Oxford has recently announced new restrictions on driving in the city centre in an attempt to reduce the local air pollution for its residents and visitors.
This 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 August 2021.
The Oxford Zero Emission Zone, previously called the 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
Currently, the Zero Emission Zone is due to be in place by August 2021, but having already faced a number of delays this is not yet certain.
The Zero Emission Zone, will affect only a few roads right in the centre of Oxford shown by the area in red below.
Once started, the Red Zone/Zero Emission Zone is currently planned to operate 7 days a week between 7am and 7pm.
For any non-compliant vehicle that drives in the zone, the charge is between £2 and £10 per day depending on the emissions of the vehicle. The charge will be payable via an online portal, similar to that of the Dartford Tunnel or London Congestion Charge.
By 2025, this charge will increase to between £4 and £20.
Any car that outputs toxic emissions will be affected by the Zero Emission 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.
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.
It's also likely that there will be some financial support to help residents and businesses switch to greener cars.
There will almost definitely be penalties for unpaid charges, but these are still to be confirmed.
If you don't travel into this small area, you’re probably safe from any charges for the time being, however it may be likely that this area grows or a different Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) is introduced with less stringent requirements (like that in London and Birmingham). If you're looking at changing car it be best to go as green as possible and at least meets the standard of the ULEZ zones that Oxford may copy. If you’re not looking at changing your car it’s worth keeping an eye on potential changes as it may make sense to change vehicle before the Green Zone comes into force.
All of our new cars meet the latest emissions standards. Similarly, all of our petrol used cars and most of our diesel cars will meet standard ULEZ requirements. Just ask us if you want to be sure.
Please note, this page is as accurate as possible at the time of creation (May 2021). All plans and details may change at a later date.