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Oxford Zero Emission Zone and Low Emission Zone

Oxford has recently announced two new restrictions on driving in the city centre in an attempt to reduce the local air pollution for its residents and visitors.

The first of these zones is referred to as the Red Zone. The Red Zone is a Zero Emission Zone (ZEZ) where a daily charge will be given for all cars that are not fully electric. It is expected to start in December 2020.

The second of these zones is the Green Zone and is expected to arrive at some point in 2021 or 2022. Exact details are still to be confirmed but it is thought that it will mirror London’s Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ)

What is the Oxford Zero Emission Zone/Red Zone?

The Oxford Zero Emission Zone, or Red Zone, is being introduced in response to the city failing to deliver on targets for increasing the air quality. It is designed to reduce the number of vehicles that output dangerous toxins from entering the centre, therefore reducing the pollution in the local air. In essence, any vehicle that has an exhaust pipe will be subject to the charge

What is the Oxford Low Emission Zone/Green Zone?

In conjunction with the Zero Emission Zone, the Low Emission Zone, or Green Zone, aims to increase the air quality around the city. It covers a larger area than the ZEZ but its rules are less strict. Details about this zone are still limited but we’ll update this page when more details are released.

When do the Red Zone and Green Zone start?

Currently, the Red Zone/Zero Emission Zone could start as early as December 2020, but no date has been confirmed.

The Green Zone/Low Emission Zone will start at a later date that is still to be confirmed but will likely be in 2021 or 2022.

Where will the Oxford Emission Zones affect?

The Red Zone/Zero Emission Zone, will affect only a few roads right in the centre of Oxford. The Green Zone, or Low Emission Zone, will affect a much larger area though.

Oxford Zero Emission Zone/Red Zone and Low Emission Zone/Green Zone
Oxford Zero Emission Zone/Red Zone and Low Emission Zone/Green Zone © OpenStreetMap contributors

At what times do the Oxford Emission Zones apply?

Once started, the Red Zone/Zero Emission Zone is currently planned to operate 7 days a week between 7am and 7pm.

No details have been released about the Green Zone, but if it’s anything like the London Ultra Low Emission Zone, it will operate 24/7.

How much is the charge for the Oxford Zero Emission Zone?

For any non-compliant vehicle that drives in the zone, the charge is £10 per day. The charge will be payable via an online portal, similar to that of the Dartford Tunnel or London Congestion Charge.

Details of charges around the Green Zone are yet to be released.

Which cars will be affected by the Oxford Emission Zones?

Any car that outputs toxic emissions will be affected by the Red Zone. This includes all Petrol and Diesel cars and even any Hybrids. Essentially, if you’re car isn’t fully electric (or Hydrogen) then you will be subject to the charge.

For the Green Zone, the plans are still not set but it is likely to mirror the requirements for the London Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ). This means the charge will apply to any Diesel Car not conforming to the Euro 6 Emission standards and any Petrol Cars not at least conforming to the Euro 4 standard will be subject to the charge. As a general rule, this is Diesel vehicles registered before the 1st September 2015 and Petrol vehicles registered before the 1st January 2006 will be subject to the charge.

Are there any exemption to the Oxford Emission Zones?

Exact exemptions to both the zones are still to be confirmed but are likely to include Exemptions and Discounts for Blue Badge holders, residents of the area and businesses registered in the area. There may be a time restraint to any discounts and exclusions so everyone should still be aware.

Are there penalties for not paying the Oxford Emission Zones Charge?

There will almost definitely be penalties for unpaid charges, but these are still to be confirmed.

What should I do if my car is not compliant with the Oxford Emission Zones standards?

If you regularly drive into the Red Zone, it may be best considering making the switch to Electric. We have a wide range of New and Used Electric Cars available.

If you only travel to the Green Zone, but not the Red Zone, you’re probably safe from any charges for the time being, however if you’re already looking at changing your vehicle, it’d be best to make sure that your new car meets the required emissions standard ready for the changes. If you’re not looking at changing your car it’s worth keeping the upcoming changes in mind as it may make sense to change vehicle before the Green Zone comes into force.

All of our new cars meet the latest emissions standard so won’t be subject to the Clean Air Zone Charge. Similarly, all of our petrol used cars and most of our diesel cars will meet the required standard. Just ask us if you want to be sure.

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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.