Knowing the change is coming, many Londoners have already begun shopping for compliant cars, as searches for clean wheels surge.
According to Honcho, an automotive search marketing specialist, Google searches with the term ‘ULEZ’ have rocketed versus 12 months ago. The rise is a whopping 1,023 percent, from 5,310, to 60,110 searches.
Other popular search terms include ‘ULEZ car checker’ and ‘ULEZ exempt cars’.
Geographically, these terms are being searched most in Greater London, with car buyers in the area focusing on EVs and hybrids.
The second and third-placed areas where low emissions-related used car searches occur are Birmingham and Bristol.
The latter may have something to do with the recently-announced diesel ban in Bristol, which rules out all diesel cars between certain hours, no matter what their age.
In terms of what cars buyers are looking for, the Nissan Leaf leads the way for EVs, in both new and used markets. For hybrids, perhaps unsurprisingly, the Toyota Prius was the most-searched for in both new and used markets.
The original ULEZ, which covers the London Congestion Charge zone, came into force on April 9 2019. For basic compliance, you need to have either a petrol car that’s Euro 4-compliant, or a diesel car that’s Euro-6 compliant.
The former is a vehicle aged from around 2005, the latter is around 2015.
“The expansion of the ULEZ is two years away but it is already focusing the attention of new and used car buyers living in the Greater London area who want to future proof their next purchase,” said Jack Minot from Honcho.
“Our research shows how 12 months ago Google searches using the term “ULEZ” barely registered but it is now a major consideration among prospective buyers.
“Dealers operating in and around the M25 need to factor in this growing trend by highlighting the ULEZ compliance of the new and used vehicles they are marketing online.”