I haven’t paid much attention to these newfangled ULEZ regulations. You know: Ultra Low Emission Zone, which is coming to a major city near you.
Right now, though, it will be a thing in London. So motorists not only have to deal with the congestion charge in the middle bit but also on the edge, where I sometimes go. Got to do the decent thing and use public transport for the last significant miles of the journey. Some of my fleet fit the ULEZ profile and some don’t. This stuff is now becoming important.
The ULEZ regs are essentially petrol cars that are Euro 4 compliant (generally from 2005 onwards but some will be older than that) and Euro 6 diesels, which are 2015 or possibly a bit earlier. ULEZ is cropping up in classified ad descriptions and I suppose that is a good way to make a 2010 Ford Fusion 1.6 Zetec automatic more attractive. With 40,000 miles, £4000 is an okay price. It already has the easy entry/exit grey market sewn up and is great for shopping sprees.
If a Fusion is a bit twee, the racier grey power buyer who pops into the West End can get themselves a 2005 Mercedes-Benz SLK 350 with 88,000 miles for around £4995. A wonderful way to enjoy the congestion.
There are some interesting anomalies and I tripped across a 2001 Honda Civic 1.6 VTEC, which certainly is ULEZ exempt. This was an S-spec car with 140,000 miles and an asking price of £595. Bargain.
Mostly, it is easier to keep your buying sights trained on the most recent models you can buy. That’s why something like a 2015 Seat Ibiza 1.2 TSI FR makes sense. With 33,000 miles on the clock, it has those in-town essentials like sat-nav and cruise control with the added benefit of just £30 road tax and is £7500.
At the other end of the scale, a Lexus RC 300h 2.5 F Sport from 2018 is going to last a good few years. That’s £30k, though. Better to pick up an ex-Uber Toyota Prius and use that as a town centre assault vehicle, or just get a Volkswagen Up for relative buttons. Take care with the Prius market as there are a lot around now for £1000 without a battery, so don’t get caught out.
Then again, there are people selling because of the ULEZ and these could be bargains. A Mitsubishi L200 2.5 TD Animal at £4400 was just one I saw that amounted to a distress sale.
There are all sorts of ULEZ exceptions involving taxis and minibuses and cranes, but the great news for us car enthusiasts is that historic vehicles are exempt. That means we can look at buying 40-year-old-plus motors on the basis that they are not just cool but also won’t be penalised.
What we almost bought this week