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Clean Air Zone Sign

What is a clean air zone?

A clean air zone, known as CAZ, is a targeted area which has been designated within popular towns and cities, to improve the air quality. Across the UK and Europe, clean air zones are on the increase as local authorities recognise their duty to clean up heavily polluted areas.

To meet this target, all vehicles which enter these zones, now come under two categories for chargeable and non-chargeable authorisation.

The following locations within the UK are now either liable to CAZ or classed as a low emission zone, with more target areas planned to come into force.

  • Bath
  • Birmingham
  • Bradford
  • Bristol
  • Glasgow
  • Greater London
  • Greater Manchester (under review)
  • Newcastle and Gateshead
  • Portsmouth
  • Sheffield


How does the clean air zone affect my vehicle?

EV vehicles are exempt from the charge, along with petrol vehicles manufactured after 2006 and diesel vehicles manufactured after September 2015 also being exempt. This is because at time of production, newer models met the Euro emissions standard, which was put in place to reduce emissions.

Petrol and diesel vehicles manufactured before these dates are subject to an emissions fee, if you plan to drive into any of the above locations, it is recommended that you double check the location and your destination before you drive, determining if you need to pay or not. If you find out that your vehicle is subject to a the fee, then it is recommended that you either pay before or on the day of your journey. Further details can be found on the Gov.uk website – https://www.gov.uk/clean-air-zones

Failure to pay for the vehicle before you enter the zone, could result in a fine. Drivers must also be aware that throughout these designated areas, number plate recognition technology is often in force, so it is important that you register your vehicle.

Taking steps towards improving vehicle emissions

If your vehicle was manufactured during or before 2006 (petrol vehicles) and during or before 2015 (diesel vehicles), then unfortunately you will be required to pay the clean air zone fee. However, there are some steps you can consider to at least improve your vehicle’s environmental impact.

  1. Regularly service your vehicle – By booking your  AudiBMWMINIMercedesJaguarLand Rover & Range Rover in for vehicle servicing with Stourbridge Automotive, our mechanical engineers’ clean parts and carry out oil changes as part of our vehicle service programme.
  2. Consider a newer second-hand car – If you are regularly driving into clean air zones then it might be worth considering selling your vehicle for a later model, to comply with the legislation. Don’t forget that if you find a second-hand vehicle and would like a second opinion on its condition, then Stourbridge Automotive provide User Car Inspections to customers with second-hand vehicles.
  3. Upgrade to an EVEV vehicles are becoming ever more popular because of their lower running costs, efficiency, and reduced impact on the environment. The best news is, is that their sale price is becoming more affordable due to their increased popularity. Stourbridge Automotive have a trained team of EV technicians and servicing engineers who support customers with EV vehicles for EV servicing and mechanical repairs.


How we’re doing our bit for the environment

Here at Stourbridge Automotive we take our environmental responsibility extremely seriously. Through our ‘Green policy’ we operate several schemes to reduce our environmental impact. To find out more about any of the topics covered in this blog, please see our website or get in touch for more details.