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Wilsons Group goes big in bid to help motorists beat London ULEZ charges

Wilsons Group ULEZ advertising hoarding in Epsom

Wilsons Group has gone big in its bid to promote its range of Ultra Low Emissions Zone (ULEZ) compliant cars to motorists who face being hit by fees from the Mayor of London’s expanded charging area.

The franchised car retail group has erected a vast ‘Beat the ULEZ’ advertising hoarding behind its used car supermarket on Kiln Lane, Epsom, to highlight the impending threat of charges to residents who will live on the border of Sadiq Khan’s newly-expanded ULEZ when it goes in live in August.

The scheme will slap motorists of any petrol car registered with the DVLA before 2005 with a £12.50 daily charge to enter the ULEZ zone from August 29.

Diesel cars have to have been registered after September 2015 to enter the zone free of charge.

Wilsons said in a statement: “ULEZ directly impacts our business, and we want to be helping all of our customers as much as possible. We have a large range of ULEZ complaint stock, and we want to show that off to customers.

“It’s at the forefront of people’s minds and there is a lot of confusion still around with councils looking to challenge the expansion or to comply with the new zones.

“The situation was still at an early stage given the zone is only scheduled to come into force in August. People who have got older vehicles are considering electric or hybrid.”

Wilsons Group's multi-brand car retail site in EpsomWilsons is a franchisee for Abarth, Alfa Romeo, Fiat, Jeep, Hyundai, MG, Nissan, Peugeot, Renault and Dacia and offers multiple alternative fuel vehicle (AFV) models from its multi-brand dealership on Kiln Lane.

Last month the National Franchised Dealers Association (NFDA) branded a scrappage scheme launched by Transport for London (TfL) to support its expanding ULEZ as insufficient in its efforts to promote the purchase of new or newer, lower emissions cars, however.

Speaking out against the plans, which provide grants of up to £2,000 towards the price of a new car or £5,000 towards the price of a new van, chief executive Sue Robinson said the total budget allocated for the scrappage scheme will not be sufficient to make an impact the level at which the Mayor is expecting.

Residents outside the ULEZ boundary are currently unable to apply despite requests from London Mayor Sadiq Khan to the Prime Minister to include Surrey residents.

The new scrappage scheme was introduced to support Londoners on certain low income or disability benefits, and eligible micro businesses (up to 10 employees), sole traders and charities with a registered address in London. It is supported by a £110m funding package.

Eligible applicants can get up to £2,000 for scrapping a car or up to £1,000 for scrapping a motorcycle. For wheelchair accessible vehicles there is a payment of £5,000 to scrap or retrofit to the ULEZ standard. Van owners can claim between £5,000 and £9,500.

Robinson said: “Whilst the NFDA supports and is encouraged by the London Mayor’s decision to provide a financial incentive towards exchanging ageing and non-compliant vehicles for newer, greener modes of transport, we are severely concerned that this will not be enough and the scheme will continue to have negative implications for a large proportion of motorists.”

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