My Car Quest

June 26, 2022

Editorial: One Black Cloud on the Horizon of the Old Car Hobby

by Wallace Wyss –

I ran across it in one of the editor’s columns in a British car magazine. I can’t remember the magazine but the editor’s complaint was that he couldn’t drive his old collector car where he is used to driving because it wasn’t low enough emissions.

Turns out that London passed a law in 2021 that, car model by car model, excludes some because they’ve determined it won’t pass new tougher emissions restrictions in these zone. Oh, there’s a loophole, you can drive it but will have to pay a bounty each time because your car breaks the rules.

Here’s a description of the law:

The Mayor’s Ultra Low Emission Zone for London;

On 25 October 2021, the Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) expanded from central London up to (but not including) the North Circular and South Circular roads. The new zone is 18 times the size of the central London zone and now covers 3.8 million people. The ULEZ is central to the Mayor of London’s plans to improve Londoners’ health. It will clean up the city’s toxic air, which leads to the early deaths of thousands of people every year.

Most vehicles driving in the ULEZ zone must meet tighter emission standards than in the rest of the UK or pay the daily charge. The ULEZ is in effect 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, all year round (except Christmas Day).

I can just see the ecologists seizing on this law in the US. I predict they will take places like Yellowstone, one of my favorite National Parks and say visitors have to submit the year of their car, and the model, first, before entry.

Their argument will be purer air, like it was before cars were invented. Then each State’s Governor, when he wants votes from the ecology lobby, will choose an area in his or her state to impose an exclusionary zone, open only to those driving cars with ultra low emissions.

Never mind that the car already passed the regular emissions check in whatever state they are from. How much is the charge in a UK ULEZ zone? Around $17 USD (it’s Pounds sterling 12.50 and USD amount depends on conversion rate).

I wasn’t able to find a list of sporting cars affected but you can go by model year. At this writing historic vehicles over 40 years old are still exempt from the ULEZ charge, but that still leaves out a lot of cars we hobbyists consider classics or modern classics.

Most diesel cars registered before September 2015 and most vans registered before September 2016 are subject to the ULEZ charge. Most cars with petrol engines registered before 2001 are liable, together with some vehicles registered between 2001 and 2005. You can already see that’s a logical conclusion that they will come to: If these 20 year old cars are bad, think of how bad those 40-years-old-or-older cars must be!

I’ve seen the “creep” of government regulations passed by do-gooders before. That list of cars which can be fined will grow exponentially, reaching back ever further. Let’s hope this law doesn’t come to the US where “freedom of movement” has been a goal since 1776. The do-gooders won’t be happy until they’ve killed off the old car hobby…

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

Wallace Wyss

THE AUTHOR: Wallace Wyss, a long time journalist, is writing a book
tentatively entitled How Tesla killed Detroit. He is looking for a publisher.

 
 

ulez-expansion-promo_rdax_400x200

Summary
Editorial: One Black Cloud on the Horizon of the Old Car Hobby
Article Name
Editorial: One Black Cloud on the Horizon of the Old Car Hobby
Description
The ULEZ is central to the Mayor of London’s plans to improve Londoners’ health. It will clean up the city’s toxic air, which leads to the early deaths of thousands of people every year.
Author

Comments

  1. There’s so much passion for classic cars there and they know it.

  2. Wayne Watkins says

    So you can still kill thousands of people of the 3.8 million living in the london zone as long as you are willing to pay US$17 ( free on Christmas day ! ) , but you can legally kill around thousands of the remaining 65 million people 24/7 in the rest of Great Britain driving your otherwise legal unleaded cars ! God save the Queen . Meanwhile Putin is destroying , maiming and killing thousands in Ukraine whilst the UN and the rest of the world watches and sends their best wishes .

  3. Do you really miss the old smoggy LA air? Let it go, these cars are nasty. A couple weeks ago at a local hot rod show in a parking garage I found it very difficult to breath while walking through the (open) lower levels till I reached the roofless top section. I get it you guys like the old internal combustion engine cars but they are destroying the atmosphere. The change is coming.

  4. wallace wyss says

    Wayne is right on. What they are saying with the daily fine is that “OK it’s OK to pollute as long as you give us money” and “Never mind you already paid to license that car” I haven’t heard of any environmentalists in the US advocating this zone idea but it will come up soon on their shakedown tricks

Speak Your Mind

*