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Might Clean Air Zones Affect you?

Might Clean Air Zones Affect you?

What do clean air zones mean for your fleet?

If you operate within low emission zones (LEZs) or clean air zones (CAZs) – and maybe even travel through numerous zones on the same day - you may be wondering what this means for your business and your drivers. To help make things simpler - especially given that you may have to manage multiple zone requirements and payment systems - we’ve pulled together some of the key things that you may need to know.

What are clean air zones and why have they been introduced? 

As part of the strategy to cut transport emissions and improve urban air quality, many local authorities have introduced, or are considering introducing, CAZ and LEZ areas. Designed to discourage the most polluting vehicles from entering the area, vehicles that do not meet minimum emission standards may have to pay a charge. 

Do they all have the same rules and charges? 

No, the rules for each zone are usually set at a local level – so it’s important for your business and your drivers to plan journeys in advance and find out if your vehicles meet the exemption criteria. 

The government websiteOpens an external link can be used to view maps of clean air zones and check whether a charge applies. As a business or organisation, you can check multiple vehicles. 

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Do all CAZs charge? 

No. There are two types of CAZs - charging and non-charging. Rather than charging more for polluting vehicles, some CAZs aim to improve air quality through other measures, such as cycle lanes and traffic flow management. 

Where are they located?

London has an ultra-low emission zone (ULEZ), which from August 2023 will operate across all London boroughs up to the existing Low Emission Zone boundary. Non-compliant vehicles will have to pay £12.50 per day to enter the ULEZ in addition to the congestion charge - currently £15.00 per day. 

The simplest way to find out if your vehicle will need to pay a charge is to check on the Transport for London (TfL) website.Opens an external link

Currently, there are clean air zones in the following places. Where possible, we’ve provided links for you to find out more: 

Other cities currently considering introducing a CAZ include CambridgeOpens an external link and ManchesterOpens an external link.

The RAC Foundation has created an interactive mapOpens an external link of all the current clean air schemes as well as those currently under consideration. 

Which vehicles will be affected? 

It is up to each local authority to decide which vehicles will be charged. But currently, the majority of CAZs allow cars which meet the latest Euro 6 minimum standard for diesel or Euro 4 for petrol. You can find out if you need to pay for your vehicle by entering the registration number on the government’s online vehicle checker.Opens an external link

How do I pay?

You can use the government’s websiteOpens an external link to pay charges and set up a business account if you own or manage two or more registered vehicles. 

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Have any questions or require further information? 

If you’re evaluating current or future fleet requirements and looking for vehicles that meet your every business and driver requirement, or you’d like help that makes your life easier, our specialist fleet teamOpens an external link is always on hand. 

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