Londoners are responding to the expansion of the congestion charge for cars by snapping up clean cars, including 111 Prius hybrids at just one Toyota dealer, Jemca, in September. Mayor Ken Livingstone purchased one, and it was his policy to extend the £8-a-day charge for driving into Kensington and Chelsea starting next February that, in part, drove sales. By driving a Prius instead of a gas-guzzler and therefore avoiding the congestion charge, a driver can save up to £2000 a year. The Prius sales were helped by three other factors, Toyota said, including Prius taxis in London, celebrities (like Jude Law and Esther Rantzen) buying Priuses, and, get this, "Drivers' children are increasingly encouraging their parents to go green," according to Jemca's Roger Hart.
Non-hybrid but still fuel-efficient vehicles like the Yaris supermini, Corolla and Aygo also sold well at Jemca in September.