Clean Air Zones

This is a short guide on 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. The Clean Air Zones are introduced by local authorities to improve air quality. 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. Bath
  • Birmingham has a Class D Clean Air Zone. Birmingham
  • Portsmouth will start charging from 29 November 2021. Portsmouth

+ More cities will implement Clean Air Zones later in 2021 and 2022.

Types of Clean Air Zones

Class Vehicle type
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 logbook 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)
Motorcycles Euro 3

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.

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).

If you’re a business with multiple vehicles you can set up an account to check and pay charges for multiple vehicles. You can create an account when you check or pay online.


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

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
  • the Go Ultra Low Campaign has information about electric vehicles, including grants you can apply for
  • 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:

At Vanwise, we have a wide range of good quality vans of a variety of makes and models – almost all Euro 6 compliant. You can see all the used vans we have in stock right now online – and book a test drive by calling 01279 216163. Ask us about our finance deals and offers too.