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What is the Ulez scrappage scheme as some vehicles will be sent to Ukraine?

Some vehicles handed over for destruction under London’s Ulez scrappage scheme will soon be sent to Ukraine, Sadiq Khan has announced.

Out of the vehicles being sent to the warzone, 50 are decommissioned ambulances from the London Ambulance Service, with 10 planned to be sent in the next few weeks, and a further 40 by the end of the summer.

The mayor and former Defence Secretary Ben Wallace recently wrote to Transport Secretary Mark Harper shortly before Christmas, calling on him to alter the regulations for the issuing of a Certificate of Destruction under the scrappage scheme.

They said this was necessary in order to enable vehicles to be sent to Ukraine via a registered charity or national scheme.

However, in a letter to Mr Khan at the end of January, Mr Harper said that the Government did “not consider there to be any legal barrier to allowing vehicles to be donated to Ukraine”.

Under the scrappage scheme, Londoners are able to receive money in exchange for submitting their non-Ulez-compliant vehicle for destruction, or in a few cases to be retrofitted. Cars can be scrapped for a £2,000 sum and motorbikes for £1,000, with larger grants on offer for vans and minibuses.

Under a new set of arrangements, some vehicles submitted to be scrapped will instead be permanently transferred to the Ukrainian authorities.

Ukraine’s infrastructure has been significantly damaged in the conflict and it is hoped that donating a range of different vehicles will provide the country with humanitarian and logistical assistance.

The development was welcomed by Eduard Fesko, the interim Ukrainian ambassador to the UK, who said: “The Ulez programme is gradually expanding, providing a healthier and happier environment for London residents and visitors. Ukraine is also aiming for similar reforms, whether in Kyiv or other cities, where comprehensive reconstruction will be required after the end of the barbaric Russian aggression.

“There is a unique opportunity to give a second life to vehicles by donating them to Ukraine, which can help save human lives. This initiative can benefit Ukraine and London greatly, and the Embassy of Ukraine in the United Kingdom is proud to support this initiative and encourages all charity organisations and volunteer groups to join this effort.”

What is the scrappage scheme?

The scrappage scheme provides drivers with grants to replace their vehicles with less polluting models.

The scrappage scheme is only open to Londoners in receipt of certain benefits, as well as businesses with fewer than 50 employees, and charities registered in the capital.

London drivers whose vehicles don't meet the ultra-low emission charge standards can apply for grants to either scrap or upgrade their old, polluting automobiles.

The decision means hundreds of thousands of drivers who own older, more polluting vehicles will face a daily fee of £12.50 for using London’s roads.

The TfL online checking tool allows you to determine whether your car or bike is eligible.

You can apply for the car and motorbike scrappage scheme via TfL’s website.

When can Londoners apply for the scrappage scheme?

From August 21, all Londoners could apply for the scheme. Previously, the scheme was only available to those receiving benefits.

The scheme had about £60 million left, but now another £50 million will be added.

Those living outside London can not apply.

How long does it take to hear back about your application?

TfL says that it takes about 20 days to process an application and you will need a Certificate of Destruction confirming that your car has been scrapped before the £2,000 grant will be processed.

While some have complained about this, saying this would leave them having to wait a number of weeks before they can buy their new car, TfL has shared that the scrappage money isn’t necessarily offered so that people can buy a new car. They added that the money could also be used to buy a travel card or join a car club.

How to scrap non-compliant cars and motorcycles

Londoners can apply for cash incentives to discard non-compliant vehicles like motorcycles or cars. However, those in the home counties are ineligible.

Wheelchair users with modified vans can apply for grants of £5,000 to destroy or modify non-compliant wheelchair-accessible vehicles.

Charities, sole proprietors, and companies with fewer than 10 employees who are registered in London may apply to scrap a van or a minibus (for a grant of £5,000 or £7,000, respectively), to retrofit some vans or minibuses (for a grant of £5,000), or to scrap and replace a van or minibus with a fully electric vehicle (for grants of £7,500 or £9,500, respectively).

Additionally, applicants have the choice of receiving a combination of cash and yearly bus and tram passes.

Lorries, vans, buses, and minibuses do not need to pay the ULEZ charge, but they might need to pay a LEZ charge.

Can Londoners buy an old car just to apply for the £2,000 scrappage scheme?

No, the only vehicles that can apply for the scheme are cars that have been registered with the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to you or someone who lives at your address since January 30, 2022 or earlier.

Will the scrappage scheme be extended to commuters?

Currently, the scrappage scheme is only available to Londoners.

However, Sadiq Khan has called on the Government to set up a scrappage scheme for the home counties.

A decision about this hasn’t been revealed yet.