London households face a shortage of cheap car options to avoid ULEZ bills

London households face a shortage of cheap car options to avoid ULEZ bills. Image: Claudio Divizia /

Only 5,150 affordable ULEZ-compliant cars below £5,000 are on sale in London despite 200,000 impacted vehicles.

Lower-income households looking to beat the August extension of London’s ultra-low emissions zone (ULEZ) face a dearth of cheaper options to stay on the road despite the launch of mayor Sadiq Khan’s £110m scrappage scheme, Auto Trader research shows.

Transport for London estimates more than 200,000 drivers of non-compliant vehicles will be impacted by the extension of the ULEZ to London’s outer boroughs on August 29, forcing them to buy a car or van which follows the rules or pay £12.50 to drive in the zone.

But according to data from online marketplace Auto Trader which includes 900,000 daily prices from across the whole retail market – the average cost of a used diesel car complying with ULEZ regulations is now £19,991 – with the equivalent petrol engine costing £15,000.

The average cost of a used electric vehicle is even higher at £36,102.

At the more affordable end of the market, Auto Trader’s data reveals just 5,150 on sale for £5,000 or less across London in January which complies with the new rules.

The cheapest EV available in the London area is £5,400.

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Anna Ellis

Originally from Derbyshire, Anna has lived in the middle of nowhere on the Costa Blanca for 19 years. She is passionate about her animal family including four dogs and four horses, musicals and cooking.