Ulez loophole exposed over scrappage scheme cars requiring MOT
The ULEZ scrappage loophole: Drivers face paying hundreds to repair old cars to make them roadworthy so they are eligible for £2,000 grant
- Cars eligible for a £2,000 grant if scrapped need to have valid MOT and road tax
- Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) expansion will be implemented next Tuesday
- ** Will you have to pay for an MOT to use the scrappage scheme? Email: [email protected] **
Drivers of cars not complying with Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) rules could face a hefty repair cost to make them roadworthy – before they are scrapped.
Rules under London Mayor Sadiq Khan’s scrappage scheme mean those cars eligible for a £2,000 grant if scrapped need to have a valid MOT, road tax and insurance.
But motorists in the capital have pointed out that this could mean they face paying hundreds of pounds to repair old cars – before they are sent to be crushed.
Other requirements from Transport for London (TfL) are that the vehicle must have been owned for at least 12 months and registered at the recipient’s home address.
Those applying for the scrappage grant must also supply TfL with evidence of the vehicle’s insurance, MOT and road tax as well as its V5C registration document.
Scrap motor cars involved in accidents on racks in a scrap metal dealers yard (file image)
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan (pictured trying bricklaying at the Royal Docks in East London in January) will carry out the controversial expansion of his Ulez zone on Tuesday next week
The expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) is due to come into force on August 29
Drivers of cars not meeting minimum emissions standards are charged £12.50 a day for entering the Ulez, which will be widened to all of Greater London next Tuesday.
What is Ulez and how does the scrappage scheme work?
Ulez stands for Ultra Low Emission Zone and is designed to cut air pollution in the capital by discouraging the use of high-emission vehicles through imposing a daily fee. It runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
To avoid the £12.50 daily fee for driving in Ulez, diesel cars must generally have been first registered after September 2015, while most petrol cars registered after 2005 are also exempt.
Mayor Sadiq Khan has said everyone living in one of the 32 London boroughs or the City of London with a polluting car facing charges under Ulez will now be able to receive a grant of up to £2,000 to support an upgrade.
It comes ahead of the Ulez expansion to beyond the capital’s North and South Circular roads on August 29.
For cars, motorcycles and wheelchair accessible cars or vans there are eight grant payment options:
- Scrap a car – £2,000
- Scrap a car – £1,600 plus one adult-rate Annual Bus & Tram Pass
- Scrap a car – £1,200 plus two adult-rate Annual Bus & Tram Passes
- Scrap a motorcycle – £1,000
- Scrap a motorcycle – £600 plus one adult-rate Annual Bus & Tram Pass
- Scrap a motorcycle – £200 plus two adult-rate Annual Bus & Tram Passes
- Scrap a wheelchair accessible vehicle (car or van) – £5,000
- Retrofit a wheelchair accessible vehicle (van only) – £5,000
Small businesses and sole traders can now get £21,000 to junk up to three vans, with £27,000 available for charities to replace three minibuses.
Extra support includes higher payments for switching to an electric vehicle, for charities with old vans, and for retrofitting an existing vehicle. There are £10,000 grants for replacing wheelchair accessible vehicles.
The van and minibus scrappage scheme offers six other options ranging from £7,000 to £11,500.
You can apply and read full details by clicking here to visit the Ulez section of Transport for London’s website.
George Morrison, 42, of Ruislip, West London, claimed he faces paying £760 to make his 1994 BMW roadworthy again so he can claim the grant to scrap it.
He told The Sun: ‘It’s a crazy situation, absolutely absurd. I can’t believe I’m being forced to shell out a fortune fixing it up just to have it crushed days later.
‘It seems to run against the ethos of the Ulez scheme. This is a much-loved car that has been taxed, insured and MOT’d for years.’
But a TfL spokesman told MailOnline today: ‘Thousands of Londoners die prematurely each year as a result of toxic pollution.
‘Children are growing up with stunted lungs and thousands of people are developing life-changing illnesses due to pollution, such as cancer, lung disease, dementia and asthma.
‘The aim of the scrappage scheme is get the most polluting vehicles off the roads, and as this car is not allowed to be driven on the road as it’s MOT has expired, it would not achieve the aim of the scheme to pay to scrap a car that cannot be driven.
‘Should the vehicle pass an MOT, we would be able to pay a grant payment of up to £2,000 to remove the polluting vehicle from the roads.’
Earlier this month, Mr Khan announced a major expansion of the scrappage scheme, saying on August 3 that every Londoner with a polluting car facing charges under Ulez will now be able to receive the grant to support an upgrade.
The decision came after the Mayor was asked by Sir Keir Starmer to reflect on how the extension of Ulez to all London boroughs was being carried out.
The Labour leader blamed concerns around the scheme for his party’s narrow by-election defeat in Boris Johnson’s old Uxbridge and South Ruislip seat last month.
Mr Khan said while he will not ‘step back, delay or water down’ the policy to tackle air pollution, he decided to widen the scrappage scheme after listening to residents’ unease about Ulez amid a cost-of-living crisis.
While previously only child benefit recipients, low-income and disabled people were eligible for scrappage grants, from Monday all Londoners with non-Ulez compliant cars or motorcycles have been able to apply.
The Labour incumbent in City Hall also announced that small businesses and sole traders can get £21,000 to junk up to three vans, with £27,000 available for charities to replace three minibuses.
More support that kicked in on August 4 included higher payments for switching to an electric vehicle, for charities with old vans, and for retrofitting an existing vehicle. Grants for replacing wheelchair accessible vehicles doubled to £10,000.
Protesters demonstrate against the expansion in Orpington, South East London, on August 19
Anti-Ulez protestors demonstrate on July 29 outside the Royal Courts of Justice in London
Traffic passes signs indicating the Ulez boundary near Hanger Lane in West London on July 22
To avoid the £12.50 daily fee for driving in the Ulez area, diesel cars must generally have been first registered after September 2015, while most petrol cars registered after 2005 are also exempt.
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Opponents of Mr Khan have claimed the scrappage scheme is a waste of taxpayers’ money and point out that it will only benefit the few who still have a car worth less than £2,000 – because those with cars worth more than £2,000 would receive more money by selling it.
TfL estimates more than 200,000 drivers of non-compliant vehicles will be affected by the expansion – which got the go-ahead at the High Court last month. But many of these cars will be worth far more than £2,000.
TfL has insisted that nine out of ten cars seen driving in outer London on an average day comply with the Ulez standards.
But figures obtained by the RAC show more than 690,000 licensed cars in the whole of London are likely to be non-compliant.
This does not take into account other types of vehicles or those which enter London from neighbouring counties, which will still be exempt from the scrappage scheme.
** Will you have to pay for an MOT to use the scrappage scheme? Email: [email protected] **
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