Selling your non-ULEZ-compliant car

Selling your non-ULEZ-compliant car

With the recent expansion of the Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) in London and the imminent introduction of other Clean Air Zones across the country you may be looking to get rid of your car if it won’t make the grade.

That’s all well and good but the used car market is being flooded with cars that aren’t ULEZ compliant. This means that you’re not going to get the best possible price for yours if you’re not careful. Luckily we’re here to help with some advice on how to get the most for your non-compliant car.

What’s it worth?

When it comes to selling, you need to think positive. It’s easy to think that nobody will want your car if it doesn’t meet the current low-emissions standards. But don’t forget there are millions of buyers out there who don’t drive in such zones and therefore don’t necessarily need a compliant car. These are the people who are going to be snapping up the thousands of cars that get sold due to the ULEZ expansion. So stay positive and don’t think that you have to sell your car off cheap.

The best time to sell is… now

If you enter the ULEZ regularly and your car is non-compliant then the time to act is right now. It takes time to sell a car and so until you do you’ll have to pay £12.50 every day you enter the ULEZ. If you’re car is not compliant and you wish to sell, do it now.

Consider selling nationally

Your car is unlikely to be in much demand around the ULEZ area if it’s not-compliant. But that doesn’t mean that nobody wants it. And it certainly doesn’t mean that you need to sell to buyers in this area. All over the UK there are millions of potential buyers who don’t need a car that meets strict emissions standards because they live in more rural areas.

Selling your car nationally can be a bit tricky compared to selling more locally. That’s where websites like Car Monkey come in. At Car Monkey you can compare car valuations from all of the leading car buyer websites including Cazoo and WeBuyAnyCar. We do all the hard work so that you don’t have to.

What issues need to be fixed?

Although it’s nice to have alloy wheels that are in mint condition, they do get damaged when they hit kerbs. Generally speaking unless they are in very poor condition then it’s not worth getting alloy wheel reconditioned before selling your car. The majority of car dealers can get wheels refurbished within their industry for cheaper than we can anyway.

Likewise with small cosmetic issues such as bumper scrapes and golf-ball dents. More serious issues on the other hand should be rectified before selling your car. An example of this would be if your car’s Engine Management light (EML) comes on. This literally signals to potential buyers that there is something wrong with then engine, which will immediately reduce the amount that you could be offered for your car.

Beware of the Air-con con

Air conditioning can be a minefield when it comes to buying or selling a used car. If your aircon doesn’t work it can be due to a number of different reasons. It could simply need a regass which costs about £50. Alternatively it could need an entirely new compressor which could run into the thousands.

So when it comes to selling make sure that you get the air condition sorted out before you sell. You’ll get a much more solid price for your car. Plus you’ll have the added peace of mind that a dealer hasn’t given you a low offer when they can just re-gas the system for a small fee.

Make sure your car has a long MOT

Generally speaking it’s not worth getting your car MOT’d early if there are several months left on it. However if you’re looking to sell then a car with close to a year’s MOT is far more attractive than one that only has a few months left. Getting your car MOT’d will only cost a few pounds and it will not only give confidence to a potential buyer, but it will also give you peace of mind that you’ve sold your car in good faith and with no major problems.

Can’t remember when your MOT runs out? Don’t worry it’s one of the free checks you can do on any car which comes in really handy when you’re looking to either buy or sell.

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Do I have to pay ULEZ if I live in London?

If your car is not ULEZ-compliant then you will have to pay the daily ULEZ charge whenever your vehicle is in the zone

Is there financial support available to buy a ULEZ-compliant car?

There is a ULEZ scrappage scheme which is designed to help people on low incomes and small business to upgrade their vehicles to ULEZ-compliant ones

How do I know if my air conditioning system needs a re-gas?

If your car's air conditioning doesn't work then it could just need a re-gas. This is the first thing to check before moving onto more complicated and potentially more costly issues

How we reviewed this article:

Our experts continually monitor motor industry news & research, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

  • 6th September 2023
    Current Article - By Gary McKrill
  • 12th November 2023
    Checked & Reviewed - By John Mikler
  • 6th September 2023
    Copy Edited - By Gary McKrill
  • 1st May 2024
    Reviewed - By Gary McKrill

Car Monkey has strict sourcing guidelines and we try to rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and motoring associations where possible.


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