What are Clean Air Zones and how do we benefit?

Becky Mundie | 30/08/2022

The government have been introducing Clean Air Zones to cities to help tackle greenhouse gas emissions. But what are they, how do they work, and how do we benefit?

At a Glance

Clean Air Zones are being put in place in busy areas of towns and cities, usually city centres, with the mission to improve air quality across the UK.

The goal is to reduce the levels of greenhouse gases by charging fees to specific types of vehicles entering particular Zones.

Whether living in or passing through a city already with them, like Bath and Birmingham, or a city soon to have them, like Bradford and Bristol, you may have noticed Clean Air Zone signs popping up on the roads.

We see the dreaded “Charges apply. Pay online” and panic. But you don’t need to.

By banning the sale of new petrol and diesel cars in the UK from 2030, the government have been introducing Clean Air Zones to cities to help tackle greenhouse gas emissions.

What are Clean Air Zones?

Clean Air Zones are being put in place in busy areas of towns and cities, usually city centres, with the mission to improve air quality across the UK.

Poor air quality can cause a range of health problems, from allergies and skin irritation to more serious issues. According to The World Health Organisation, transport is the main source of air pollution. Implementing Clean Air Zones across England is key to improving air quality, protecting public health, and supporting the transition to a low-carbon future.

The goal is to reduce the levels of greenhouse gases by charging fees to specific types of vehicles entering particular Zones, all to encourage the use of vehicles with lower emissions.

There are 4 types of Clean Air Zones:

Class A zones

  • Buses

  • Coaches

  • Taxis

  • Private hire vehicles

Class B zones

Portsmouth currently has a Class B clean air zone.

  • Buses

  • Coaches

  • Taxis

  • Private hire vehicles

  • Heavy goods vehicles

Class C zones

Bath currently has a Class C clean air zone.

  • Buses

  • Coaches

  • Taxis

  • Private hire vehicles

  • Heavy goods vehicles

  • Vans

  • Minibuses

Class D zones

Birmingham currently has a Class D clean air zone.

  • Buses

  • Coaches

  • Taxis

  • Private hire vehicles

  • Heavy goods vehicles

  • Vans

  • Minibuses

  • Cars

  • Motorcycles (down to the local authority to include)

Will I be charged for driving in a Clean Air Zone?

You won’t be charged if your vehicle meets the required environmental standards (based on the Euro emissions standard), even if it falls under one of the classes above.

There is a calculator (of sorts) that allows you to find out whether your vehicle passes the minimum standard. Meeting the requirements means your emissions are low enough, therefore allowing you to enter a Clean Air Zone free of charge. All you need to do is enter your number plate to see if you’ll be charged.

Find out by clicking here.

What are the benefits of Clean Air Zones?

  • Encourages the growth of electric vehicles

  • Reduces air pollution and greenhouse gases

  • Improves people’s health and quality of life

  • Supports the goal to reach net zero by 2050

  • Reduces congestion in busy towns and cities

  • Encourages walking, cycling, and the use of public transport

Even without potential Clean Air Zone charges, switching to a more environmentally-friendly vehicle can save you hundreds of pounds a year in VED and fuel.

Electric cars produce zero emissions so are the end goal for implementing these Clean Air Zones. Cleaner air improves the health of people – and the planet.

Need efficient home charging for your electric car? We can help with that.

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© 2022 Egg - All Rights Reserved; A Liberty Global plc company. Registered address: Griffin House, 161 Hammersmith Road, Hammersmith, W6 8BS. Company number: 07477370; VAT number: GB109695779. In relation to consumer credit, Phoenix Renewables Ltd, trading as Egg and The Phoenix Works, is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Reference 965996)