On the 30th January 2023, the Mayor of London announced a £110m scrappage scheme that offers motorists up to £5,000 to either scrap or upgrade their vehicle. The scheme is being introduced ahead of the August 2023 expansion of the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ).
In this guide, we'll explain how the scrappage scheme works - including who is eligible, the different kinds of vehicles that are eligible for grant payments, and - importantly - how much your vehicle could be worth.
Why Has the ULEZ Car and Motorcycle Scrappage Scheme Been Introduced?
The Ultra Low Emission Zone scrappage scheme has been introduced to encourage people to scrap vehicles that will not meet the ULEZ emissions standards when the zone expands in August 2023.
The ULEZ zone was originally introduced in April 2019 - covering the same area as the Congestion Charge. In 2021, it was expanded to cover a large part of central London. In August 2023, it will expand again - resulting in coverage for all 32 Greater London boroughs and the City of London. This expansion means each of the 2.6 million cars in London will be subject to these new rules.
The zone is designed to reduce the amount of harmful pollution and clear London's air. As well as introducing charges for vehicles that do not meet the ULEZ emissions standards, Transport for London (TfL) and the Mayor's office are expected to roll out significantly expanded bus routes around the capital.
Benefits of the ULEZ Scrappage Scheme
The scheme aims to incentivise people to scrap their vehicle in favour of greener alternatives. According to government data, the following results have been achieved thus far:
- A reduction in nitrogen dioxide pollution of almost 50% in central London
- 5x faster pollution reduction in London compared to the rest of the UK (from 2016 to 2020)
- More than 1 million averted hospital admissions by 2050 thanks to cleaner air
Of course, with the expansion of the ULEZ, these results are expected to improve further as more people scrap their vehicles and switch to newer alternatives.
And for individual drivers, the benefits of switching to a newer car are clear:
- Cost savings from lower road tax
- Reduced fuel costs thanks to improved engine efficiency
- Improved performance and comfort from a newer car
- Fewer breakdowns
- Increased security (due to improved safety features)
Eligibility Criteria Changes: Child Benefit
Beginning at the end of July 2023, all Londoners receiving child benefit will be eligible to apply. In other words, most London families with children under 16 (or under 18 enrolled in full-time education) are now eligible.
Currently, there are 874,710 families receiving child benefit and 578,315 more in outer London, meaning hundreds of thousands more families will be able to partake in the scheme and reap its advantages.
Who is Eligible for the ULEZ Car and Motorcycle Scrappage Scheme?
The new scrappage scheme isn't available to everyone. According to the TfL website, to qualify as an individual you must receive at least one of the following benefits:
- Universal Credit
- Armed Forces Independence Payment
- Attendance Allowance
- Carer's Allowance
- Child Tax Credit
- Constant Attendance Allowance
- Disability Living Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Housing Benefit
- Income Support
- Industrial Injuries Disablement Benefit
- Jobseeker's Allowance
- Pension Credit
- Personal Independence Payment
- Severe Disablement Allowance
- War Pensioners' Mobility Supplement
- Working Tax Credit
Your Benefits and Tax Status May Be Affected
It's worth mentioning that some people who are entitled the one or more of the benefits on this list don't currently claim them. If you'd like to use the ULEZ scrappage scheme but don't claim one of these benefits, you can check your eligibility using one of the gov.uk benefits calculators .
Since certain benefits are 'means-tested' (meaning eligibility is based on your income or savings), claiming a grant payment could affect your entitlement. With this in mind, it's a good idea to look at how lump sum payments may affect your benefits .
People who have received a grant payment as part of a previous ULEZ car scrappage scheme are not eligible for a second grant through this new scheme.
Which Privately Owned Vehicles are Eligible for the ULEZ Car and Motorcycle Scrappage Scheme?
A large range of passenger vehicles are eligible for the ULEZ car and motorcycle scrappage scheme, including:
- A wheelchair-accessible car
- A wheelchair-accessible vehicle based on a van
- Mopeds and scooters
- Motorised tricycles and quadricycles
There are certain criteria that the vehicle must meet too, including:
The vehicle must be registered to you or someone in your house for at least 1 year before the beginning of the scrappage scheme. However, if you claim disability benefits, the vehicle can be registered to your nominated driver at another address.
Wheelchair-accessible vehicles must have been converted by mobility specialists and allow a disabled person to access the vehicles as either a passenger or a driver.
The vehicle must have valid insurance, a valid MOT and valid VED (road tax)
The vehicle must not meet the ULEZ emissions standards
Can Businesses Claim a Grant Payment?
The ULEZ car and motorcycle scrappage scheme is open to certain micro-businesses, self-employed people, and registered charities. To be considered for the scheme, the sole traders, charities, or businesses must meet certain criteria laid out by TfL.
Let's look at each in more detail:
- Must be a 'mircobusiness' - with 10 or fewer employees, and
- Have a turnover of upto £632,000 or up to £316,000 balance sheet total in the - - Preceding and current financial year, and
- Must be registered with Companies House as an active company or VAT registered in the 32 boroughs or the City of London
Must be a self-employed person who currently owns and operates and business from one of the 32 boroughs or the City of London
Must be registered with the Charities Commission as active and be within the 32 London boroughs or the City of London
Which Business or Charity-owned Vehicles are Eligible for the ULEZ Scrappage Scheme?
There are also some rules around the kind of vehicle you intend to scrap.
TfL lays out the following rules for their business van and minibus scrappage scheme. The vehicle you plan to scrap must:
- Be a light van or minibus registered to the business for more than 1 year before the start of the scrappage scheme on the 30th Jan 2023. Eligible vans can have a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of up to 3.5 tonnes gross. Eligible minibuses can have a GVW of up to 5 tonnes.
- Be ULEZ non-compliant (including pre-Euro 6 diesel vehicles and pre-Euro 4 petrol vehicles)
- Be currently insured for business use
- Have a current MOT certificate
- Be certified with valid VED road tax
- Be registered with the DVLA in the name of the charity, business, or sole trader.
If the vehicle is registered with an employee, a director of the business will need to confirm it is a company vehicle
If your vehicle is eligible for a grant, you must also be intending to replace it. The replacement vehicle you choose must:
- Be a fully electric light van up to 3.5 tonnes GVW or a fully electric minibus up to 5 tonnes GVW
- Be purchased or part of a lease/hire agreement that is at least two years long
- Have the same body type as the vehicle you are scrapping
How Much is Your Vehicle Worth?
There are eight different grant payment options. These are based on the type of vehicle you have, your transport plans after the vehicle is scrapped, or if you have a wheelchair-accessible van that you'd like to retrofit with new emissions-reducing technology.
If your plan is to simply scrap the vehicle, you can claim a grant of:
- £2,000 for a car
- £1,000 for a motorcycle
If you'd like to scrap your vehicle and would then like to use an Adult Bus & Tram Pass for travel, you have four options:
- Scrap a car and get one adult-rate Annual Bus & Tram Pass and a grant for £1,600
- Scrap a car and get two adult-rate Annual Bus & Tram Passes and a grant for £1,200
- Scrap a motorcycle and get one adult-rate Annual Bus & Tram Pass and a grant for £600
- Scrap a motorcycle and get two adult-rate Annual Bus & Tram Passes and a grant for £400
- If you have a wheelchair-accessible vehicle (either a car or a van), you can receive either:
- £5,000 to scrap the wheelchair-accessible vehicle, or
- £5,000 to retrofit green emissions technology into a wheelchair-accessible van
Is the Annual Bus & Tram Pass option a good deal?
You'll have no doubt seen that if you're scrapping a car or motorbike, there are options to take a lower grant amount and receive either one or two adult Annual Bus & Tram Pass for use in London.
If you buy one of these annual passes individually, the price is currently £932 - and therefore £1,864 for two passes. However, the 'grant + pass' option only reduces your grant amount by £400 if you scrap a car and would like one adult annual pass. Therefore, if you're planning on taking buses and trams after scrapping your vehicle, this represents a good saving.
Is Scrapping the Vehicle the Only Option?
No. Although referred to as a 'scrappage scheme', it would be more accurate to call the grant payments a 'scrap or retrofit scheme'.This is because eligible Londoners who have a wheelchair accessible van can choose to have an accredited fitter install green emissions control systems 'retrofitted' (i.e. fitted after the car was purchased).
Not all vans are suitable for this kind of conversion, so you should check suitability using the Energy Saving Trust's CVRAS Approved Suppliers list . When you visit the site, you'll be able to select your vehicle's make and model, then find a London-based specialist who can carry out the work and provide you with all the proof you require.
What Do I Need to Apply for the ULEZ Car and Motorcycle Scrappage Scheme?
To apply for a grant payment, you should carefully check your and your vehicle's eligibility using the TfL website .
According to their guidance, you will need to do a little preparation. This includes:
Having a London road user charging (RUC) account - with the name on the account matches the name of the person claiming the relevant benefit
- Having a working email address connected to your RUC account
- Getting all the required documents ready
- You should also make sure you have put aside enough time to work through the application in one go. It should take no longer than 10 minutes - but it will not auto-save and will time out if you're inactive for 30 minutes.
Applying with a Private (Personalised) Plate
You shouldn't have trouble when applying with a private plate, but be aware it could make you seem non-compliant.
The primary determinant of ULEZ enforcement is the recorded emissions of a vehicle. This compliance data is accumulated from various resources by Transport for London (TfL). In instances where the available data isn't sufficient, the vehicle is classified as non-compliant — a scenario especially common with personalised number plates. However, when appropriate verification is provided, TfL makes necessary adjustments to accurately reflect the vehicle's compliance status.
Essentially, if there are changes made to your vehicle's registration, it could be tagged as non-compliant during the period when the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) is updating their records. In such cases, TfL requires a copy of the new V5C to amend our records.
Without an updated copy of the V5C, the vehicle might be regarded as non-compliant and might attract a ULEZ Penalty Charge (PC) if the daily charge remains unpaid. When the provided documents are satisfactory, TfL will refund the daily ULEZ fees paid during the period of DVLA/TfL record update.
How Can I Scrap My Vehicle?
TfL does not take care of scrapping your vehicle - so you'll have to do this yourself. Don't panic though - as car scrapping experts, Car.co.uk makes this incredibly easy.
If your application is approved, you will need to scrap your vehicle within one month of being accepted for the grant. It must be scrapped at an Authorised Treatment Facility (ATF).
An ATF is a scrap business that has proven it operates in line with government rules. ATFs are the only kind of scrapyard that has the authority to issue a Certificate of Destruction (CoD) after scrapping your car. It's absolutely essential that you use an ATF, as without the CoD, you will not be able to claim your grant.
Attention! Be Careful Not to Use Non-ATF Scrap Merchants
Not all car scrapping services are quite what they seem. Many online or roadside adverts offering 'cash for scrap cars' are posted by people and businesses that are not ATFs. Instead, they will buy your scrap car with a view to making a profit by selling it on.
This is a big problem if you're planning to take advantage of the ULEZ car and motorcycle scrappage scheme.
Non-ATF scrap businesses cannot legally issue you with a Certificate of Destruction - meaning you will not have the evidence you need to claim your grant. Be warned though; some unscrupulous scrap traders will offer something similar - perhaps called a "Certificate of Disposal" or a "Confirmation of Destruction". These are not official documents and they will not be accepted when you try to claim your grant.
By finding genuine Authorised Treatment Facilities near you, you can be certain you'll get the paperwork you need to claim your grant payment.
Use Car.co.uk to Find Prices from ATFs Near You
With just a few details about your vehicle and your location, we'll provide you with prices from ATFs near you to make sure you get the best possible price for your vehicle when it's time to scrap it.
The best bit is, there's zero effort needed from you - no calling around, no waiting for call-backs, and no haggling over prices.
The price you're offered is the price you'll get - and collection is also included, at a time that's right for you.
To get started, just enter your car registration and your postcode - and we'll make sure you get the best price for your non-ULEZ-compliant vehicle.
ULEZ offers monetary incentives to Londoners who scrap their non-ULEZ-compliant vehicles. If your vehicle meets the eligibility criteria, you will receive a grant of up to £2,000 for a car or £1,000 for a moped or motorcycle after scrapping it at an Authorised Treatment Facility. This money can then be used to purchase a replacement ULEZ-compliant vehicle.
Under the ULEZ scrappage scheme, you can get a grant of up to £2,000 for a car or £1,000 for a moped or motorcycle after scrapping it at an Authorised Treatment Facility. You will need to meet the eligibility criteria and provide all necessary documents in order to be able to claim the grant payment.
Electric vehicles are not included in the ULEZ scrappage scheme because they are already ULEZ-compliant and do not need to be scrapped. The scheme is designed to encourage people to get rid of their non-compliant vehicles, such as old diesel or petrol cars.
No, you are not allowed to combine the ULEZ scrappage incentive with other grants or incentives. It is an independent scheme and any additional funds must come from your own pocket. However, you should be able to get a better deal on a ULEZ-compliant car with the money saved from scrapping your old vehicle.
There is no deadline to apply for the scrappage scheme. Since the London Ultra Low Emission Zone is expected to remain in place for many years, it's likely that the scrappage scheme will also continue (and expand). We still recommend that you apply as soon as possible to avoid missing out on the incentive.
Yes, you are allowed to scrap multiple vehicles under the ULEZ scrappage scheme. But each application must meet the eligibility criteria (e.g., the owner must receive a government benefit, such as disability living allowance). It's a good idea to check the eligibility requirements and contact TfL for more information before applying.
ULEZ noncompliance results in a penalty charge of £180 each time you enter the zone with an ineligible vehicle. TfL has collected more than £73 million from noncompliant drivers in 2022 alone, so it's clear they're enforcing the rule for everyone on the road.
Since you must meet specific qualifications to receive the ULEZ scrappage incentive, you are not able to transfer it to someone else. If you do not meet the criteria for the grant, your application will be denied. That's why it's so important that you read through the eligibility requirements and make sure you can satisfy them before submitting an application.