The Realities Of Clean Air Zones: London’s ULEZ, One Year On

Clean air zones in big cities are all the rage at the moment. Urban, built-up environments have always had a tricky relationship with cars, in part down to the consequences congestion has on air quality in these areas. As I write this article, over 200 cities across 10 European countries operate some sort of clean air zone. England alone has six. I’ve lived a mile from London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) for over a year now, and I want to tell you all about it.

ULEZ was originally introduced in central London back in April 2019, designed to target a relatively small chunk of the capital. Think of London as an onion, having six layers or so. The centre is Zone 1, a relatively small area, but the one that took the brunt of all congestion. The further you go out, the bigger the zone and the larger the area covered is. In theory, although not always in practice, the further out of Zone 1 you are the better your air quality is, until you eventually end up in Zone 9, or something like that, which isn’t really London anymore and might as well be the countryside. Sorry Epsom.


In Speedhunters terms, there’s not much speed to be hunted in central London. The areas are filled with speed bumps, the limit is basically 20mph everywhere, and parking is mostly permitted Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 8:00pm. It’s definitely not a write-off for car culture though, quite the opposite. We’ll get back to this later.

When ULEZ was implemented, London already operated a congestion charge system, charging anyone who wanted drive around this area £15 (US$18) a day. There were exemptions, with residents receiving a 90% discount, EV users not needing to pay, and disabled people also not being effected. The latter two again aren’t impacted by the then new ULEZ, however residents and other road users would now need to pay the additional ULEZ fee of £12.50 ($US15).

Congestion Charge was just that, a £15 charge to deter people from driving in the zone, however ULEZ was a new thing, with a new purpose. ULEZ wasn’t battling global warming or congested roads, it was battling air quality which was quickly deteriorating from toxic gasses that unfortunately do actually get created as a result of our hobby. The specific toxic gas in question is nitrogen oxides, more commonly referred to as NOx.

As a general benchmark, ULEZ would be applied to petrol cars which failed to meet Euro 4 regulations which became mandatory in new petrol cars in 2005, and diesel cars failing to meet Euro 6, mandatory from 2014.

That’s correct, if your petrol car was made before 2005, that’ll be £12.50 (US$15), please. Diesel? £12.50. Whack the congestion charge on top and we’re talking £27.50 (US$33.50). Drive in Saturday evening and leave just after midnight? That’s two days buddy… £55 (US$67). Do that once a week? £2,860 (US$3,500) a year. I hope you guys have a big wallet.

No big deal though, as ultimately this area of London was quite tiny and frankly out the way for driving. This was until 2020, when rumours started to spread that this teeny tiny ULEZ zone will be expanding to the edge of Zone 2 at the end of 2021. South London get’s off lightly here, but North London… basically all of North London is in Zone 2. End result? On October 25th, 2021 ULEZ expanded to cover all of Zone 2, going from a small, central London area to covering an area of 4,000,000 people.


That’s an insane number of people. The state of Oklahoma is 4,000,000 large. It’s like two Nebraskas stuck on top of each other. I’ve never been to America so I’ve got no idea what that actually means, but it sounds like a whole lot of people and that’s because it really is. 4,000,000 people now have to pay £12.50 a day just to move their car off their drive if their car isn’t ULEZ compliant.

Automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) cameras are whacked all over the place inside the zone to make sure you can’t dodge this.

Now, there’s a whole host of socioeconomic variables that are taking a heavy hit as a result of ULEZ which I’m way too under-qualified to speak about, but asking people to suddenly replace their main form of transport during a cost of living crisis (with a newer and most likely more expensive piece of kit) is a recipe for disaster. It’s recently been announced that in August 2023, the ULEZ zone will expand to cover the whole of greater London. Today, that means 8,899,375 people will be living inside the ULEZ zone by the end of 2023. Oof…


The realisation of this situation is still sinking in for most people. We’re all still kind of looking around at each other thinking… ‘hold up, I have to get rid of MY car?’ Yes, Michal. Either pay £12.50 a day, or sell your ’90s BMW. There go my dreams of taking it to moon miles and beyond, or driving my firstborn home from hospital in it. Whatever…

The reality is, NOx causes some serious issues for people living in these air zones. Premature deaths are the biggest and most commonly spoken about consequences of doing nothing to fix the poor air quality. Of course, this isn’t just a problem for us in London. Our Parisian readers have the same issue and their clean air zones are more drastic than anything us Brits have. If a car was manufactured before 1997, they cannot drive their car Monday to Friday, 8:00am to 8:00pm. At all. They can’t even pay their way in.

Germany has 58 clean air zones which you can’t enter at all in an ICE vehicle until you pay for your emissions number plate sticker. It’s no biggie, but if you fail to buy this sticker you can get stung with a €100 (US$105) fine. Oh, and you don’t qualify for a sticker at all if your car is a Euro 3 or below. No catalytic convertor, no sticker.

The choice is now clear to me, find a way to live with clean air zones, or… well, there is no other choice. I can’t fix this problem, and neither can you. Admittedly, the noise of these clean air zones coming in to take everything I love in life away from me has been present for a while now, allowing me to hunker down and prepare some contingency options.

Friends, if you haven’t already I suggest you buckle in as I take you through my ULEZ escape plan.

Option 1: Buy A Classic Car

We’re quite lucky in the UK. For some reason, our government grants cars over the age of 40 classic car status. In turn, they’re free from all tax and yearly mechanical inspections. That’s correct, because of their age they’re no longer required to go through an MOT roadworthiness test or pay any road tax, including, you guessed it, clean air zone charges. Now, off the bat this seems like a great idea, but at the moment it obviously only applies to cars made in 1982 or prior.


I don’t doubt some of the best cars to grace the pages of Speedhunters are older than 40, but if you’re unable to run more than one car (such as myself) relying on 1970s technology and engineering for daily use, reliability and safety is a little bold. Alex, my buddy who owns this gorgeous BMW E21 uses it frequently, but he does also have a modern daily to go alongside it. If I had to bank my own cash here on a daily classic car, I’d be looking nowhere but Mercedes-Benz.

The W123 started production in 1975, giving you plenty of ULEZ options to choose from, and best of all they came in all the body shapes you could ask for. Other appropriate options include the Mk1 Golf, all sorts of Fords, and even the Mini. These are all suitable city classics with life left to be used on and on if desired and looked after.

It’s worth adding here, with every year that goes by, more and more cars are unlocked for us via this classic car status. In 2023, we will have access to the earliest Mk2 Golfs, BMW E30s and Mercedes-Benz 190 Es. In 2024, we get the third generation Civic. I live down the road from an elderly lady who’s owned a 3G Civic since new. I managed to get chatting with her one day and she told me all the stories she had with the car, from the time she test drove one on holiday in Switzerland to her mother getting caught speeding in it.


The mood switched when she told me how distraught she was that ULEZ would force her to sell her beloved Civic, especially as she uses it maybe once a fortnight. It was an early 1984 model, so I told her to give it a year and a bit and it’ll be ULEZ-free anyway. She had no idea. It’s sad to think how many people in her position aren’t aware of the classic car status rules.

Option 2: Enter The World Of Modern Classics

There are a lot, and I mean an awful lot of good cars that are old enough to get retro status, and clean enough to meet emission regulations in clean air zones. Let’s start with the most obvious.

When it comes to city life, look no further than a hot hatchback. Chucking a small car around, rowing through the gears and revving out small capacity engines provides a joy like no other.

The Renault Clio is the first thing that springs to mind, specifically the 182 Phase 2s. Arguably the pinnacle of French hot hatchery, they’re ULEZ-free and ready to rip about the streets of Central London whilst looking trendy in a way only French cars can. The Phase 1 172s are prettier, but harder to find as ULEZ ready. A 2001 Y-reg car will be ULEZ complaint, but anything before won’t be. This is where cracks start to show in the system, and opportunities open up. More on this soon.

I found this 182 whilst walking around Soho with Lewis. Sticky tyres and a bucket seat far surpasses what you need to have fun in the city, but something tells me this sees more action than just Park Lane roundabout. I don’t blame the owner, I’d do the same thing to my one.

Lewis himself owns a ULEZ hot hatch, a Lupo GTI. These cars are full of charm, with a buzzy 1.6L under the bonnet and a host of homologation-esque touches around the place. Wider arches, lightweight panels, interior differences and that magical GTI badge on the boot lid makes this the go-to, appreciating modern classic hot hatch.

Alongside the sporting pedigree, the GTI badge gives you an almost access all areas feeling. It’s not out of place in the posh streets of Chelsea as it is in the suburbs. Anyone and everyone can drive a Lupo, Golf or Polo GTI and feel content knowing they’re driving an object that makes them fit in with everyone. At least in my opinion. Surprisingly, these Polo and Lupo GTIs are a rare sighting in central London these days.

Option 3: Hunt For The Cracks In The System

At first glance, ULEZ is incredibly intimidating and confusing. It shouldn’t be, but government communications are so all over the place it almost makes you wonder if they’ve made it difficult to understand for your average Joe on purpose. The reason a 6.0L Bentley is ULEZ-compliant but a 1.0L Micra isn’t is down to the type of toxic air these cars produce, but specifically the amount of NOx that comes out of the exhaust. Newer cars are cleaner, yes, but fortunately for us making clean cars was an initiative that a lot of the more established car manufacturers tried to meet back in the ’90s as well.

This leaves us in an interesting position where some Euro 3 cars from the ’90s have NOx emissions low enough to meet ULEZ standards. They aren’t marked as ULEZ on the government’s systems, but that’s purely because the system is automatically filtered to exclude anything before 2001 and before Euro 4.

The reason for this is a mystery, but I have a theory. Back in the ’90s when these cars were made, there were no requirement for car manufactures to declare NOx figures when registering these cars for sale in the UK. Filling in another blank box for hundreds of thousands of cars required labour which requires money. If the manufacturer doesn’t need to spend money on admin, they won’t. In 2001, legislation changed and this figure had to be recorded. Y-reg cars therefore can suddenly appear as ULEZ-compliant.

This leaves us with a weird period in car history where models running from the late ’90s to the early ’00s would come either registered with NOx up front… or not. If you own a vehicle in this time period, have a look at your V5. There will be a NOx reading box. It might be empty, or it might be filled.

The plot thickens as a lot of manufacturers made cars with low NOx ratings but never registered it as there was no need. Mercedes-Benz is a prime example of this. R129s, W210s, even the AMGs had NOx ratings low enough to make them ULEZ-compliant, but weren’t registered as so. Fortunately for us, Transport for London who are responsible for keeping a log of all the cars crossing the ULEZ border are aware of this and are happy to help, marking these rare Euro 3 modern classics as the ULEZ-free cars they should be.

Admin is involved in getting this done. To begin with, you’ll need a Certificate of Conformity from your manufacturer. Using Mercedes-Benz as an example again, they charge for this. I believe it’s £150 (US$182), and then you risk receiving a certificate that shows your model doesn’t actually meet ULEZ requirements. Dead end for you. For the most part, these are still uncharted and unpredictable waters and, frankly speaking, a lot of it is down to luck. W210 E 55 AMG? All good to go. SL 320? No clue, I’m still yet to find an owner who’s tried their luck and their £150.

Another good one is the Mk4 petrol Volkswagen Golfs. Early ones prior to the 2001 filter also meet NOx requirements even though they’re marked as not. A few good emails in the right departments could change that. My favourite one of the bunch so far? Pre-facelift BMW E39 M5s. Yup, they meet ULEZ! What us Londoners have on our hands here is quite literally a treasure hunt to try and find the cars that deserve to stay with their owners in the city. A literal hunt for speed. Who’d have thought?


It all goes back to what I said at the start. On paper, London is no good for us Speedhunters, but now that over 10% of the UK’s population will be living inside ULEZ by the end of 2023, there’s a huge chunk of car culture we have to stick up for. If that means doing some research and getting us excited by the prospect of potentially unlocking some new ULEZ classics, I’m all here for it. Also, whilst it’s not edge-of-the-seat motoring, there is something absolutely magical about cruising through one of the most famous capitals of the world with your friends at night. I recommend you give it a go if you can.

Worst case scenario, you pay £12.50 to make some great memories. Best case scenario with some admin work, you might even be able to do it free from the charges of ULEZ for years to come.

Michał Fidowicz
Instagram: candyshowroom



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Move out of the cities. People there clearly hate us


the distaste for personal freedom and expression in cities is apparent, from cars to real estate to even art. Sad.


Great write up here covering a lot of bases, would love to see more write ups like this in future !
Recently moved to london and found the whole ULEZ thing very confusing but it’s good to know there are ways around it


Thanks Dylan, London is ace, you’ll love it here. Glad I could help with the Ulez thing!


I spent a few weeks in London a couple of years ago, and really can't understand why anyone would even try to own a car there. Public transportation is leagues better than what we have in the US, and you won't have to worry about finding a parking space, dealing with traffic, or paying any ridiculous fees. I think we as car enthusiasts need to understand that cars really don't have a place in modern cities, and continuing to cling onto car ownership in a situation like this is not really doing yourself, your car, or the world around you any favors.


One more thing to consider with bigger cities like Paris, London et al, is crime. Sometimes if you need to go and collect something of personal value - or sadly even when you go shopping or get a personal computer repaired, then there's a risk of theft. Gangs of people who used to ride motorcycles or scooters have swapped to e-mtb bikes which are tuned to do 50mph+. These gangs can hop up and down pavement/sidewalks and look into cars, keep and eye on shoppers and quickly take items.

I run a 2008 Brabus Smart 451 that is ULEZ and fairly low key that I use for trips into London. It's easy to park and doesn't attract attention. We also have a good network of bikes in some UK/European cities, which are electric assisted. These are good for moving around quickly. That being said, there's something really joyful about seeing a classic or modern classic car being used in London. There's a guy who used to park and drive his Lancia Delta Integrale on Portland Street in London and it always made me smile.

So in some cases, you are doing yourself a favour by being low key, streetwise and keeping your things as safe as you possibly can. It's always situation dependant, though.


Not true. Public transport is usually ok if you want to travel into the city but if you want to travel from one suburban place to another it’s awful. For example try travelling from Enfield to Harrow. It would be a bunch of different buses or going all the way into the city on a train and back out again.

A lot of areas on the outskirts of London boroughs are quite rural or nowhere near a station.


It's not your decision or a city council's decision to make that you can just block people from using a daily mode of transportation that they have paid for with their taxes up until now to use every day, and will continue to pay now that they can't use it. Can't force chocolate people to eat vanilla because 51% like vanilla and 49% like chocolate, even if vanilla definitely is better.

Christopher McElligott

Sounds like how the Tokugawa Shogunate chopped up the entire nation of Japan into prefectures, villages & wards, put fences, gates & checkpoints between them and required people get permission & show papers to travel between them, so they could keep an eye on everyone.

The Soviets did the same thing, just more subtly.


Err, even for satire comparing Clean Air Zones to soviet states doesn’t sit too well with me. Let’s avoid that lol


Read into the WEF’s 15 minute cities and geo-fencing. Thats where this is heading long term.

Christopher McElligott


Clean Air Zones and the Soviet Union are just different points on the same continuum.


Great summary, thx for clarity. Comparing further, in 2023 ULEZ will affect more people then entire population in Switzerland. Its like the entire Swiss country would fall under these regulations...
Go with Option 3 - seems there is lots of possibilities. I like the M5 for example :-)


Thanks, what a crazy statistic! There is a LOT of great cars to be had in option 3. I currently trying to find a friend with a 106 GTI to see if we can successfully ULEZ that, hopefully allowing another hot hatch to roam the city!

Lawrence Roberts -Bull

Hi loved your article I love in Bristol and I'm just waiting till next April 1st when I can apply for historic status for my 1982 T25 VW campervan
Drive through London with our a care esp as I got stung for nearly £300 bringing her in last year


That’s great news! No more surprise fines for you then soon. Enjoy :)


The informations about Germany are complete wrong. You can enter with a Diesel or Petrol car the environmental zone when they have a green sticker.
You can get a green sticker for basically every petrol car with catalytic converters and diesel cars with particulate filters, don’t meter what emission class. The sticker cost only around 10€ and you can get it in many places. Historical car don’t need this sticker.
In my opinion that’s emissions zones are only a good way for governments to get money or helping to sell new cars.
City’s are dirty, noisy and overfilled if you don’t like it move to the countryside.


Oops, I’ll be having stern words with my German correspondent Till who signed off my part about Germany!


The bit about Germany "Oh, and you don’t qualify for a sticker at all if your car is a Euro 3 or below. No catalytic convertor, no sticker." is wrong. Any petrol car with a three-way cat qualifies, no matter the Euro norm. It's Diesel where it gets complicated. Most Euro 3 won't qualify, but some do, and retrofitting a particulate filter also helps even with Euro 2. The upshot is that unless you've got an old Diesel car, it's a non-issue in Germany, just pay your 10€ for the sticker and you're good to go. The most annoying thing about it is replacing the sticker if you have to re-register the car, because they're not easy to remove.


My 2005 JDM STI Impreza was also Ulez free, and I think a lot of Japanese imports are too


Imports after 2005 were Ulez free out the box.

Pre 05 Imports are tricky, as they were never made for the EU market there is absolutely no NOx reading available for them, even if you contact the manufacturer for a Certificate of Conformity. For now, Imports and Ulez are at a dead end - we’ll see if it’s possible to unblock this in the future.


Great article but a big point is missed The goalposts will move and in 2026 the zone is planned to become pay as you go road pricing. That’s what this is really about.

They haven’t spent all that money to charge a small number of cars that are mostly near end of life anyway.

It should be resisted but won’t because most people think it won’t affect them… until it does.



No PAYG scheme has been actually approved or consulted on yet, so writing about that would be a bit of a stab in the dark.

The civil service boffins must have done the maths and installing the (very cheap) ANPR cameras must have come out as a small expense compared the amount they’ll make from the road users.

P.S the cameras don’t seem to even pick cars up half the time anyway…


Road pricing was part of the consultation. It was revealed they have recruited a team to put it in place. 2025/26 is the target date.


Feels good to live in the third world lol.


Looking after residents health by improving air quality is a third world initiative?


No, more like the third world hasn't reached this far in terms of possibly dystopian environmental regulations. Most of us here are still able to fettle with cars; we just have a harder time getting the cars and parts.


Serious question, I haven't seen the STORE button work for like 3 years. Why is it still there?


may b if we payz more taxes the weather will act more good


It’s about air quality numbnuts, not climate change. Having lived for several years in East London the pollution is often choking, especially on hot days.


Always Wondered where the hell these crumbling infrastructures will get their funding to enter the century we're actually in. Even woth you holding my hand with this, it's still incredibly nonsensical when the issue is NoX so... An old, super polluting, super black and white smoke 2L+ "vintage" is perfectly able to putter about but something like the suzuki cappuccino isn't? The issue is overpopulation and super density without creating new and further industrial and touristic city centers because "we all gotta doggie pile Thames-adjacent London" (also absurd, just build a new area and let everyone enjoy the updates/opportunities/space/no lines/new jobs/expansion of economy/etc/etc), and yet residents that live in smaller and smaller spaces demand to keep like 2 cars in garages, their employers expect them to commute, etc, etc... It's absurdity on an absurd level.

Honestly this article is a welcome article on SH... Love learning how all the different places around the world are impacting the past, present, and future of cars! Always a mass of incel human centipedes vomiting hate and "political" delusions about how change is terrible amd too fast and gloomy dooom, but ignoring all that and actually seeing how everyone everywhere actually trying to resolve the real world issues would elevate SH into being something more than just pretty pictures of pretty speed (and the occasional flop, whatever tho)! Please more, different places! How did Japan resolve their super density back when the world was under 6 Billion people, how did Dubai plan their city to allow for the sudden explosion of tourism, how did China fail to evade gridlock even though they prebuilt 8 lane highways to every corner of cities like Chengdu, Shanghai, how will USA reinvent their now absolute failure "stroad" approach? All these answers will invariably answer what to expect from our hobby tomorrow, next year, next decade.


Whag causes NOx?


In a cylinder where there is combustion, we think of the hydrocarbons reacting with oxygen to form CO2 and water, but there is also nitrogen in there (air is about 78% nitrogen). The Nitrogen gets involved and reacts with some of the oxygen to form oxides of nitrogen - what we call NOX because is may be NO or NO2. More NOX is formed when combustion temperatures and pressures are high.


The application of ULEZ is not a suggestion, an idea, a request for cooperation… the automatic number plate recognition cameras ensure that.
Where might we be headed? A clue lies in a June 2019 report by C40, Arup and the University of Leeds which assesses the impact of urban consumption on climate breakdown.
Quoting from the report:
"To avoid climate breakdown, emissions from global urban consumption must halve by 2030. For this to be achieved, emissions from consumption in high-income cities must decrease by two thirds within the next decade." (Their emphasis)
Specifically, on consumption interventions for private transport, their Progressive Target in 2030 is 190 private vehicles per 1,000 people. Their Ambitious Target in 2030 is 0 private vehicles.


you do realise that if you want to take advantage of the classic car exemption you wont be able to do many mods and still qualify for tax exemption or mot exemption? i do like your idea but i like modded cars more than boring cars


How about just say "to hell with the cities and their folk," and start working and making your purchases on the periphery of the ULEZ zone or even further out?

Let the businesses in there die, let living there become untenable, and if you really want to get nasty, spend NO money whatsoever in there if you have to be there for some reason, while encouraging your friends to do the same.

If you're a trucker, reject the ULEZ run. Make it an industrial action, even.

Buy ALL your necessities and fuel outside of the ULEZ zone, hell, buy everything and even live outside of it.

This is the best way.


Khan has overdone greed, quality of air was never the problem in the outer London zone .


Agree, absolute greed just to fund the TFL, what happens then when all cars are electric, no more revenue. I bet there will be another form of charging, probably you pay for human emission.


I got the Certificate of Conformity for my '99 Porsche 996 Carrera 4 for free (from Porsche obviously), it meets Euro 4. Registered with TfL and DVLA, so I'm exempt from all ULEZs in the UK!


This is on my to do list for my 996 C4!


Yup, early 996s are ULEZ! My friend has a ‘97 C2 and is in the process of sorting his.


Until they change the rules - they are going to gradually make it stricter until it becomes road pricing. This was in the consultation docs. My car is EU4 too, it will be next.

Slowly turning the screw is how they get away with everything.


Thanks for highlighting the purpose of Clean Air Zones. Up to 40,000 people in the UK have their lives ended prematurely by breathing traffic fumes, and many more are hospitalised and have poorer quality of life. Ella's parents wish for their daughter's untimely death to be remembered. No child, or indeed anyone, should be forced to endure pain merely for others' pastimes.
I'm not sure why owners of ancient polluting vehicles would seek to finds ways of circumventing the need for cleaner air, but others are working to try and solve the problem. ULEZ is not a money-making scheme; every city is seeking to reduce toxic pollution, and schemes are discontinued when the goal is achieved.


This is crazy! Most people have no idea what other countries laws are regarding vehicles. I thought the US was bad... well actually it's getting there. This is why I can't emphasize enough that these laws and ideals creep in and hit you without even any warning if we're not paying attention. Many people are embracing EVs and there's a huge struggle between the good and bad related to these vehicles that will continue until my time is done here. But what people don't understand is the push for EVs is a silent criminal waiting to steal your freedom to own gas-powered vehicles. You can see the writing on the wall from this article. Jay Leno said he has embraced the EV and relates it to back when Henry Ford introduced the production car. But the difference then was that the car and horse/buggy coincided with each other naturally until the car evolved naturally to take its place. It never became a choice between one or the other forced on you by the government. Sorry to go on a rant and many will debate this opinion but, you watch, and see how this all evolves.


I like your write up. Please I have an E200 elegance W210 it's a T reg. I want to find out if it's ulez compliant cos tfl says it's not but I suspect that they are wrong. Please let me know if you need the full reg I don't mind giving it to you. Thanks


London has some of the best public transportation in the world. Leave your car at home, take transit/bike/walk to work. No one is forcing you to sell your car, but cars are indisputably bad for cities and their residents.


The rest will probably hate me for this but yes I agree, cities should be made for peoples and not cars. I love cars but the city just isnt the place for them, I have it easy being dutch as even our most car-centric cities are very pedestrian/bike friendly.

I love my car, and living in a small town I have acces to off street parking so my street isnt jam packed with cars. But if I'd move to a city like amsterdam or utrecht I'd sell it in a beat and just bike everywhere


It's worth noting that with the Met Police not tackling street crime, then in some cases taking the car - if you need to transport goods of value - is simply the safest option. A low key car like an S124 is the perfect choice for transporting your latest Picasso purchase from Málaga to London. Is that right Fidowicz?

Michał Fidowicz

You know what Ben, I've not even thought of that but you're definitely right. I'm definitely a lot less anxious moving my camera gear about London in my car than I am on the tube.


Yeah pretty much. But, good public transport links and car ownership isn’t mutually exclusive. For example in the evenings it’s quicker to drive from Wimbledon Park to St John Wood, it’s mainly dual carriageways and tubes don’t run from 01:00-05:00. If you can have an old car and enjoy it inside ULEZ, it’s worth sharing it with the audience here at SpeedHunters


I work in Hainault, the ULEZ boundary will be expanded out to here later this year. Some of my work mates have already replaced their cars, one is very upset as he has to sell his little 1.4 diesel commuter car as it is not compliant, but what most upsets him is that my Jaguar XKR (4.2 V8 supercharged) is compliant!!

Chris fix autos

Very interesting post is a good option I naver goahead to scrap-my-car own 2 toyota celica y and x reg jap import build in 2003 registered in the UK 2000 there's hope


Imports are a tricky one with clean air zones. I’ve just explained it in another comment reply :)


Wow, so many points of view, opinions, etc… several talk about freedoms, ignoring the effects of the poison in the air and health issues that come with it. I’m a car guy and I am for these regulations because of the health issues. Public transportation should be refined everywhere so we can get around easily. I also really like public spaces where people can walk, eat and gather and breathe clean air. The classics should be saved, taken care of, they’re part of our history and moving pieces of art. People keep crying about their freedoms being taken away, especially here in the states, it’s just fear, period. We have laws because we can’t come together to even stop people from dying when there’s a virus killing us.


Spot on. I knew the comment section would be divided here but what is surprising is how many people aren’t aware that clean cities, great public transport links and cars are NOT mutually exclusive.

But, a lot of the comments come from people who don’t like or live in big cities. So…


The critical mistake here is assuming that these restrictions are done in good faith.
All of these "backup plans" will be taken off the table, one by one. The people putting forth these measures see you as their property, to do with as they see fit, and they are working to bring you and the rest of your countrymen to a place where there is no other choice than to utterly submit to that paradigm.


No, cities just need clear air for a number of reasons (like preventing strain on public health services.)

The dystopia you’re thinking of will come closer faster if we ignored science and kept using cars like 90s diesels in densely packed areas.


Only 15% of vehicles used in London are “non-compliant”, most of which are independent traders vans.

NOX & particulates have been sharply falling across the UK for 50 years.

If you are worried about air quality, don’t travel on the tube! Indoor stale air, mould etc are a far bigger problem.

It’s simply not a problem. You can download apps which prove this.

Notice how the answer to every so called problem is tax, restrictions and the surveillance state. We are being duped.



Exactly. There is a manufactured issue based on a half truth that is being used as a pretext for a power grab.

@fidowicz: It looks like they've got you convinced, which is disappointing. My humble recommendation is to at least look at the counterpoints made, which sadly are deliberately excluded from most media and social media organs. A good place to start is the
"wattsupwiththat" blog.
I honestly could understand the congestion and ulez charge for the heart of London, but rolling it out to the entire metropolitan area doesn't have merit. To me, this kind of overreach is reminiscent of when the Chinese government shifted from general quarantines (which makes sense) to welding citizens' apartment doors shut (which is absurd).

You owe it to yourself to look at what is happening and examine whether or not your leaders are truly working in your best interests.

I'm convinced enough that the opposite is the case, that the societies of the west are in danger, that I happily reach out to sttrangers like you in hopes that I might be able to change your mind.


Clean air ? This is about 1) Raising money to refill the coffers emptied during Covid and 2) ‘Control’ and watching /knowing Londoners’ whereabouts (ANPR). Also, I have a (historic classed/ tax exempt) 1973 Triumph Stag that I have run through the TFL Website checker and it says I am liable to pay ULEZ.


+1 for this, Anon


Last time I checked you had to register it with the DVLA as a history vehicle


Yeah, already has Tax class as Historic with DVLA.


I am in south London so will be inside the new ULEZ next year, my daily is fine but my 1994 pride and joy ( ) that only gets used very rarely now becomes an even more expensive hobby. The French ULEZ is about cleaner air, I suspect the new London version that includes a lot of open countryside is more about £'s. Worrying times ahead for real car enthusiasts but I feel for those struggling to get by with an older daily who are being forced to buy a newer car.


Anyone know if a 1992 mk1 mx5 1.6 will pass the NOx test and obtain certificate mentioned in option 3?


An excellent piece. In London Khan needs to tackle street crime. The car is often the only option when you have certain things to do. I love London, I just don't like it anywhere near as much as I did a decade ago.

And like Anon wrote, there's a lot more to this than just the clean air theatre.

Clean air ? This is about 1) Raising money to refill the coffers emptied during Covid and 2) ‘Control’ and watching /knowing Londoners’ whereabouts (ANPR


Has the air quality improved, now that people are still driving but also paying for it?
Only poor people stopped driving. Majority will line khan's pockets.


Just leave the place


Eventually, perhaps get an EV tow car and just take your ICE modified car to track days.