Classics and older vehicles face being taken off London’s streets following the introduction of a new £25 million scrappage scheme. Launched on October 23, it aims to help low-income and disabled residents avoid the £12.50-a-day Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) charge by receiving a £2000 incentive to trade in a non-compliant car.
Introduced in April, the ULEZ currently covers the same area of central London as the Congestion Charge. However, Mayor Sadiq Khan has vowed to expand it to the boundaries of the North and South Circular roads in October 2021. Currently, ULEZ charges affect drivers of pre-Euro 6 diesel cars (broadly pre-2016) and pre-Euro 4 petrol cars (broadly pre-2006). Vehicles built more than 40 years ago and in the historic vehicle tax class are exempt, but that still leaves plenty of cars facing the levy.
The new scheme is addition to City Hall’s £23 million fund for micro businesses, sole traders and charities wanting to scrap older vans. Under the new scheme, eligible drivers can scrap vehicles in exchange for a cash grant; £1000 will be given for motorbike or moped scrappage and £2000 for a car.
In order to receive the grants, owners must live in Greater London and receive means-tested benefit, such as universal credit, child tax credit, disability living allowance or housing benefit. Vehicles must have been registered to the applicant or someone living at the same address for at least 12 months, be insured and have a current MOT and road tax. As you would expect, the grant money can be used only to buy a vehicle that meets ULEZ standards.
While few would argue against the need to cut down on pollution, what this scheme means for the future modern and emerging classics remains to be seen. We can be fairly confident that it won’t do them any favours.