Car experts have raised a red flag over hundreds of drivers being unjustly slapped with charges and fines while traversing London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) due to alarming number plate errors, cautioning the public about the issue.

Over the past three months, the Plates4Less team from VRM Swansea has found themselves inundated with inquiries as numerous drivers have received unwarranted fines. They have been diligently assisting clients in challenging and overturning ULEZ charges that should have never been imposed.

The Ultra Low Emission Zone recently extended its reach across greater London, encircled by the M25 motorway. This expansion brought emissions-based charges into the lives of owners of non-compliant road vehicles. The initiative was first announced in 2015 and came into effect in September 2020.

In June alone, approximately 4,000 ULEZ fines were issued daily. The experts at Plates4Less contend that a substantial portion of these fines was unjust due to Transport for London (TfL) not promptly updating their vehicle database from DVLA records, which accurately connect number plates to the correct vehicle details.

They suggest that if TfL were to update their records daily, they would be aware that these vehicles are indeed ULEZ compliant. However, because they do not perform these updates, the Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras rely on their rudimentary non-DVLA database.

This basic database informs TfL about a vehicle’s age based on the age indicator on the number plate. If the vehicle appears older than 2006 for petrol cars or 2015 for diesel cars, a charge is automatically issued, even if it is an erroneous assumption due to an older personalized number plate on a newer vehicle.

To aid motorists in avoiding this unjust situation, the number plate and motoring experts at VRM Swansea’s Plates4Less have crafted a handy guide. This invaluable template can be employed to challenge TfL or any other authority in cases of mistaken charges or fines.

Antony Clark of Plates4Less commented, “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 can be accessed online here: This guide is the latest in a series released by Plates4Less, which offers numerous resources helpful to individuals interested in private plates or motorists in general.

London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone has been a subject of controversy, as even residents within the zone are not exempt from costs. The most effective way to avoid charges or fines is to drive a vehicle that aligns with ULEZ requirements. However, this isn’t always feasible, given the expense of many electric vehicles and the sometimes bewildering rules. Consequently, complaints about this zone were widespread even before its expansion in August.

Antony added, “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 buyers and sellers of private number plates. With over 65 million registrations in its database, it boasts the most technologically advanced smart search engine to assist clients in finding the perfect plate. Operating since 1997, the company holds more 5-star reviews on Trustpilot than any other agency in its field of expertise.

Despite the name, Plates4Less holds the UK record for negotiating the sale of the most expensive private number plate to date, fetching in excess of £600,000 in 2022.