Cheapest ULEZ-Compliant Cars

Cheapest ULEZ-Compliant Cars

If you live or work inside the M25 you’ll be acutely aware of the ultra-low emission zone now operating in every London borough. This has been in force in its current guise since August 2023 and affects millions of people daily.  

If you cannot circumvent the restrictions by way of public transport and need to replace your car, this blog post is for you. We’ve compiled a list of the cheapest cars to buy that are ULEZ-compliant.  

What is ULEZ and is my car affected? 

The ultra-low emission zone is an area now spanning the entirety of Greater London, that restricts the entry of vehicles depending on their emissions output. Cars that do not comply can still enter but will face a charge of £12.50 per day.

Criteria for what cars are “ULEZ free” is based on the Euro emissions standards, these are rules made by the EU to force manufacturers to improve the emissions of their vehicles.  

ULEZ requires all petrol cars to be built to Euro 4 or higher - any car from 2006 will be compliant, and Diesel cars need to be Euro 6, this was only introduced in 2015. 

Many cars were built to the Euro standards before required, meaning your car - even if it’s older than the years stated above - may still be compliant.  

To check if your car is ULEZ compliant, or to read more about the ULEZ rules, our blogs will help. 

ULEZ cars under £1,000 

If you need a cheap runabout that is ULEZ-compliant, these cars will be a good bet. Be aware though, that any car for £1,000 in today's market may well need extra work in the near future. 

Ford Fiesta 1.4 Petrol - £990 

As one of the most popular cars on the road, the Fiesta was clearly a hit with drivers, it has a simple but reliable 1.4-litre petrol engine, and just enough creature comforts to get by: electric windows, AC and a radio with aux input! 

£1,000 will get you a 2005 age car, formally known as the Mark 5 Fiesta. It’s sure to not win any motoring awards in 2023, but it will get you around in relative comfort and with great reliability.  

Nissan Micra 1.2 16v - £999 

The Micra is another one of those cars that we see every day but don't necessarily notice, a reliable and long-lasting vehicle that blends into the traffic. If you’re looking for cheap transport, though, the Micra should definitely be on your radar. 

Its 1.2 litre 16 valve engine is a peach, never requiring a cambelt change as it uses a dependable chain. Inside, the features are a little limited, with electric windows and and a radio being the main plus points, but some models did come with AC, cruise control and automatic wipers.

ULEZ Cars for under £2,000 

Ford Focus 1.6 Zetec - £1,950 

For £2,000 you can pick up a relatively nice example of the Fiesta’s big brother - the Ford Focus. Still with a petrol engine, this time a 1.6 litre unit. The focus will easily fit 5 people and luggage and would be a better car for longer distance driving. 

The model in question is a Zetec S trim from 2009, with Xenon headlights, cruise control and electric windows. The 1.6-litre petrol engine will be ULEZ compliant and produce just enough power to get around town, but be effective on the motorway too.

Toyota Auris 1.6 VVT - £1,990 

Famed for their reliability, Toyotas are usually a safe bet on the used or new market. The Auris is a mid-sized hatchback, similar to that of the Focus.  

The 1.6 petrol engine is ULEZ compliant and very economical. £1,990 gets you a 2008 model with just 81,000 miles on the clock. Alloy wheels, air conditioning and a multifunction steering wheel make this a nice package for daily commuting into London.

ULEZ cars for Under £5,000 

£5,000 can buy a surprising amount of cars on the used market and is the first price bracket we would suggest considering a diesel. As the ULEZ rules are more strict on diesel cars, they usually need to be post-2015 cars.  

Ford Focus 1.5 TDCi - £4,500 

The second time a focus has appeared on our list, but this one is fitted with Ford’s 1.5 turbo diesel engine, allowing seriously impressive MPG figures. When doing motorway miles, the Focus’ efficient engine can hit over 80 miles to the gallon!  

Despite the car in question being a relatively low spec, it still has air conditioning, electric windows and more. Another benefit of the small diesel engine is the road tax (VED) - which is free, so too is driving into the ULEZ as it’s euro 6 compliant.

Renault Megane 1.6 VVT - £4,700 

If one of your priorities is style and design, the Megane is a great choice, it’s a practical, useful hatchback with great French style both inside and out. The 1.6 VVT engine is great, too. Achieving good MPG figures of just over 51 MPG. 

Along with being stylish, the Megane comes with a decent amount of tech too, with air conditioning, an infotainment system with Bluetooth connectivity and cruise control. With it being a petrol it’s also ULEZ compliant.  

£4,700 can get you a tidy 2016 manual car, with just under 90,000 miles on the clock, a car with plenty of life left in it!

ULEZ cars for under £10,000 

£10,000 is a very good budget for a car on the used market, opening up options for most manufacturers, types of cars and engines. It would even be possible to get an electric car on this budget.  

Ford Mondeo 2.0 TDCi - £9,750 

As the next size up from the Focus, the Mondeo has much more room for passengers and luggage alike. The longer wheelbase makes the car a great motorway cruiser, feeling stable and relaxing at 70 mph.  

£10,000 gets you a 2015 2.0 diesel car, both ULEZ compliant and reasonably fuel efficient. The interior too is of a higher quality and finish, befitting the higher price point. It comes with a large touchscreen infotainment system, cruise control and AC as standard.

Volvo SC60 D4 Nav - £9,995 

If a luxury SUV would be preferred over the hatchbacks and saloons previously listed, the Volvo XC60 is a good option, with a powerful (and ULEZ compliant) 2.0 diesel engine and huge amounts of Swedish luxury this would certainly be a premium option. 

The XC60 comes with a 5” sat nav infotainment system, cruise control, AC, lane departure and more. Further to that its impeccable NCAP safety rating will offer peace of mind when on the road.  

£10,000 gets you a 2016 model, with just over 100,000 miles on the clock, making it a sensible but attractive option for those looking for a bigger car.  

So, we’ve given some great options for each of the three categories, bare in mind these only showcase what's available, we’d recommend using Autotrader’s filters to search for your perfect ULEZ-compliant car.  

If you need any other information on what ULEZ entails, or for more suggestions on ULEZ-compliant cars such as SUVs, check out our blogs

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