Clean Air Zones (CAZ) are beginning to appear in cities all across the UK, which could prove costly if you are driving an older minibus.
What are Clean Air Zones?
Clean Air Zones (CAZ) aim to improve air quality in busy areas by only allowing the cleanest vehicles to drive within their zones.
A network of Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) cameras are used to keep track on vehicles and to enforce fines if non-compliant vehicles are caught driving within these zones.
The rules and guidelines between CAZs can differ but generally they are in operation 24/7 and will be either an A, B, C or D category.
For more details on whether your vehicle is compliant with the various CAZ rules across the country, then click here to use the Government’s vehicle checker tool.
There are four Clean Air Zone categories, which will give charges on the following vehicles:
Category A: Buses, Coaches, Taxis, Private Hire Vehicles
Category B: Buses, Coaches, Taxis, Private Hire Vehicles, Heavy Goods Vehicles
Category C: Buses, Coaches, Taxis, Private Hire Vehicles, Heavy Goods Vehicles, Light Commercial Vehicles
Category D: Buses, Coaches, Taxis, Private Hire Vehicles, Heavy Goods Vehicles, Light Commercial Vehicles, Cars
Every vehicle has a minimum emission standard that needs to be met in order to avoid a charge.
For petrol minibuses this will be the Euro 4 standard. Petrol vehicles registered after 2005 tend to meet these standards.
However, for diesel minibuses this will be the Euro 6 standard. Only diesel vehicles registered after September 2015 tend to meet these standards.
Central London has an Ultra Low Emission Zone (ULEZ) that came into force on the 8th April 2019. This covers the same area as the Congestion Charging Zone (CCZ) and is in operation 24/7 apart from Christmas Day.
It falls into a category D zone meaning that all vehicles need to be meeting the required emission standards to avoid a charge. For full details of the London ULEZ, click here.
If you are caught driving a non-compliant minibus in the ULEZ then you will be charged for that day (midnight to midnight). Daily charges are £12.50 that can rise to a £160 fine if not paid on time.
The ULEZ will be expanding from just central London to cover a wider area, that stretches between the North Circular Road (A406) and South Circular Road (A205), on the 25th October 2021.
How could this affect you?
With more and more Clean Air Zones appearing it is important to know where you will be travelling in your minibus in order to avoid unnecessary charges.
As well as checking the emission standard of your minibus, it is advisable that you plan any trips carefully bearing Clean Air Zones in mind. Be sure to check online and to use the official Government pages to keep up to date with any changes.
If you have any questions regarding Clean Air Zones and whether your vehicle is compliant, please do get in touch with us on 02476 933 765.