City Hall’s scrappage scheme has seen Londoners claim approximately £158 million after trading in non-compliant cars, with another £50 million now added to the fund.
Nearly 65,000 car and motorbike owners and 50,000 van owners applied for the £2,000 scrappage payment, which they can put towards new vehicles that meet the standards required by ULEZ.
As the scheme’s name suggests, many of the cars now in City Hall’s possession were destined for scrapyards.
But in an unusual twist, the Government has found it would be legal for the London Mayor to ship the cars to Eastern Europe.
Among the scrapped cars received by City Hall since the scrappage scheme began are 4x4s and other similar vehicles that could be used to carry troops and otherwise assist fighters.
He asked Mark Harper, the Transport Secretary, whether this was the case in a letter last December.
Mr Harper responded to the London Mayor last week, confirming that the Government did not identify a “legal barrier” preventing officials from exporting the cars.
He wrote: “We do not consider there to be any legal barrier to allowing vehicles to be donated to Ukraine.
“You have identified legal obstacles that relate to the processes and design of your scheme and DfT [Department for Transport] and DLUHC [Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities] officials have been working with TfL [Transport for London] to identify routes to overcome these.”
The transport secretary added in his letter that any vehicle donated to the Ukrainian army would be “highly unlikely” to return to the UK.
He also highlighted a DVLA scheme that would notify TfL when a vehicle is donated to Ukraine, avoiding “multiple scrappage payments being paid for the same vehicle”.
The response was welcomed by Mr Khan, who hailed the “encouraging news” in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter.
He wrote: “Encouraging news from the Transport Secretary – let’s keep working together to get this done.”