Grants and scrappage schemes for ULEZ and other Clean Air Zones (CAZ) – the ultimate guide

    Last updated 13th March 2024

    ULEZ and CAZ scrappage schemes and grants
    All ULEZ and CAZ launches or expansions have included scrappage and grant schemes to help people affected by the transition.

    On 21 August 2023, a week before the Greater London expansion of ULEZ, The Mayor of London launched a new grant and scrappage scheme offering £2,000 to all London households to trade up from their old, non-compliant cars to ULEZ-compliant vehicles. More info about the new scrappage scheme can be found on TfL’s website. In October 2023, 37,256 grants were approved for Londoners. 

    From 15 March 2024, applicants to the scrappage scheme will have the option of donating their non-compliant ULEZ vehicles to Ukraine to support humanitarian and medical needs. Transport for London has collaborated with UK registered charity British-Ukrainian Aid (BUA) to expand ULEZ scrappage scheme to allow vehicle donation, with support from Embassy of Ukraine. This means households that donate their vehicles will still receive the £2,000 grant from The Mayor of London’s scrappage scheme. 

    Need to check your car’s ULEZ status?
    Our free ULEZ checker can tell you instantly if your car is compliant. Just enter your vehicle’s reg to find out.

    Is it time to sell your car?
    ULEZ expansion may cause changes to prices of compliant and non-compliant cars this year. Get a free valuation and sell your car now.

    To find out more about the grants and scrappage schemes available to help the financial transition to ULEZ, LEZ and CAZ, read on.

    Why are scrappage grants available in ULEZ?

    London’s ULEZ, as well as all the other Clean Air Zones (CAZ) and Low Emission Zones (LEZ) in the UK, were introduced in an effort to combat air pollution and promote better air quality. Mayor of London Sadiq Khan expanded London’s ULEZ city-wide in August 2023. This meant that five million more residents were subject to incoming rules around vehicle emissions.

    The ULEZ is designed to reduce the number of high-polluting vehicles in London and encourage other ways of travelling such as walking, cycling, or taking public transport as well as improve the emissions produced in the capital. 

    In October 2023, a report found that 95% of vehicles driving in London complied with the emissions standards, compared to 39% in February 2017. The same report also revealed that 85% of cars driving in outer London met ULEZ standards. This means that most London drivers will not need to pay any more when the city-wide ULEZ is implemented.

    According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), air pollution causes a reported seven million deaths a year worldwide. The Royal College of Physicians has stated that traffic fumes contribute to the early deaths of an estimated 40,000 people in the UK each year.

    ULEZ charge – how much does it cost?

    All vehicles – except for larger vehicles, like lorries and coaches – pay the same standard ULEZ charge, if they don’t meet the new emission standards.

    The standard ULEZ charge is outlined below: 

    • The charge for all vehicles is £12.50 per day
    • ULEZ runs from 00:00 to 23:59 
    • It applies on every day of the year apart from Christmas Day
    • The penalty charge is currently £180

    If you need to pay ULEZ charges, there are several ways to do it;

    • Auto Pay  can be used for up to five vehicles. This is a handy option if you or your business regularly drive within the zone
    • Fleet AutoPay available for businesses using more than 5 vehicles within the zone
    • TfL app
    • Transport for London website 
    • By phone. The UK number is 0343 222 2222

    You’ll need to pay in advance, on the day that you drive within the ULEZ area, or the following day to avoid a penalty charge.

    How much does ULEZ charge
    ULEZ has a standard charge of £12.50 for all vehicles except larger ones like lorries and coaches.

    What is the 2023 scrappage scheme?

    To alleviate the financial burden on drivers of non-compliant cars, in August 2023, the Mayor introduced a £160 million scrappage scheme to any household with a non-compliant car – the largest the city of London has ever seen.

    How much will I get from the grant or scrappage schemes?

    The Mayor’s scrappage scheme is available to any household with a non-compliant car and pays £2,000, or a combination of money and travelcards. More info about the scrappage scheme can be found on TfL’s website. 

    The details of the scheme are outlined in the table below: 

    VehicleFull scrap grant
    Motorbike below Euro 5 standard£1,000
    Petrol car below Euro 4 standard£2,000
    Diesel car below Euro 6 standard£2,000
    Non-compliant wheelchair-accessible vehicle (WAV)£5,000 to scrap or retrofit

    ULEZ scrappage grant amounts by vehicle type

    In June 2023, the Mayor’s Office announced that all families receiving child benefits to supplement their incomes will be eligible to make use of the Greater London Scrappage Scheme – as it is clear that low-income Londoners would be disproportionately affected by the expansion of ULEZ. 

    Disabled Londoners who need to scrap or retrofit their non-compliant, wheelchair-accessible vehicles will be able to apply for grants of £5,000 to reflect the higher cost of these specialised vehicles. 

    In addition to the scrappage scheme, the Mayor’s Office is providing further support for disabled people (or their nominated driver), through new and extended grace periods. Applications remain open and the Mayor’s Office is encouraging everyone eligible to apply via the Transport for London (TfL) website.

    The scrappage scheme for charities, sole traders and businesses of fifty employees or fewer is as follows:

    VehicleScrap grantRetrofit grantReplace with EV grant
    Non-compliant van£5,000£5,000£7,500
    Non-compliant minibus£7,000£5,000£9,500

    ULEZ scrappage grant amounts for charities, sole traders, and businesses of up to fifty employees

    Charities, sole traders, and businesses with fewer than fifty employees registered in London can apply to scrap a van (£5,000 grant) or a minibus (£7,000 grant), retrofit certain vans or minibuses (£5,000 grant) or scrap and replace a van or minibus with a fully electric vehicle (£7,500 or £9,500 grant respectively). They can make applications for up to three vehicles each.

    What are the details of the ULEZ scrappage scheme in 2023?

    The ULEZ expansion in 2023 comes with grace periods for Londoners with disabilities, and anybody who is experiencing delays in getting a new, compliant vehicle. There will also be a grace period and/or exemptions for:

    • Owners of registered ‘disabled’ or ‘disabled passenger’ vehicles will be exempt from the ULEZ charge until October 26th 2025. The same goes for Wheelchair-Accessible Vehicles (WAVs), blue badge holders, and drivers with disabled benefits.
    • Minibuses for community transport will also have a grace period until October 2025.
    • London-licensed taxis are exempt from ULEZ charges.
    • All vehicles registered before January 1st 1973 (historical vehicle tax class) are exempt, including commercial use. And the rolling 40-year period for vehicles to stop paying tax will also apply to the ULEZ charge.

    Additionally, Londoners who have disabilities or who receive means-tested benefits can scrap their non-compliant vehicle to receive a full grant, or a partial grant plus one or two annual TfL Bus and Tram Passes (which, in total, is worth more than the full scrap grant). A payout of two bus passes at £932 each, with a partial grant of £1,200, comes in total to over £3,000. For full terms and conditions of the flagship TfL ULEZ scrappage scheme, consult the TfL website.

    There are several conditions for ULEZ exemptions or grace periods, including licensed taxis and people with disabilities.

    How do I apply for grants and scrappage schemes?

    The application process for these schemes is online via the Transport for London (TfL) website, and you will need to upload evidence to prove both your identity and eligibility. However, if you have received a grant payment under a previous TfL scrappage scheme, you cannot apply for the equivalent sub-scheme again.

    What cars are exempt from ULEZ charges?

    There are multiple exemptions, and ‘grace periods’, for London residents to help them transition to ULEZ. Including:

    • Owners of registered disabled or disabled passenger vehicles will be exempt from the ULEZ charge until October 2027. The same goes for Wheelchair-Accessible Vehicles (WAVs), blue badge holders, and drivers with disabled benefits.
    • Minibuses for community transport will also have a grace period until October 2025.
    • London-licensed taxis are exempt from ULEZ charges.
    • All vehicles registered before January 1st 1973 (historical vehicle tax class) are exempt, including commercial use. And the rolling 40-year period for vehicles to stop paying tax will also apply to the ULEZ charge. 
    • Small businesses, sole traders, and charities based in the capital with non-compliant vans or minibuses being retrofitted that will not be ready until after the ULEZ expansion, may also be eligible for a short-term grace period.

    Read our latest guide to ULEZ-exempt cars for more information.

    How much does London’s ULEZ charge vans?

    The daily ULEZ charge for non-compliant vans and light goods vehicles is £12.50, the same as for cars.

    The fine is also the same – £180. When paid within a fortnight of receiving the penalty charge notice, the amount payable reduces to £90. 

    How much does London's ULEZ charge vans
    The ULEZ charge for vans is the same as for cars, £12.50. Non-compliant heavy goods vehicles must pay more.

    Is my vehicle liable for ULEZ, LEZ and the Congestion Charge?

    Cars and vans, whether ULEZ-compliant or not, also have to pay the London Congestion Charge to enter the central Congestion Charge Zone. 

    This costs £15 per day. It applies from 7am – 6pm Monday to Friday, and 12pm – 6pm on weekends and bank holidays. From Christmas Day until New Year’s Day, the Congestion Charge is lifted.

    London’s LEZ has been around since before ULEZ, and currently covers almost all of Greater London. The charges are as follows:

    • Any vans and Heavy Goods Vehicles (HGVs) weighing over 3.5 tonnes, and minibuses, buses, and coaches weighing over 5 tonnes must comply with Euro IV standards in order to avoid paying the daily charge of £300. This charge is reduced to £100 if the vehicles are compliant with Euro IV or Euro V. 
    • Vans, minibuses, and specialist diesel vehicles weighing under 3.5 tonnes must comply with Euro 3 in order to avoid paying the daily charge of £100.
    • If you drive a non-compliant van with both ULEZ and LEZ restrictions, and you drive through the Congestion Zone during its active hours, you may be liable to pay £127.50 in total for the day. 

    The Congestion Charge Zone is an area located within the Ultra-Low Emission Zone, which is itself within the Low Emission Zone. Since August 2023, the ULEZ border has lined up with that of the LEZ.

    Will I get charged if I enter a Clean Air Zone (CAZ)?

    Much like ULEZ, Clean Air Zones (CAZ) are defined geographical areas where certain types of vehicles are required to comply with emissions standards – or pay a fine.

    There are currently four classes of CAZ in the UK, ranging from only high-pollution, commercial vehicles, to all passenger vehicles. 

    ClassVehicle type
    ABuses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles
    BBuses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs)
    CBuses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, HGVs, vans, minibuses
    DBuses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, HGVs, vans, minibuses, cars, the local authority has the option to include motorcycles

    CAZ classes and the vehicle types they apply to.

    All towns and cities running a CAZ have the same compliance standards:

    Vehicle typeCAZ minimum standard
    MotorcyclesEuro 3
    Vans, minibuses, taxis, private hire vehicles, carsEuro 4 (petrol engine) and Euro 6 (diesel engine)
    Buses, coaches, heavy goods vehiclesEuro V1
    Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)Automatically compliant

    CAZ minimum compliance standards.

    Whilst some CAZs keep certain days of the year as exemptions – for example, Christmas, New Year, and other public holidays), others are permanent. In fact, there are a lot of variations from city to city when it comes to specific terms and conditions of the CAZ, but largely they all subscribe to one of the above-mentioned ‘classes’ and share compliance criteria.

    How do I know if my car is CAZ-compliant?

    Since every Clean Air Zone in the UK, including Scotland’s Low Emission Zones, uses the same emissions standards criteria as London’s ULEZ, you can use our ULEZ Checker to make sure your car is compliant.

    Simply enter your reg in our ULEZ Checker to see whether you will have to pay a fine in any of the UK’s current or upcoming CAZ. 

    Your car’s CAZ compliance will often depend on its age, but we recommend you use our ULEZ Checker to be sure.

    Where am I charged to drive a non-compliant car?

    The Low Emission Zones (LEZ) that charge drivers of non-compliant, private passenger cars a daily fee or penalty charge are Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and London.

    The cost of entering the LEZ in London is currently:

    • £100 per day for vans or specialist diesel vehicles and minibuses that do not meet Euro 3 emissions standards. 
    • £100 per day for HGVs, lorries, vans, buses, minibuses, and coaches over 5 tonnes which do not meet Euro 6 standards, but meet Euro 4 standards
    • £300 per day for HGVs, lorries, vans, and specialist heavy vehicles over 3.5 tonnes; buses, minibuses, and coaches over 5 tonnes, which do not meet Euro 4 standards.

    To learn about charges to vans in London, you can read our guide on driving vans in London’s ULEZ here. There are currently seven cities charging under clean air zones in England: Bath, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Portsmouth, Sheffield, and  Tyneside (Newcastle and Gateshead). Daily entry charges for non-compliant vehicles range from £7 for taxis in Bradford, to £100 for lorries, buses and coaches in Bristol.

    Where are there active Clean Air Zones in the UK?

    There are active CAZ and Low Emission Zones (LEZ) around the UK, with more under consultation. Clean Air Zones in the UK are in larger, well-connected cities that attract a lot of traffic. Currently, they include:

    • London
    • Birmingham 
    • Bristol 
    • Oxford 
    • Bath 
    • Bradford 
    • Portsmouth
    • Newcastle 
    • Sheffield 
    • Southampton 
    • Aberdeen 
    • Dundee 
    • Edinburgh 
    • Glasgow

    Note: cities like Southampton and Bath don’t charge private vehicles, only lorries, taxis and other commercial vehicles. 

    Map of UK Clean Air Zones, you may be charged for driving a non-compliant vehicle in all of these cities.

    Are there exemptions to CAZ and LEZ charges?

    Certain vehicle categories have been made nationally exempt by the government as part of any CAZ in the UK, and can drive into Clean Air Zones or Low Emission Zones without being subject to the usual charges:

    Nationally-exempt vehicles
    Disabled tax class or disabled passenger tax class
    Some agricultural vehicles
    Registered historic vehicles
    Military vehicles
    Ultra-low emission vehicles
    Vehicles retrofitted under the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS)

    Vehicles that are exempt nationally from CAZ charges. Information from

    Sell my car to avoid emissions charges

    If you’re thinking of selling your car or van to avoid being penalised by a charging emission zone such as London’s ULEZ, then look no further. Motorway offers a simple – and completely free – method of getting the best price when selling your vehicle, whatever the model. With 84% of Motorway customers getting more money, it’s never too soon to get your valuation.

    Motorway valuations are instant and can be done right from your phone.

    Just enter your reg on the homepage and you will be provided with an instant estimated sale price based on up-to-the-minute market data. We’ll then ask you a few easy questions about your van and guide you through the photos you need to take to complete your vehicle profile. It can be done right from your phone – in a matter of minutes.

    If you choose to enter your van into a daily sale, it will be shown to our UK-wide network of more than 5,000 verified dealers looking to add to their stock of used vans. Interested dealers will then compete to buy your van, offering you their best price.

    In as little as 24 hours you will receive your best offer – and, if you choose to go ahead with the sale, your van will be collected for free by the dealer and the money will be quickly and securely transferred to your bank account.

    Thinking of selling?

    There’s a lot to learn in the run-up to the 2035 EV switchover. If you need more info, why not read on: