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Clean Air Zones Explained

Beat the charge! Check your van is Clean Air Zone Friendly

What is a clean air zone?

Clean Air Zones (otherwise known as CAZ) are ultra-low emission zones implemented by local authorities across the UK. Their purpose is to improve air quality by charging vehicle owners that enter a designated CAZ, whose vehicles exceed the government set emission standards.

This movement stems from the UK government plans to reduce air pollution, following multiple studies surrounding the link between poor air quality, health conditions and global warming.

Where are the live Clean Air Zones in the UK?

  • Bristol (Since November 2022)
  • Bath (Since March 2021)
  • Newcastle & Gateshead (Launched in January 2023)
  • Sheffield (Launched in February 2023)
  • Portsmouth (Since November 2021)
  • Birmingham (Since June 2021)
  • Bradford (Since September 2022)

Areas considering clean air zones:

  • Southampton (Non-charging CAZ in place since 2017)
  • York (Non-charging CAZ, in place since 2020)
  • Greater Manchester (under review)
  • Cambridge
  • Sefton
  • Warrington

Costs on entry and classification

Different localities will have set vehicle emission criteria depending on their government commitment to reducing the cities overall pollution contribution. Coupled with this, there are 4 types of CAZ classifications:

Class A – Buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles.

Class B – Buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles.

Class C – Buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, vans, minibuses.

Class D – Buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, vans, minibuses, cars, the local authority has the option to include motorcycles.

Location Class Daily Charge Grants Available
Bristol Class D £9 Small Vehicles
£100 Large Vehicles
Up to £4500
Bath Class C £8 Small Vehicles
£50 Large Vehicles
Newcastle & Gateshead Class C £12.50 Small Vehicles
£50 Large Vehicles
Up to £4500
Sheffield Class C £10 Small Vehicles
£50 Large Vehicles
Up to £4500
Portsmouth Class B £10 for Taxis
£50 for Large vehicles
Birmingham Class D £8 Small Vehicles
£50 Large Vehicles
Up to £4000
Bradford Class C £7 for Taxis
£9 Small Vehicles
£50 Large Vehicles
Up to £4500

Euro Emissions Classifications and what they mean

Evaluating what euro classifications mean and whether your vehicle is affected under these newly implemented CAZ schemes can be tricky to navigate. Fortunately, at Vanaways we only sell brand new euro 6 emission compliant vans. Meaning that for most of the active zones you won’t have to pay any charges when driving through them.

See the below classification key to help you identify which euro emission standards your vehicle falls under:

  • Euro 1 – Vehicles registered from 31st December 1992
  • Euro 2 – Vehicles registered from 1st January 1997
  • Euro 3 – Vehicles registered from 1st January 2001
  • Euro 4 – Vehicles registered from 1st January 2006
  • Euro 5 – Vehicles registered from 1st January 2011
  • Euro 6 – Vehicles registered from 1st January 2015

Clean air zone vehicle exemptions

Most clean air zone locations will have similar compliance values in place across different euro emission standards. As a rule of thumb, the below vehicles are exempt from the daily charges.

  • Euro 4, 5 and 6 petrol vehicles, roughly 2006 upwards
  • Euro 6 diesel vehicles, roughly end of 2015 onwards.
  • Fully electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles.
  • Modified or retrofitted vehicles registered with the Energy Saving Trust’s Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS).
  • Motorbikes.

Certain localities may have their own emission standards in place depending on specific vehicle types and harmful gas limits. The best way to see if your vehicle is compliant across the different active Clean Air Zones is via the government check your vehicle tool.

Examples of Exempt Vehicles

All of the vans we sell are euro 6 emission compliant, EV’s and CAZ friendly, see the below examples of some of the exempt vans we sell!

Caz Exempt Van - Citroen Relay

Caz Exempt Van - Renault Trafic

Caz Exempt Van - Fiat Doblo

Caz Exempt Electric Vans

Government Funding

Due to the government commitment to improving air quality in major cities, there is various support available to both individuals and business owners affected by the clean air zone schemes. The Office for Zero Emission Vehicles are a governmental team working to support the take-up of zero emission vehicles and funding to improve the UK charge point infrastructure.

Most of the participating local authorities will be partnered with the Clean Air Fund who are offering discounts towards sustainable travel alternatives and vehicle upgrades.

If your van is not compliant, you may be eligible to get up to £4500 in government funding to upgrade/replace your vehicle. Alongside this, you may be eligible for an exemption; primarily aimed at those who have wheelchair accessible taxis or business owners/residents whose vehicles are registered within the clean air zone (private car, taxi, vans).

Graphic explaining how to avoid the clean air zone charges

In Bristol there is financial assistance available for SMEs and self-employed businesses that meet at least two of the following criteria:

  • the annual turnover must be no more than £36 million.
  • the balance sheet total must be no more than £18 million.
  • the average number of employees must be no more than 250.

All SMEs that meet this threshold of criteria will be prioritised for these business grants in the first round of funding. Support may be extended to businesses and organisations outside of the zone subject to the level of interest received by Bristol council.

Both Bath and Portsmouth have closed applications for funding. However, Bristol, Birmingham, Bradford, Sheffield, and Newcastle & Gateshead are still open for applications.

Click the links below to find out what support and funding is available:

Bristol Clean Air Zone Funding Options

Birmingham Clean Air Zone Funding Options

Bradford Clean Air Zone Funding Options

Newcastle & Gateshead Clean Air Zone Funding Options

Sheffield Clean Air Zone Funding Options

What can Vanaways do for you?

As a company, Vanaways we are committed to improving our environmental sustainability within our organisation and business operations.

We only supply brand new vans which are either euro 6 emission compliant or electric vehicles (EV’s), making them clean air zone compatible.

At present, we are running a part-exchange scheme where our customers will be eligible for an additional £500 for their part-exchange. Meaning that you could have a total of £5000 to put towards a brand-new van, giving you mega savings!

Submit an enquiry online or give us a call on 01174217729 to see how we can help you get into your new van!

Untitled Design High Quality (8) - Van Sales UK


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