Car expert shares how to get the best price when changing your car to beat Clean Air Zone charges as used car market  booms

April 12, 2024 by

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To help lower pollution, there are more and more Clean Air Zones (CAZ) in England and Low Emission Zones in Scotland. But if your car is not CAZ-compliant, how can you get the best price when changing it to avoid daily charges or fines? Read on for five top tips…

  • 1 in 5 (19%) drivers are not sure if their car is Clean Air Zone compliant
  • Daily charges or fines for driving a non-compliant car in a Clean Air Zone mean changing your car could save you money
  • 5 simple tips to help you get the best price when you sell your car

London, UK: One in five (19%) drivers are not sure if their car is Clean Air Zone (CAZ) compliant for where they regularly drive, according to a new survey by Carwow, the online car-changing marketplace.

In areas like Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Dundee, Low Emission Zone fines will come into force on 1st June 2024  (or 30th My for Dundee). The results indicate that there is work to be done to ensure motorists understand the charges they might face on a daily basis, and how to get the best price for selling a non-compliant car if they decide to change it.

Data from the online car-changing marketplace shows that now may be a good time for motorists to consider selling their non-compliant car, as demand for used cars is spiking – the platform has seen a 60% increase in offers made for used cars year on year, and the start of 2024 has seen an influx of used car listings in Carwow’s daily trade auction.

John Rawlings, Consumer Expert at Carwow, shares his top five tips for selling a non-compliant used car:

  1. Know your car’s value
    Rawlings says: “Just because your car doesn’t meet Clean Air Zone standards doesn’t mean it’s worthless: for example, drivers in rural areas are likely to be on the lookout for bargains that are being moved out of cities. Use a free valuation service like Carwow’s free Car Valuation tool, and keep this number in mind when negotiating a sale price. Also, your car could be worth more if it’s a popular colour such as grey, silver or black as dealers love to sell used cars as quickly as possible!”

    “Online valuations do vary and you have to be honest about your car’s condition, otherwise when the buyer physically sees the car, the cost of doing any repairs are often deducted from the price offered.”

  2. Sell outside your area
    Rawlings advises sellers to look beyond their own areas where a CAZ may be coming into operation, suggesting: “It’s likely to be tough selling non-compliant cars in cities with a CAZ operating, but one of the advantages of online is that it opens the entire country’s used-car market to you. Take advantage of this, using a nationwide service such as Carwow’s Sell My Car to help to sell your car quickly and get the best price for your vehicle.”
  3. Don’t work harder than you need to
    Rawlings says: “It goes without saying that a clean car is easier to sell than a dirty one, and while you should get any major issues with your car sorted prior to sale, don’t worry too much about kerbed alloys or the odd bumper scuff. Dealers can get issues like this sorted out more easily and cheaply than you, with wear-and-tear usage being a fact of life on second-hand cars.”

    He adds: “And when your car’s been spruced up, take lots of photos of it. You’ll need these if selling online or posting an advertisement. They help the buyer see as much of the car as possible. Taking photos on a smartphone is fine, but putting a bit of thought into the location could also make a difference.” See some of: Carwow’s Photography tips here.

  4. New MOT/service
    When it comes to MOTs and servicing, Rawlings advises the more recent these are the better in terms of appealing to the buyer: “If you are fairly confident your car will pass an MOT test (assuming it’s three years old or more) without costing you a fortune, having a fresh MOT not only saves buyers the cost of getting one done themselves, but also gives them confidence that it is legally roadworthy for 12 months – meaning they’ll pay more for it. If it needs work, then decide if you want to pay it. This could add value to the car if the buyer knows it’s had the work done. It will give the buyer more confidence. Keep all receipts and any warranty on the work as evidence.”

    “While you’re at it, if you haven’t had it serviced recently, consider getting it done. It’s one of the first questions a buyer will ask – so they know if they have any expenses coming up. If a buyer is looking at several cars, if your one has a fresh MOT and a recent service, it could make it more desirable (and valuable) than others even if they are older or have a higher mileage.”

  5. Paperwork
    Finally, Rawlings shares the importance of proving the car’s worth: “If you have a full record of the service history and any repairs for your car, it gives a buyer a better insight into its condition. It’s vital evidence of how much you may have spent on it (to justify your asking price) and how well your car’s been looked after.”

    “Get all relevant paperwork together to show the buyer – especially the V5C (log book) which documents you as the registered keeper and is needed to transfer the car’s ownership over. Remember to highlight any warranties on any parts or repairs, or any remaining warranty on the car itself since you bought it. If you’re really keen to sell, you could buy a used car warranty to include with the car (e.g. Warrantywise), but make sure it is transferable to the next owner.”

To check if your vehicle is CAZ compliant and which cities operate CAZ, visit:
To check if your vehicle is ULEZ compliant (for driving in London), visit:
For those looking to sell their non-compliant car, visit:


*About the survey – Carwow conducted a survey of web visitors with 1,034 – 1,634 respondents

About Carwow
Carwow, the online car-changing marketplace, is the one-stop shop to change your car. Thanks to expert advice, a wide range of makes, models and a network of verified dealers, Carwow makes buying or selling cars easy and with total confidence. With over 3.5m monthly users and an increasingly important partner for the automotive industry, Carwow uses market-leading insights and creates top-notch advertising content to fuel the success of the dealers and brands we partner with.

Since Carwow was founded in 2021, it has:

  • Become one of the biggest automotive channels on YouTube, hitting over 9 million subscribers and over 1.1bn video views in 2023, thanks to Mat Watson and the team
  • Since the company added car-selling capabilities to its UK offering in 2021, it has helped drivers to sell over 122,000 used cars directly to more than 4,500 trusted dealer partners, worth a combined value of over £1.6 billion.
  • One in every 10 of all new cars registered privately in the UK bought via Carwow
  • Created a service customers love, with a 4.7 rating on Trustpilot from almost 50,000 reviews
  • Opened offices in the UK, Germany, Spain and Portugal with a combined team of 400+.
  • Helped 2.5m customers find, buy or sell a car, becoming a leading go-to online destination for new cars in the UK, Germany, Spain and Portugal

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