In just seven weeks, a new daily charge is to be introduced for entering the City of London, it will affect all pre-Euro 4 petrol vehicles and pre-Euro 6 diesels, with no resident discount nor blue badge exemption, it’s thought that up to 2.5 million vehicles could be affected.
Unlike the congestion charge, this new tax will be levied 24-hours a day, 365 days a year, but to offset the tax, there will be a London-only vehicle scrappage scheme implemented for families on ‘low incomes’. According to Sadiq Khan, Mayor of London, the air quality in London is “a national disgrace”.
Around 28% of people living in London are in poverty, and with London’s public transport costs being some of the most expensive in the world, many rely on their car for commuting, shopping and emergencies, more so than in other parts of the country.
But with the roll-out of the new Ultra Low Emission Zone, it’s thought that around 25,000 people per day could be expected to pay a further £4,550 per year to enter the city, and in October 2021, the scheme will spread to cover everything in-between the North and South Circular Road.
To avoid pushing families in to further poverty, a new car scrappage scheme will be introduced for those on low incomes, although no details have yet been published, aside from the headline grabbing ‘£25 million scheme’.
£10 per vehicle
The headline figure doesn’t seem that impressive when you realise that it equates to just £10 per vehicle in real terms, but the devil is in the (unpublished) detail.
As a bare minimum, a vehicle will need to be manufactured from around 2006 onwards for unleaded (forget diesel – 2015/16 or newer), and when demand squeezes the supply network, prices will inevitably rise.
It’s unlikely that the scrappage scheme will be paying cold hard cash to allow for a private purchase, which pushes the consumer to buy through a business, with an already fair mark-up on the vehicle but there will be an increase in paperwork for the dealer, which of course increases their overhead – so prices will rise further, or the quality of the product will reduce, meaning that a buyer will be getting a lesser deal either way.
Even working to a payment of just £500 per vehicle, that would only allow 50,000 vehicles to be swapped, to put that into perspective, that’s just 2% of the affected vehicles. The next question would be what kind of vehicle can you buy from a car dealer for £500?
25,000 per day
It’s thought that 25,000 vehicles each day would be liable for the extra tax, which over a five day week would equate to £1,562,500, or just over £80 million per year, that’s before congestion charging is taken into account.
Official sources will tell you that the congestion charge is a success; private car usage has fallen by around 39% since the introduction of it, but that doesn’t tell the complete picture – private hire vehicles, taxis and Uber use has increased by around 29%, it’s the increase in these vehicles that has led to journey times on public transport being extended, which of course has led to a decline in the number of people using public transport as it’s seen as too unreliable. Despite the volume of traffic being less, the average journey time has still increased, the speed of traffic has reduced further.
In 2017, TfL registered the first drop in revenue for the congestion charging zone, they also lost the £700 million / year operational grant from the government, and Sadiq Khan promised to freeze public transport fares, at a cost of £640 million, despite passenger numbers and fare revenue being down by £240 million.
Could there be an extra motive behind the Ultra Low Emission Zone charging? And the extension of that?
Nobody is denying that air quality is an issue, and measures should be put in to place to tackle it, but hitting the poorest families that are reliant on their vehicle to just survive shouldn’t be part of the equation.
With plans in place to charge employees parking at work, congestion charging, and ULEZ charges, owning a car has never been more expensive, and despite the Mayor of London trying to sugar coat it, the pill is very bitter to swallow.
Town centres are dying, a further 16 city representatives were at the Clean Air Summit where Khan announced his plans, they were all in agreement that the motorist should bear the brunt of the cost to clean up the pollution, but what happens when dirty vehicles are replaced with clean? Who will pay then?
What do you think of the vehicle scrappage scheme? Is it a genuine effort to help the poorest, or merely sugar-coating the pill? Let us know in the comments.
Ulez = very big hammer to crack a peanut
Just ban all cars and private hire taxis from many streets in central London the congestion charge will not work because motorists will pay anything at all just to keep on driving their cars everywhere the want to go
Car driving will become a sport reserved for the elites.
That’s what it was like in the 1940s.
Err … that’s why I own a car. To go where “I” want or need
Charging employees for parking at work is not a good idea. It will mean that all nearby streets where there are currently no parking restrictions will be filled up with employees not willing to pay the parking charge. This will inevitably mean that streets where one used to be able to park when visiting friends or family will no longer be available. Residents will be offered a residents only parking scheme but that won’t be good if you have a number of visitors coming to visit at the same time. A way must be found that rather than introducing schemes to keep motorists out one should introduce positive schemes where people are offered a cheaper and better alternative to using their own car.
I see London’s future full of motor bikes. China, Itily…. thats what it will look like. Who can aford a £130k EV Tesla? Not me. We will just go out and get a cheep motor bike that has 50cc. Public transport is a joke.
Depends where you are. In a large city buses tend to be fairly regular if you have a choice of a few going the same way. Where I am one bus every 30 mins. Public transport is very much location dependent. I caught the bus for 4 years before finally giving up and buying another car as it was 4 hours a day and that is with the buses being on time but regularly they were not so I could sit at a stop for an hour waiting so it could be 1 hour 30 to travel into the town to the bus station and then another 90 mins back so that is 3 hours one way. You would never have that problem in a city. As a student 5 min walk to the met and 20 mins into the city. Great service.
if you live near /in Eastbourne you could pick up a fully electric 2014 Renault Zoe for under £7k – not all EV`s are gigantic Teslas!
We should be encouraging people to work, not penalising them with workplace praking charges. Often drivers have no public transport options.
Make more parking and make it easily accessible. This will avoid cars being driven round and round trying to find a parking slot. Next get those polluting buses off the road and police the stops where they sit with engines idling.
The Tfl and Mayor’s office could not survive without the Congestion Change, just another tax!!
Given that most pollution comes from HGV and PCV exhausts the scrapping of private cars will do little to help. It is true that Tfl have started to replace their buses with low or zero emission vehicles and that is to be welcomed, however congested roads and poor traffic flow is the main reason for pollution.
It will only be when we get to all electric that pollution (from vehicles) will fall significantly, to zero. Then what tax will be needed? Revenue will fall and the taxpayers will have to fund London and other sheep cities to keep them financed.
I am not a fan of Mr Khan however he is at least attempting to improve air quality albeit in the wrong way. Improved traffic flow, phasing of traffic lights etc. will reduce pollution much more than an arbitrary tax.
Central government could also do better, rather than cut the electric car grant they should be increasing it and encouraging drivers to swap, alongside encouraging manufacturers to introduce sensible ranges of vehicles that the consumer can afford and want.
In my view it is just another way to hit the motorist they always have been a easy target and just a good headline for Sadiq Khan to show he is doing somthung
I, thank my lucky stars, do not live in ‘Pollution Central’ so I am free of the guilt of killing 40,000 people per year with my emissions but the idea of charging people to park at work is ludicrous and self destructive.
The NHS is said to need volunteers to help with day to day chores. Good cause you say but, if I were to go to Kettering General Hospital and work , for nothing, for four hours, I would have to pay £8, to the privately run car park operators, for parking, so it’s not going to happen.
Northamptonshire County Council, famous for going broke, sold off it’s car parks to NCP who now charge the same price for ALL cars, even disabled. Corporate greed at it’s absolute worst.
This is just a tax grabbing scheme… You cannot do his sums!!!
What a joke…. The scrapage scheme is simply a headline. No intention to ease the plite of the poorest of us. London will become a city full of EV’s that cost £130k. The rest of us will be on a bike or a motor bike. We all have to get to work on time, and london public transporte is the most expensive in the world/ mile.
Than what will Sadic do? He will increase public transport prices to collect revenue and introduce EV road tax…. Mark my words. That revenue has to be replaced and someone has to pay if you do not drive your gas cars or use rip-off public transport which is slow, cramped, and very expensive.
You call that help, it’s another big insult to the poorer car user
There are taxes [Including parking charges] but then there are measures that in total are sufficiently severe that in the end you simply don’t go there anymore, killing off town centres. The justification is always on envirmental grounds as this is seen as difficult to oppose but the time is coming when there has to be opposition to ever more draconian environmental measures. It is just another political ideology that without the checks & balances of opposition, will evolve with ever more extreme demands.
Im all for working to build a better environment but are you taking the line of least resistance? i hear that car fumes make up a very low percentage, surely there are other, more impressive changes that can be made
An additional thought.. use the fee to help scrap all dirty cars, offering a true tade-in price to enable a change
Basically, I just don’t go there. The place is too congested anyway. Thank god for Amazon.
Damn right, David. There are many places I’d like to visit in ‘The Smoke’ but it’s far too expensive to travel by rail and bus. Car parking prices are astronomical, shop prices are horrendous and I’d better not mention other things or I’ll have the cops round.
Why not invest the cash for scrappage into designing and fitting devices to older cars that reduce their emissions to approved levels? We are a London household who use two twenty year old petrol cars everyday because that’s what we can afford but also from an environmental perspective surely it makes more sense to use a car until it’s beyond sensible repair if you want to get the best value out of the environmental impact of creating the car in the first place? It strikes me this is as much about revenue raising than anything else.
Also electric cars can reduce polution in towns and cities but if we still generate the energy to charge them using non renewable sources then all we achieve is moving the problem.
I sell such a device and tried to get the Mayor interested. No interest at all just wants to charge us. This device found at eazi-fit.com work and reduces emissions by up to 25%. It also reduces fuel consumption as well.
After a bit of a struggle with Google I’ve managed to check out your website… I see what looks like a bit of mesh, a picture of a taxi and some slightly vague testimonials. How does the product work and where do you stick it?
It doesn’t work, same sort of rubbish as the fuel line magnet, fuel ion adjusters, electric “superchargers”, mystery obd2 port boxes etc.
Trouble is the vehicle emissions are set at manufacture. No matter what you fit, even if you do a genuine 1000 MPG and produce zero emissions VED etc will not change. I approached my local (Conservative) MP about this with another device that reduces emissions etc. and was told in no uncertain terms that it would make no difference. Needless to say I decided no to save the planet and saved my money to pay almost £300 annual VED.
The Con Charge
I totally agree.
I would like to know what the difference is between ,the so called carbon footprint of making a new car as opposed to using a 20 year old one.
I suggest the new car will be worse.
I drive a classic car and have read that it will take many years of use before you reach the carbon costs of making a new one.
I would make all Government and council employees who use an official car to carry out their work make them use public transport and bar them from using Taxi’s. Sell off all Government/Council vehicles and purchase the cheapest 4 seat vehicles available. The amount of money saved would run into hundreds and thousands of pounds.
Then we would see a different attitude by Khan
For all those saying that if people move to EV’s, they will need to collect tax revenue from new means; in 2021 the ULEZ is being extended to ALL vehicles. Including EV’s. This is pure greed and tax grab.
Thats all very well,but what is the end result for the poorest people that at present own what is probably their last car (i.e.those on a basic state pension for example) who rely on and are finding it a struggle to run their last car.One day their beloved car is going to fail to “qualify” for use on british roads.Even if public transport were more readily availiable,it is going to be so horrendously expensive to use that we are not going to be able to afford to use it anyway!!!!
Over-hyped nonsense. I am looking to replace my current vehicle (’02 reg Laguna V6) and have seen many adverts claiming proudly that the car for sale is allowed in the ULEZ, so I went to the tfl website and guess what – my aging car ALSO qualifies to go into it without additional charge! So much for all these 1000’s of cars coming off the road.
”many rely on their car for commuting, shopping and emergencies, more so than in other parts of the country. ”
It really makes me wonder where the people that write these articles live, because if you live well outside a ‘major’ city, you cannot manage without a car!
I don’t live within eight miles of a train station and after 6pm buses are once every 2 hours and the last one passes through at 10pm.
But don’t worry, in London they need their cars more than anywhere else in the country!
Rural Warwickshire. But the article is about London.
Busses? What are busses, or trains for that matter.
My Jag xe is cleaner than some petrol vehicles what with the PDF and Ad Blu only attracts £20 ved and is excempt the ULEZ charge etc. 60 plus per gallon to boot.
The poorer people mostly have older vehicles; the rich can afford a new one every year. So it’s the rich again who get off the hook whilst the poor pay the price. How wonderful!
I have no interest in buying a new car even with a 4K discount. My current car was only 4.5K and that was over 10 years ago. Also some companies like Ford only give you 2K off so you have to find the next 15K yourself. No thank you. 4K off a car up to 3 years old I might have considered it as better value.
The short sightedness of the government cannot be underestimated in all this along with the underhand manipulation of emissions data from the car manufacturers. Should the end user bear the brunt of paying for this in the form of charges in the ULEZ? I believe the government (for previously promoting low CO2 diesel is the way forward)and the car manufacturers found guilty of false emission data should subsidise the scrappage scheme of all cars that now fail to meet the ULEZ levels.
So if you swap a diesel that can do about 520 miles to a tank I will need now to swap to petrol I will need just under two tanks of fuel for the same mileage
So the global warming that you told people to buy diesels won’t return when every one runs out to buy a cheaply maintained 07 petrol as opposed to the diesel that is highly maintained plus everyone will now double the pollution of petrols seems like a bad thing to me.
Clearly a load of codswallop.
What a waste and misuse of taxpayers money. Taxing vehicles more and more just takes money from people who would otherwise be spending it in the local economy. Politicians and their civil servants do not consider people, just political dogma.
Absolute ripoff.How do they expect people to afford new vehicles.what about the older taxis?. They certainly don’t help people’s lively hoods.we know there is a pollution problem,but taxing vehicle’s of the road will not help.espeshely when town centres are dying.Is this cutting you’re nose off to spite your face.!!
I have a euro 6 diesel (63reg plate) paying £30 car tax annually. If I am to get a hybrid or electric 2nd hand car I have to fork out more than double the current car value and then pay £140 car tax a year. Providing I don’t need to drive into zone 1 often. Hundred pound extra in annual tax equivalent to letting me in zone 1 for 10 days if I must, plus I don’t have to be out of pocket for a replacement 2nd hand car. Also more expensive insurance for electric hybrid too. So what incentive is the government encouraging?
What a total load of rubbish this whole fiasco is. Does Khan honestly think that just clearing the air over central London is going to make an overall difference? NO! They are just moving the traffic into more populated areas on the outskirts, publish these readings as well; not just the money grabbing backdoor tax area! Funny how no one is even bothering to take readings at the Dartford tunnel, this must be the most congested road in the whole country bar none, it is bumper to bumper all day long the air quality must be horrendous and all blowing it’s way up the Thames to….yes London!! Take our cars away Khan and see if your hideous transport system can cope? Looking at the trains going into London every morning they are bursting at the seams NOW! If governments had half a brain they would seriously be dangerous!!
Why isn’t a Park & Ride Scheme being introduced, it works well in the North. Smaller journeys to the P&R means less fuel emissions and the shuttle buses could be electric. Problem solves. Make me major now !
I’d love a cleaner car, I got a diesel with the absolute best emissions when they were pushing for diesels. As a single professional working parent with debts I’d never be able to afford a new or cleaner car no matter how much I’d love to! I pray every day that mine keeps going and it’s only 6yrs old doing 2500m a month. Not through choice!