Where you’ll find clean air zones, how to check if you’ll need to pay a charge and create a business account, and what support or exemptions are available.
Applies to England
To improve air quality, some local authorities are introducing clean air zones. If your vehicle exceeds emission standards, you may have to pay a charge if you drive in a clean air zone.
Cities with clean air zones
Bath has a Class C clean air zone.
Birmingham has a Class D clean air zone.
Bradford has a Class C clean air zone.
Portsmouth has a Class B clean air zone.
Future clean air zones
Bristol will start charging on 28 November 2022.
Greater Manchester (under review).
Sheffield will start charging in early 2023.
Tyneside (Newcastle and Gateshead) will start charging
in winter: late 2022 to early
More cities will implement clean air zones in 2022.
Types of clean air zones
There are 4 types of clean air zones, Class A to D.
|A||Buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles|
|B||Buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles|
|C||Buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, vans, minibuses|
|D||Buses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles, vans, minibuses, cars, the local authority has the option to include motorcycles|
Minimum emission standards
Each vehicle type has a minimum emission standard. You can find your vehicle’s emission standard in your vehicle log book or from your vehicle manufacturer.
To avoid being charged in a clean air zone, your vehicle must meet the following minimum standard:
|Vehicle type||Clean air zone minimum standard|
|Buses, coaches, heavy goods vehicles||Euro VI|
|Vans, minibuses, taxis, private hire vehicles, cars||Euro 6 (diesel) and Euro 4 (petrol)|
Local authorities may set a different standard for taxis and private hire vehicles. You should always check if you will need to pay a charge or contact the local authority for more information.
Check and pay a charge
You can check if you’ll need to pay a charge for a vehicle before you drive in a clean air zone. If you’re a business, you can check and pay for multiple vehicles.
Use the online service to check or pay a charge in a clean air zone.
The zones operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year.
The charge period runs from midnight to midnight.
You must pay the charge by 11:59pm on the sixth day after driving into the zone. You can pay up to 6 days before you travel. If you do not pay the charge in this time, you may get a penalty charge notice (PCN).
The maximum payment that can be made in a single transaction is £5,000. Payments that exceed this limit will need to be split into separate transactions.
If you’re a business with multiple vehicles
Businesses that own or manage 2 or more UK registered vehicles can set up an account to check and pay charges for multiple vehicles. You can create an account when you check or pay online.
To create an account, you’ll need:
- your company name
- an email address
Once your account is set up, you can:
- upload multiple number plates from a spreadsheet (CSV) or add them one by one
- view what each vehicle will be charged in each clean air zone
- manage your vehicles – add and remove them
- add up to 10 team members to help manage the account
- set up an agreement to pay by bank account, ready for when charging starts
- view maps of the clean air zones, see when they are live and find out about exemptions
There are some national and local exemptions from the charge.
You’re automatically entitled to a national exemption, and do not have to pay a charge, if you have:
- a vehicle that’s ultra low emission
- a disabled passenger tax class vehicle
- a disabled tax class vehicle
- a military vehicle
- a historic vehicle
- a vehicle retrofitted with technology accredited by the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS)
- certain types of agricultural vehicles
You can find out more about local exemptions for driving in:
- Greater Manchester
- Tyneside (Newcastle and Gateshead)
There is a temporary exemption in Greater Manchester for light goods vehicles until 31 May 2023.
There is a temporary exemption in Tyneside (Newcastle and Gateshead) for light goods vehicles until July 2023.
You may be able to claim a refund if you paid the charge when you did not need to. Find out more about claiming a refund in:
Get support to reduce your emissions
You can get support to reduce your emissions and stop paying clean air zone charges:
- the Office for Zero Emission Vehicles offers a range of grants to help you choose cleaner vehicles
- find out how much money you can save on fuel by switching to an electric vehicle – make your next car electric
- the Clean Air Fund provides support to individuals and businesses, for example local travel discounts, cycling to work schemes or vehicle upgrades – you can access it through your local authority
Your local authority may provide support to help you upgrade or replace your vehicle:
Your local authority may also provide information about cycling and public transport options in clean air zones for:
Contact clean air zone support
If you need help, you can contact clean air zone support.
If you’re unhappy with the service provided, contact the department you’ve been dealing with.
If you’ve spoken to the department but your issue has not been resolved, find out how to complain.
Updated details of Bristol’s clean air zone, as this is now in operation. Added a link to information about applying for a refund in Bristol.
Tyneside’s clean air zone will start charging on 30 January 2023.
Updated details of Bradford’s clean air zone, as this is now in operation.
The closing date for a temporary exemption for light goods vehicles in Tyneside (Newcastle and Gateshead) has been amended to July 2023.
There is a temporary exemption in Tyneside (Newcastle and Gateshead) for light goods vehicles until 17 July 2023.
Sheffield’s clean air zone will start charging in early 2023.
Bristol will start charging on 28 November 2022.
Added a link for more information about local exemptions for driving in Tyneside.
Added Tyneside to the list of future clean air zones.
Updated the start date for Bradford’s clean air zone to 26 September 2022.
Replaced ‘Go Ultra Low’ with ‘Make your next car electric’.
Added a link to information about complaints.