The best budget-friendly ULEZ-compliant cars

These low-cost vehicles are a great way to avoid extra charges.

Peugeot 2008
Peugeot 2008

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expands today (October 25), with its boundaries now stretching to the North and South Circular roads outside the city. As a result, thousands of motorists might find themselves facing additional charges if their cars aren’t compliant.

Remember, for diesel cars, most models first registered after September 2015 don’t qualify for the ULEZ charge, while compliant petrol cars are typically those registered after 2005. If you’re not sure, then it’s a good idea to double-check on the Transport for London website before buying.

But thankfully, there are a number of budget-friendly cars on the used market that don’t qualify for the ULEZ charge, meaning you can make a switch and stay within the regulations. Let’s take a look.

Under £3,000 – Citroen C1

Citroen C1

City cars are favoured by the ULEZ, with their smaller engines and lower emissions bypassing the zone’s stringent regulations. One of the best is the Citroen C1, which features a compact powertrain but decent packaging which brings a surprising amount of space.

There are plenty of options available on the used market for under £3,000 and there are a good number of colour varieties, too.

Under £5,000 – Fiat Panda

Fiat Panda
Compact engines help to make the Panda efficient

You can step up a size when pushing the budget to £5,000. The Fiat Panda is brilliantly practical, with a large boot and plenty of interior headroom meaning it’s a great option for families after a more roomy car.

With its efficient petrol engine, it doesn’t qualify for the ULEZ charge, but it’s more than peppy enough for life in the city.

Under £7,000 – Ford Fiesta


The Ford Fiesta – which is consistently the UK’s favourite car – is our next option, for budgets under £7,000. Though there are plenty of options available for under this amount, £7,000 will net you a modern-shape Fiesta with plenty of equipment and low miles.

Plus, it’s one of the best cars of its type to drive, which means you’ll be able to enjoy things when you head outside of the city, too.

Under £10,000 – Renault Clio

Renault Clio
The Clio is stylish and packed with features

Renault’s stylish Clio is up next for those with a budget under £10,000. For this price, you’ll be able to get a car on a 68 plate – registered in 2018 – which comes with plenty of bells and whistles alongside an efficient engine.

The Clio’s interior is good too, with plenty of storage space and a generally high level of standard equipment.

Under £12,000 – Peugeot 2008

Peugeot 2008
The 2008’s stylish looks stand out

If you’re fancying something with a slightly more raised-up driving position, then Peugeot’s 2008 could be a great option. Available for under £12,000, the 2008 comes packed with features and has the chunky crossover design which is really popular at the moment.

Cars at this price will also feature a large central touchscreen which gives access to media and navigation functions.

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