The expansion of London's Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) has caused a quandary for owners of Land Rover Defenders. On paper, it has in the past seemed that if the vehicle is a car (such as a 110 Station Wagon), it may have been exempt if the V5C document stated that the body style was an "ESTATE". Over time, the rules have changed and with the expansion in October 2021 previous exemptions have been withdrawn.
There are basically four options:
(Ignoring the fifth option of selling your Defender and buying something more sensible...!)
There are about 2,500 Defenders in the UK that have an exemption, or are recorded as "Compliant" by the TFL's online number plate checker. This site takes a regular feed of this data and combines it with the Defenders listed for sale on eBay, so we are able to filter out and show a list of the ULEZ compliant Defenders for sale on eBay (the biggest marketplace for Defenders).
Since April 2022, TFL have stopped the ability for us to check ULEZ status by number plate. The data here is now a snapshot and will not change in future. For the vast majority of vehicles, it will not change anyway. Please check the number plate on the TFL website for the most up to date information.
From seeing the listings that come up, a few interesting things become apparant - there are seemingly a random array of Defenders that would not be charged for entering the ULEZ, where on paper they might not be compatible - 200Tdis, 300Tdis and Td5s. Quite how TFL concluded that these vehicles aren't subject to the ULEZ cannot be ascertained, but seeing as it is based on the number plate of the vehicle, and entering the ULEZ zone would trigger an ANPR check of the number plate of the vehicle, it can only be assumed that the system would grant them access without the charge.
Anecdotally, there are a disproportionate number of newly registered Defenders being marked as compliant with the ULEZ, when in reality no Defenders from the Land Rover factory met EU6 emissions. These aren't "new" Defenders, but vehicles that are "new" to the DVLA, for example imported vehicles or Wolfs from the military that are now in civilian hands. Not all like this are gifted the status, so it is still very hit and miss, but it would suggest that a blanket approach is being appied in some cases based on the date of registration of the vehicle, given that the TFL website states that "Diesel cars that meet the standards are generally those first registered with the DVLA after September 2015". It may be the case that private number plates previously fitted to compliant vehicles and now being registered to Defenders are skewing the data, but I can imagine that TFL are wise to this potential loophole and it would only last as long as it took the database to be updated from the DVLA's list.
I (Will) am not in a position to require a ULEZ compatible Defender, but if I was, I would think that finding a vehicle that was already compatible would be the easier route to be able to keep a Defender whilst living or driving in London's ULEZ. Hopefully this site can help to do that by combining the list of ULEZ exempt and compatible Defenders with the vehicles that come up for sale on eBay. This is a novel approach I have not seen elsewhere and in many cases it would seem that the sellers do not realise that their vehicle is special (that it would not be subject to the ULEZ charge), which could warrant a premium price if they did know.
Therefore you may be able to navigate the purchase of a Defender and avoid the premium that would go with it!
LR Workshop may receive compensation for any purchase made on eBay after clicking the links below.