London used car dealers urged to send non-Ulez compliant part-exchanges to Ukraine

  • Charity calls for support from car dealers as secondhand market drops for failing cars
  • Pick-ups and SUVs that fall foul of Ulez are still highly sought after in Ukraine
  • Used car dealers had said they were turning non-Ulez compliant part exchanges away

Time 7:03 am, September 15, 2023

London car dealers are being urged to consider sending non-Ultra Low Emission Zone (Ulez) compliant used cars to Ukraine to help the war effort.

Charity Car4Ukraine is urging dealers to think about donating diesel 4x4s or pick-up trucks for use on the frontline, rather than refuse taking them in part exchange altogether.

Car Dealer reported that several used car dealers across the capital had stopped taking non-Ulez compliant cars in as they were struggling to sell them on.

Cars that fall foul of the new emissions rules have seen their values tumble in the capital as drivers face a £12.50 daily charge to drive them in the zone.

As of the end of August, the Ulez includes London’s outer boroughs including Bexley, Bromley, Harrow and Hillingdon.

Londoner and a volunteer for Car4Ukraine Richard Lofthouse said: ‘We are actually working on getting the London Mayor to make a tweak to his controversial Ulez scheme to allow the right vehicles to go to Ukraine rather than get scrapped. 

‘But until that happens we’re also interested in good value vehicles where the pricing reflects the pariah status – big Chelsea tractors, pick-ups, that sort of thing. 

‘In some cases people have been so angry at the scheme that they have given us the vehicle directly instead of accepting a terrible trade-in deal only to know that their car will be scrapped.’

Last year, Car Dealer reported on the Car4Ukraine charity which modifies cars from the UK and across Europe for use fighting on the frontline.

The cars are retrofitted with armoured plating and machine guns and have been used to rescue civilians and attack Russian aggressors

Fighters using one modified vehicle even shot down a Russian cruise missile.

Right hand drive vehicles are particularly sought after as they confuse Russian snipers who shoot at the wrong side of the cars in an attempt to target the driver. 

Lofthouse, who drove a vehicle to Ukraine to be donated earlier this year, said Ulez offers a unique opportunity for the scheme to get its hands on cars that would be vital to the war effort.

The car he delivered – a Ford Ranger – was being sold at the time as a direct result of the costs of the Ulez.

He added: ‘Car Dealer reported that several London dealers were refusing trade-ins that they could not easily sell on. Yet there remains a buoyant market for such vehicles far away from the Ulez and especially in Ukraine, where emissions are the last thing they are worrying about right now.

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‘There are at least a dozen UK groups taking vehicles regularly to Ukraine, ranging from Jeeps for Peace in Scotland to Driving Ukraine in Oxfordshire, and of course Car4Ukraine with London representatives. 

‘It was recently reported that such groups have delivered well over 1,500 vehicles, including armoured ambulances, since Russia’s invasion last February.’

The Car4Ukraine.com website details the charity’s work and explains how it needs diesel vehicles, such as Mitsubishi L200, Nissan Navara and Ford Ranger models.

Speaking to Car Dealer Live, in a video you can watch above, Car4Ukraine’s Ivan Oleksii said: ‘This is a genuine way people in the UK can help fight the Russian aggressors. 

‘These cars are vital and are used for a huge number of roles. Cars are disposable and easy to destroy so we need a good supply.

‘Dealers may have cars that look tatty but that doesn’t matter for us as long as they drive and are solid underneath. We paint them for the frontline and retrofit all the parts that are needed for active service.’

James Baggott's avatar

James is the founder and editor-in-chief of Car Dealer Magazine, and CEO of parent company Baize Group. James has been a motoring journalist for more than 20 years writing about cars and the car industry.

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