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ULEZ Fines in Error: Hundreds of Innocent Drivers Affected Due to Number Plate Mistake, Say Car Experts

Car experts have raised concerns over hundreds of drivers being wrongly charged and fined while driving in London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). VRM Swansea’s Plates4Less team has fielded numerous inquiries over the past three months from drivers who received unjust fines, and they have been actively assisting clients in challenging and overturning ULEZ charges that should never have been imposed.

The ULEZ, recently expanded to encompass greater London within the M25 motorway, imposes emissions-based charges on owners of non-compliant vehicles. Although the scheme was introduced in 2015, it only came into effect in September 2020.

In June, approximately 4,000 ULEZ fines were issued daily. Plates4Less experts claim that many of these fines were unjust because Transport for London (TfL) is not updating its vehicle database promptly enough based on DVLA records, which accurately link number plates to the correct vehicle details.

According to experts, if TfL updated its records daily, it would correctly identify these vehicles as ULEZ compliant. However, because this isn’t happening, the ANPR cameras rely on a basic non-DVLA database. This basic database relies on the age indicator of the number plate to determine the vehicle’s age. If the vehicle appears older than it is due to an older personalized number plate, the cameras automatically issue a charge, leading to incorrect fines.

To assist motorists in avoiding unjust charges, the number plate and motoring experts at VRM Swansea’s Plates4Less have created a quick guide. This helpful template can be used to challenge TfL or any other authority when facing an incorrect charge or fine.

Antony Clark, of Plates4Less, explained, “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”.

“We contacted TFL on behalf of our clients and were pleased to discover that there’s a super easy fix to this issue. As long as people send Transport for London a copy of their V5 Registration Certificate when they get a charge, TfL should be able to investigate and cancel the charges and any subsequent fine.” 

Antony assured: “We’ve included an email template for challenging inaccurate charges in our free guide, alongside other useful information about ULEZ and Clean Air zones.” 

The guide, including an email template for challenging inaccurate charges, is available online at www.plates4less.co.uk/ulez. Plates4Less, known for its expertise in private number plates, offers this guide as part of their commitment to helping motorists navigate ULEZ and Clean Air zones.

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone has been a subject of controversy, affecting even residents within the zone. While driving a ULEZ-compliant vehicle is the best preventive measure, it’s not always feasible due to cost constraints and confusing regulations. Antony emphasised, “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.”

Plates4Less, an agency specialising in private number plates in the UK, has been serving buyers and sellers since 1997. They hold over 65 million registrations and have the most advanced smart search engine to assist clients in finding the perfect plate. Despite their name, Plates4Less holds the UK record for negotiating the sale of the most expensive private sale to date in the United Kingdom, exceeding £600,000 in 2022.


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