Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has officially launched the scrappage scheme to accompany the upcoming expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ), which will be worth £110m.
This is almost twice the amount made available under previous schemes and is the largest ever ULEZ scrappage scheme.
On 29 August 2023, the zone will expand to cover all London boroughs. The scheme is intended to help cover the costs of upgrading, replacing or retrofitting non-compliant vehicles and is especially targeted at lower-income Londoners, disabled Londoners, charities, sole traders and microbusiness (with 10 or fewer employees).
This will mean anyone entering the newly-expanded area will be subject to a £12.50-a-day charge. The penalty for not paying this fee will be increased from £160 to £180.
The level of compliant vehicles driving in inner and central London is reportedly already at 94%, with 85% of vehicles seen driving in outer London also meeting ULEZ standards, according to City Hall.
Sadiq Khan, mayor of London, said: “I took the difficult decision to expand the ULEZ because it will save lives, help tackle the climate crisis and reduce congestion.
“We have made huge progress in central and inner London but there is much more to do in outer London.
“Around 4,000 Londoners are dying prematurely each year due to toxic air, with the greatest number of deaths attributable to air pollution in London’s outer boroughs.
“We need to get the most highly polluting vehicles off our roads, which are damaging the health of all Londoners, including drivers.
“The rising cost of living has been a key consideration for me, which is why we are launching this new and improved scrappage scheme – the biggest ever – to help low-income and disabled Londoners, businesses, sole traders and charities switch to cleaner vehicles, or support them to make the most of other transport options.
“The health of Londoners must come first and I know that expanding the ULEZ London-wide, alongside this £110m scrappage scheme, will help us to continue building a greener, fairer and healthier London for everyone.”
Those receiving certain means-tested benefits and non-means-tested disability benefits can apply for cash grants of up to £2,000 to scrap their non-compliant cars or motorcycles. A new feature of this scrappage scheme is this option for this demographic to choose to receive two free annual bus or tram passes and a lower cash amount instead.
Disabled Londoners can apply for up to £5,000 to scrap or retrofit non-compliant wheelchair accessible vehicles and can also apply for a nominated driver living at a different address if they do not drive themselves.
What’s more, grace periods will be extended for disabled people, with applications now open to those who are eligible. The new periods will offer ULEZ charge exemptions until October 2027 for recipients of certain disability benefits, or a nominated driver, and for all wheelchair accessible vehicles and some vehicles with other adaptations.
Charities, sole traders and businesses with 10 or fewer employees registered in London can apply for a £5,000 grant to scrap a van or a £7,000 grant to scrap a minibus. Those who wish to retrofit certain vans or minibuses can apply for a £5,000 grant, and those who want to scrap and/or replace a van or minibus with a fully electric vehicle will be able to apply for up to £7,500 or £9,500, respectively.