As you likely already know, the ULEZ underwent its biggest, final expansion in August, which means it now covers the entirety of the Greater London area. A recent FOI request by the RAC revealed that it’s likely to have affected close to 700,000 drivers. What’s more, it also has big implications for the scrap car market, and buyers. So if you’ve noticed any big recent fluctuations in the prices of our online car auctions, that might be the reason! Here are some of the biggest effects it’s been having.
A rise in people scrapping cars
According to recent research by carwow, 44% of those who own non-ULEZ-compliant cars are understandably worried that the ULEZ has diminished their car’s value, even if they don’t live inside the new parameters. That means that resale values are plummeting, leading to a massive surge in people offloading their non-compliant vehicles before they lose too much of their value.
In the lead-up to its implementation, carwow was already a 68% surge in sales listings from cars over 15 years old – in other words, those that wouldn’t be eligible to meet the ULEZ requirements, and are suddenly uneconomical to drive. To put that into perspective, if your car doesn’t meet the ULEZ requirements, you’re obligated to pay a daily charge of £12.50 for every day that passes through (or rests in) the ULEZ zone. If you live in London and you own a non-compliant car, that means you could end up paying an extra £375 a month. That almost £4500 extra every year.
No wonder there’s apparently been a 50% rise in the number of people in the capital looking to scrap their cars between May and July 2023. What’s more, there’s been nearly an 80% jump in the areas surrounding London compared to a year ago.
Rise in EV sales
This one is hardly surprising – carwow’s research also found that the ULEZ changes have led 25% of respondents to consider buying an electric vehicle, or EV. Not only are they by definition compliant with ULEZ restrictions, but it’s often been argued that city centres are the best places for electric vehicles, as they’re often used to make relatively short journeys, and the surrounding environment is more likely to be rich in charging stations – so there’s none of the “range anxiety” that’s usually a concern with using them in the surrounding countryside.
Better deals for buyers on the scrap car market
This is due to a variety of reasons. For starters, second-hand cars that happen to be compliant with ULEZ restrictions have just become even more valuable, with buyers in London willing to pay a lot more for them. That means if you spot a vehicle you know for a fact is compliant with ULEZ restrictions, there may be a lot of money to be had in snapping it up and ‘flipping’ it for a profit.
It's also meant an influx of perfectly functional cars being sold on to the second-hand and scrap market, with non-compliance being their only fault. Of course, there’s a fear that this means perfectly good cars are going to waste, and raises questions about whether or not the scheme is environmentally friendly. But it’s worth making the distinction that the ULEZ isn’t concerned with climate change, but specifically about air quality in the capital – which are two related but distinctive things. All that means that perfectly functional but non-compliant cars can now be bought surprisingly cheaply, especially if you’re not based in the ULEZ.
So if you’re looking for the perfect second-hand car to flip for profit, or even to serve as your new personal motor, you’re in exactly the right place. Here at RAW2K, we supply a huge range of used, seized and salvage cars to choose from in our online car auctions, which are refreshed on a daily and weekly basis. They include models from world-leading manufacturers like Ford and Vauxhall, as well as others, including Honda and Peugeot. Why not take a look around, and see what you can find?