Over half of London motorists don’t know the ULEZ is expanding on 25th October

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is set to expand on Monday, yet only 43% of motorists in and around the city are aware, according to new research from used car marketplace, Motorway

Cars, motorcycles, specialist vehicles, and minibuses will either need to meet the ULEZ emission standards or pay a £12.50 daily charge when driving within the expanded zone. While car owners can check compliance of their vehicle with Motorway’s ULEZ checker, only 35% of motorists in and around London know how to check if their vehicle will be charged.

Even fewer motorists are confident on the new boundaries.  While 73% are aware Central London will be included: 

  • Only 29% are aware it stretches across areas of South West London (including Croydon, Kingston upon Thames, Merton, Richmond upon Thames, Sutton, and Wandsworth) 
  • Only 33% areas of West London (including Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kensington, and Chelsea) 
  • Only 33% in the North (including Barnet, Enfield, Hackney and Haringey)
  • Only 33% in the South East (including Bexley, Bromley, Greenwich and Lewisham) 
  • Only 37% in the North East (including Barking and Dagenham, Havering, Newham, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Waltham Forest)

In fact, from 25th October, the existing zone in central London will expand to the North Circular Road (A406) and South Circular Road (A205) – potentially putting many out of pocket as they adjust to the changes. Londoners that are returning to the office even just two days a week and entering the ULEZ in a non-compliant vehicle, would incur £1,125 in charges per year, while a driver who entered the ULEZ five days a week for work would have to pay up to £2,800 a year.*  

Therefore, it is unsurprising 31% would like to learn more about the zone, and one in seven (14%) plan to sell their vehicle within the next six months. 

As seen in recent news, there has been a surge in interest for electric vehicles, with two thirds (65%) of motorists in and around London likely to buy an electric vehicle in light of the expansion. 

This is despite the fact 29% are concerned that they would not be able to charge the vehicle at home, while 28% are worried that their freedom will be limited when waiting for the car to charge. However, 30% of those surveyed do think that it is necessary for the London ULEZ to be extended to improve the air quality.

new ulez 2021
The new ULEZ, expanding on 25 October 2021. Image source: TFL, ulez.co.uk and airqualitynews.com

Motorway has launched a ULEZ checker to help people find out if their vehicle meets the emissions standards of the expanded zone.  The online tool has already completed over 30,000 ULEZ compliance checks in the first seven days since its  launch on Tuesday 12th October.

Tom Leathes, CEO at Motorway, says:

“Despite having over three years to prepare for the ULEZ expansion, more than half of drivers in and around London are clearly still in the dark about this news and will get a nasty surprise when they cross the north or south circular on Monday.  If the car you’re driving means you’ll be charged when you enter the ULEZ, then selling it may be an obvious choice to save money.  

“With used car prices at an all-time high, now is a great time to sell – and even non-compliant cars are going for great prices as those who live outside of Clean Air Zones like the ULEZ won’t be feeling the pinch of these fuel charges.”

Amanda Stretton, motoring expert said: 

“It’s really shocking that despite Transport for London’s best efforts to communicate the expansion of the ULEZ  only 43% of drivers around the London area have a clue about it. Add to that only 35% know how to even check if their vehicle will be charged! Clearly motorists have had their heads in the sand about this but with more cars on the road now that people are returning to work, we will see a large number of unaware drivers facing penalties from 25th. It will be interesting to see if these penalties translate into an increase in these types of cars going for sale in the not too distant future.”

Motorway’s bumper growth fuelled further by appreciation of used cars

  • Massive change is underway in the global used car industry.  New car sales are at an all-time low, while used car demand is at an all-time peak
  • Used cars appreciated by 30% in September 2021 vs. September 2020
  • Values have been steadily increasing month-on-month, with the biggest jump in June (+16%) 
  • Motorway is a marketplace connecting consumers selling their car with professional car dealers acquiring stock – getting the best possible deal for both parties, and 100% online
  • Motorway has seen +300% YOY growth after record £306m sales in Q3 2021
  • Company is now on a run-rate to deliver over $2bn in completed sales over the next year

Investing in used cars could soon be a better bet than investing in your pension. With prices for a second hand car surging to unprecedented levels, the value of your car is currently rising every time you take it for a spin. 

Whereas cars typically depreciate as soon as they leave the forecourt, this year has seen a complete reversal in used car values.  Second-hand vehicles have skyrocketed in the last nine months, with the average value of vehicles soaring by over 30% YoY, according to Motorway, the UK’s fastest-growing way to sell your car.  

While the pandemic led to record numbers of consumers looking to buy or upgrade cars with the money they hadn’t spent on holidays or entertainment, the shortage of new cars coming to market – as a result of the semiconductor supply crisis – has turned consumers to the used car market instead. But the new car shortage has had a knock-on effect on used cars too – less new cars also means less used cars available too.  Coupled with a massive increase in consumer demand, the used car market that was already heating up, has turned red hot and prices for used cars are now going sky high. 

Motorway’s growth 

With the pandemic fueling a fundamental behavioural change in both dealers and consumers to buy and sell cars online, both groups have turned to Motorway.  At the same time, consumer demand for a simple, fast and online way to sell their car is rising month-on-month.  As a result,  Motorway has seen a four-fold YoY surge in sales and +65% growth in Q3 sales versus Q2 this year. 

The company recorded a +300% uplift in third-quarter sales to £306 million compared with £78 million last year. Between July and September this year, Motorway sold 20,076 cars.  This accelerated growth has continued, with Motorway now selling well over 8,000 cars a month, with £140m cars sold in September alone.  Over 100,000 used cars have been sold on Motorway since launch, with a new sale now agreed every five minutes.

This recent surge in sales puts Motorway on a run-rate to deliver over $2bn in completed sales over the next year, making it one of the world’s fastest growing digital automotive marketplaces.

The way to sell your car

Motorway helps consumers to sell their car for up to £1,000 more from the comfort of home. It’s simple, fast and free – a car can be profiled and uploaded onto the Motorway website using only a smartphone. Over 3,000 professional car dealers can then bid for the vehicle in a daily online auction, with the highest offer winning the car. Their car is then collected for free by the winning dealer in as little as 24 hours. 

Cutting out the middlemen and moving the whole process online, Motorway removes the hassle and the haggle, helping car sellers and car dealers get a better deal fast, and all entirely remotely.

Motorway data on appreciation of used cars comparing Q3 2021 with Q3 2020

Exclusive data from Motorway sales reveals the month-on-month increases in the average value of vehicles sold on Motorway since September 2020 and a breakdown of prices achieved by popular models:

  • A Porsche Cayman has steadily increased by +23%, going for £5,480 more than Q3 2020
  • At the other end of the scale, a Ford Focus has appreciated by over +34%, selling for £3,346 more than last year. 
  • Looking at the used EV market, a Tesla Model S sold for +14% higher than it went for last year
  • Even at the cheaper end of the market, pieces have seen huge increases – a Vauxhall Agila went for £2,300, +46% higher than Q3 2020 
  • An Aston Martin Vanquish rose by +38% just sitting in the driveway during lockdown
porsche cayman used car valuation
The Porsche Cayman was one model that saw extreme appreciation on Motorway through 2021

Table 1: Month-on-month increases in the average value of vehicles sold on the platform since September 2020

MonthAvg Value% +/- v. Sept 2020£ +/-
2020 vs. 2021 used car average valuations

Table 2: A breakdown of prices achieved by popular models comparing Q3 2021 with Q3 2020

Q321 v. Q320
MakeModelQ320Q321Q320 v. 21 (%)Q320 v. 21 (£)
TeslaModel S£42,718£48,53113.61%£5,813
Land RoverDiscovery£24,392£28,80018.07%£4,408
Aston MartinVanquish£61,166£84,00037.33%£22,834
2020 vs. 2021 used car model average valuations