Currently reading: Non-compliant ULEZ vehicles to be sent to Ukraine
Cars, vans and trucks will be used for humanitarian and medical needs; deliveries to start "within weeks"

Vehicles scrapped due to not complying with London ULEZ regulations will be sent to Ukraine in an effort to help rebuild the war-torn country.

Drivers who trade in their vehicles using Transport for London’s (TfL) scrappage scheme – launched last year after the extensive expansion of the city’s ULEZ – will have the option to donate them as part of a new tie-up with charity British-Ukrainian Aid (BUA) without forfeiting any grant value.

The move, which requires legislative changes to be made, means the first vehicles are due to be sent to Ukraine within weeks, TfL confirmed.

The vehicles will be used to “support humanitarian and medical needs”, TfL said, such as make-shift ambulances and transportation trucks. As part of the initiative, the London Ambulance Service will also donate 50 decommissioned ambulances.

It follows a U-turn from London mayor Sadiq Khan, who previously refused to send traded-in vehicles to Ukraine and instead allowed them to be crushed due to the confusion over whether the scheme could be legally altered.

These worries were quashed after transport secretary Mark Harper confirmed the government “does not consider there to be any legal barrier to allowing non-compliant vehicles to be donated to Ukraine and [owners] to still receive the same level of grant payment”.

Speaking today, Khan said: “Alongside the human toll of the conflict, there has been a significant impact on Ukraine’s infrastructure, and these plans to donate non-compliant vehicles will help meet medical and humanitarian needs while also helping to remove old, polluting vehicles from London’s roads.”

Eduard Fesko, Ukrainian ambassador to the UK, said: “There is a unique opportunity to give a second life to vehicles by donating them to Ukraine, which can help save human lives. This initiative can benefit Ukraine and London greatly, and the embassy of Ukraine in the United Kingdom is proud to support this initiative and encourages all charity organisations and volunteer groups to join this effort.”

The expanded ULEZ, which now encompasses all 32 London boroughs, came into effect last August. Those who drive non-compliant vehicles within the zone are charged £12.50 a day.

The scrappage scheme was launched amid uproar from those whose cars would overnight become non-compliant. Owners are eligible to receive up to £2000 for scrapping a car or up to £1000 for a motorcycle. People with disabilities can claim additional funds. There is currently no end date for the scheme.

Will Rimell

Will Rimell
Title: Deputy news editor

Will is a journalist with more than eight years experience in roles that range from news reporter to editor. He joined Autocar in 2022 as deputy news editor, moving from a local news background.

In his current role as deputy news editor, Will’s focus is with Autocar and Autocar Business; he also manages Haymarket's aftermarket publication CAT.

Writing is, of course, a big part of his role too. Stories come in many forms, from interviewing top executives, reporting from car launches, and unearthing exclusives.

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Peter Cavellini 24 February 2024

While the idea is good, I can't see owners donating there old car unless it's worth virtually nothing, getting up to two grand towards your next motor.