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Low Emission Zones and Clean Air Zones

To improve air quality in cities across the country, more and more localities are introducing controls in city centres. Called Ultra Low Emission Zones (ULEZ) or Clean Air Zones (CAZ), depending on the city they’re in, these areas have already started to be introduced with more on the way. To make things confusing, these areas all have different rules so whether you will be affected depends on what city you want to drive into.

So far, Clean Air Zones and Low Emission Zones have been introduced or are soon to be introduced in Birmingham, Bristol, London and Oxford. Additionally, more places are working out plans with the government to introduce their own and others already have plans that currently do not affect private cars but may in the future.

Find out more about these zones and whether your car will be affected below.

Birmingham Clean Air Zone

  • Start date: expected the 1st July 2020
  • Operating: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Affected Cars: Generally diesel car registered before 1 September 2015 or petrol cars registered before 1st January 2006
  • Charge: £8 per day for non-compliant Cars, Taxis, LGVs and minibuses. £50 for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes
  • Exemptions: include first 2 years for residents and first 1 year for commuters

Find out more

Bristol Clean Air Zone and Diesel Ban

A Clean Air Zone, plus a separate diesel ban in a smaller area

  • Start date: expected March 2021
  • Operating: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for the Clean Air Zone and between 7am and 3pm for the diesel ban.
  • Affected Cars: Generally diesel car registered before 1 September 2015 or petrol cars registered before 1st January 2006 for the Clean Air zone. The Diesel ban will affect all diesel cars.
  • Charge: To be confirmed
  • Exemptions: To be confirmed

Find out more

London Ultra Low Emission Zone

  • Start date: Active now
  • Operating: 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Affected Cars: Generally diesel car registered before 1 September 2015 or petrol cars registered before 1st January 2006
  • Charge: £12.50 per day for non-compliant Cars, Taxis, LGVs and minibuses. £100 for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes. This is in addition to the congestion charge.
  • Exemptions: Limited time exemptions for residents and selected specialist vehicles.

Find out more

Oxford Low Emission Zone and Zero Emission Zone

Zero Emission Zone affecting just a few roads at the heart of the city centre, also called the red zone.

  • Start date: could start as early as December 2020
  • Operating: 7am to 7pm, 7 days a week
  • Affected Cars: Any car that isn’t fully electric, including hybrids.
  • Charge: £12.50 per day for non-compliant Cars, Taxis, LGVs and minibuses. £100 for vehicles over 3.5 tonnes. This is in addition to the congestion charge.
  • Exemptions: Limited time exemptions for residents and selected specialist vehicles.

The Low Emission Zone will be coming later and, while less strict, will cover a larger area. Details are still to be confirmed but it is expected around 2021/22

Find out more

Please note, this page is as accurate as possible at the time of creation (February 2020). All plans and details may change at a later date.