as part of the push towards net zero.
“To future-proof themselves, drivers buying a used car should consider checking how polluting a vehicle is before they part with their money.”
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