Car experts are sounding the alarm as hundreds of drivers in London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) are facing unwarranted charges and fines due to number plate mishaps, according to reports.
Over the past three months, VRM Swansea’s Plates4Less team has been inundated with queries from concerned drivers who have erroneously received ULEZ fines. The team has been working diligently to assist clients in contesting and overturning these charges, which they believe should have never been issued.
The ULEZ, recently expanded to encompass greater London within the M25 motorway boundaries, imposes emissions-based charges on owners of non-compliant vehicles. The scheme, launched in 2015, was enforced in September 2020.
In June, an estimated 4,000 ULEZ fines were issued daily. Plates4Less experts contend that many of these fines were unjust, attributing the problem to Transport for London (TfL) not promptly updating its vehicle database with DVLA records that accurately link number plates to vehicle details.
The experts suggest that if TfL updated its records daily, they would be aware of ULEZ-compliant vehicles. However, the current system relies on a basic non-DVLA database, which interprets a vehicle’s age based on the number plate’s age indicator. If the vehicle’s age appears older than 2006 for petrol cars or 2015 for diesel cars, an automatic charge is issued, leading to inaccuracies when vehicles bear older personalised number plates.
To assist motorists in avoiding unjust fines, VRM Swansea’s Plates4Less number plate and motoring experts have crafted a helpful guide and email template that can be used to challenge erroneous charges or fines issued by TfL or other authorities.
Antony Clark, of Plates4Less, stated, “As a trusted supplier of private number plates, people often come to us with their questions, and we’re happy to help. We have found that Transport for London is not updating their vehicles database from DVLA records often enough”.
The guide, along with the email template for challenging inaccurate charges, is available online at www.plates4less.co.uk/ulez. Plates4Less has released several guides that may be beneficial to individuals interested in private plates or motorists in general.
The ULEZ has been a topic of controversy, even affecting residents within its boundaries. To prevent charges or fines, drivers must meet ULEZ requirements, but this can be challenging due to the cost of electric vehicles and complex regulations.
Antony concluded, “The issue remains that the system isn’t perfect and the database updates slowly, which is why some motorists who are driving compliant vehicles are receiving charges and fines that they shouldn’t be. This solution proposed by Plates4Less should allow Transport for London to update their files, solving the problem. At Plates4Less, we’ve seen the many ways that a new number plate can benefit drivers, and ULEZ shouldn’t get in the way of that. We hope our guide will help motorists understand how to navigate ULEZ, and avoid unnecessary fines.”
VRM Swansea – Plates4Less is a well-established agency in the UK for buying and selling private number plates. With over 65 million registrations in its database and a highly advanced smart search engine, the company helps clients find the perfect plate. Operating since 1997, Plates4Less boasts more 5-star Trustpilot reviews than any other agency in its field.
Despite its name, Plates4Less holds the UK record for negotiating the sale of the most expensive private number plate to date, exceeding £600,000 in 2022.