ulez zone sign

How do you get rid of a non-ULEZ compliant car?

13th Nov, 2023

The ULEZ has been a major issue for our nation’s capital – and the country as a whole – for some time now. When London’s Ultra Low Emissions Zone began in 2019, it started with a relatively small radius, but in the last few weeks it’s undergone its final expansion, so that it now covers all of London’s boroughs.  That means any vehicle driving through those areas is now required to reach certain emissions standards. If yours doesn’t, you’ll be subject to a daily charge. 

Now, if you’re based in London (or you know you’ll be regularly driving through it), and your vehicle doesn’t reach the required standard, you’ll understandably not be too keen on going to the financial strain of the daily charge, then you have a couple of options. One, of course, is to scrap your car. But before we get onto that one, let’s cover a couple of other options! 

Sell your car

If your car is in reasonably good condition, then this could be a good option to consider right off the bat – especially if you were planning on replacing it anyway. It’s best to be up-front about its non-compliance, but don’t forget there’s nothing saying that you need to sell it only to people within the ULEZ, so it might still be perfectly serviceable to plenty of drivers living outside the zone. You might be surprised at how many buyers you get on the private market!

You may well be able to get a fairly good price with a dealer too, either with a straightforward sale or by trading it in for a newer, cleaner model. 

Donate the car

If you don’t necessarily need the money you’d get from selling your car, or you suspect it’s likely to be a negligible amount, then you may even want to consider donating the vehicle to a charity, who can put it to good use in furthering their mission. (And you get a wonderful feel-good sense to enjoy!) It may even end up getting passed to local authorities to help train professionals in life-saving skills – local firefighting forces use scrap cars to help train recruits in techniques to deal with car fires, or cutting someone out of a wreck. 

Retrofit your car

This could be a good avenue if you really love your car, or if you decide you really need it for some other reason. If you’re in London, you can apply for a grant payment to scrap or retrofit a vehicle that doesn’t meet the ULEZ emissions standards. However, you do need to live within one of the 32 London boroughs or the City of London (the Greater London area) to be eligible for the ULEZ car and motorcycle scrappage scheme. 

You’re not necessarily obligated to get it done within the scrappage scheme – if you’ve got the resources, you can get it retrofitted independently. But to be honest, that’s probably going to cost you a lot of money, so you’ll have to decide whether the retrofit or the daily charge would be more expensive in the long run. 

Scrap your car

If your car isn’t worth a great deal, or if it’s reaching the end of its useful lifespan anyway, then there’s always the option of scrapping it – taking it off your hands and getting it out of your life. The process of scrapping your car is surprisingly straightforward (more so than you might think), so the main thing to watch out for is to ensure you’re using an ATF, and that you do actually get money for your car. Nobody should offer to take a wreck off your hands for free, because every car is worth something, even if that’s only its weight in scrap metal – so always make sure you’re getting the best price! 

Speaking of the best price, that’s exactly where we can help here at Scrap Car Network. With more than 40 years of experience behind us, we’ve refined our process to make sure it’s never been easier to scrap your car. All you need to do is enter your car reg and postcode into the fields on our site, and we’ll have your scrap car quote to you in seconds. So… curious to find out how much your car is worth?  

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