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ULEZ – What has changed?

The London Mayor, Sadiq Khan  has declared his continued commitment to go forward with the citywide ULEZ plans despite strong oppsition. The goal is to address the city’s escalating climate crisis and “bring clean air to 5 million more people.”
 
What is ULEZ?
 
The Ultra-Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is intended to reduce emissions and enhance air quality in Greater London. It was first implemented in 2019 and is applicable to motorbikes and cars. Vehicles that are subject to ULEZ charges are :
  • Diesel cars and vans that don’t adhere to Euro 6 Standards
  • Petrol vehicles that do not adhere to Euro 4 Standards
  • Motorcycles not compliant with Euro 3 Standards
Starting on August 29, all London boroughs will be charged £12.50 a day for operating a vehicle with higher emissions in a ULEZ zone. It’s important to note that 90% of vehicles operating in London on an average day already comply with ULEZ, so they won’t be impacted. This new tax has, of course, caused alarm for Londoners whose budgets are already tight as the cost of living issue worsens.
 
Sadiq Khan has reacted to concerns made by those that live in the city and extended the Scrappage scheme to include all Londoners and the benefit payment has increased.
 
What has changed?
 
From August 4 2023
  • Payments to charities and small enterprises with non-compliant vans will increase to £7,000 (from £5,000).
  • The amount of grants for vehicles with wheelchair accessibility will rise from £5,000 to £10,000
  • Minibus scrappage grants will rise from £7,000 to £9,000
  • An increase from £7,500 to £9,500 has been made to grants to replace non-compliant vans with electric vehicles.
  • Grants to purchase an electric minibus in substitution of a non-compliant minibus have increased from £9,500 to £11,500.
  • Retrofit incentives rise from £5,000 to £6,000, usually covering the full cost of retrofitting.
 
From August 21 2023
  • Small firms and sole proprietors will be able to obtain up to £21,000 in incentives to scrap up to three vans. 
  • Every Londoner with a non-ULEZ-compliant car will be eligible for a £2,000 grant.
  • Grants of up to £28,000 will be available to charities to help them scrap up to three minibuses.
 
This is good news for vehicle owners wishing to transition to an electric vehicle. With the increased grants, customers who switch from a non-compliant van to an electric vehicle would receive an increase from £7,500 to £9,500. Additionally, incentives for electric minibuses would increase from £9,500 to £11,500. Applications will be made accessible to Londoners on a first come, first serve basis. Despite several other UK cities have already benefited from it, this will be the first time money has been designated to London vehicle owners. 
 
The ULEZ zone seeks to reduce the number of higher-carbon vehicles on London’s roadways while also tackling the city’s high levels of air pollution. This is in line with the government’s plans, which we’ll start to see enacted in 2030, to permanently ban the production of all new petrol and diesel automobiles in the UK.
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