Clean Air Zones (CAZ) in the UK – the 2024 guide

    Clean Air Zones (CAZ) and Low Emission Zones (LEZ) in the UK largely follow the same standard frameworks, but the rules vary from city to city. It’s increasingly important to check that your vehicle is compliant if you want to avoid paying the daily charges when driving in these places. 

    This guide covers the rules and charges associated with all the Clean Air Zones and Low Emission Zones in the UK. Read on to learn more.

    What is a Clean Air Zone / CAZ?

    Clean Air Zones are defined areas where certain types of vehicles are required to comply with emissions standards, or pay a fine. In the UK, there are currently four classes of CAZ; A, B, C and D. Class A is the least stringent and Class D is the most stringent.  

    ClassVehicle type
    ABuses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles
    BBuses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, heavy goods vehicles (HGVs)
    CBuses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, HGVs, vans, minibuses
    DBuses, coaches, taxis, private hire vehicles, HGVs, vans, minibuses, cars, the local authority has the option to include motorcycles
    CAZ classes and the vehicle types they apply to.

    Any town or city running a CAZ has the same compliance standards in place:

    Clean air zones UK
    Clean air zones are now very common in the UK, with many more planned or in consideration.
    Vehicle typeCAZ minimum standard
    MotorcyclesEuro 3
    Vans, minibuses, taxis, private hire vehicles, carsEuro 4 (petrol engine) and Euro 6 (diesel engine)
    Buses, coaches, heavy goods vehiclesEuro V1
    Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs)Automatically compliant
    UK CAZ compliance standards.

    Some CAZs keep certain days of the year as exemptions (for example, public holidays), whereas others are permanent. There’s a lot of variation from city to city when it comes to specific terms and conditions; however, they all subscribe to either Class A, B, C, or D and meet the compliance criteria.

    How do I know if my car is CAZ-compliant?

    Since every Clean Air Zone in the UK uses the same emissions standards criteria as London’s ULEZ, you can use our ULEZ Checker to make sure your car is compliant.

    check your ULEZ compliance
    Your car’s CAZ compliance will often depend on its age, but we recommend you use our ULEZ Checker to be sure.

    Where am I charged to drive a non-compliant car?

    The Low Emission Zones (LEZ) that charge drivers of non-compliant, private passenger cars a daily fee or penalty charge are Aberdeen, Birmingham, Bristol, Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and London.

    The cost of entering the LEZ in London is currently:

    • £100 per day for vans or specialist diesel vehicles and minibuses that do not meet Euro 3 emissions standards. 
    • £100 per day for HGVs, lorries, vans, buses, minibuses, and coaches over 5 tonnes which do not meet Euro 6 standards, but meet Euro 4 standards
    • £300 per day for HGVs, lorries, vans, and specialist heavy vehicles over 3.5 tonnes; buses, minibuses, and coaches over 5 tonnes, which do not meet Euro 4 standards.

    To learn about charges to vans in London, you can read our guide on driving vans in London’s ULEZ here. 

    There are currently seven cities charging under clean air zones in England: Bath, Birmingham, Bradford, Bristol, Portsmouth, Sheffield, and  Tyneside (Newcastle and Gateshead). Daily entry charges for non-compliant vehicles range from £7 for taxis in Bradford, to £100 for lorries, buses and coaches in Bristol

    Where are there active Clean Air Zones in the UK?

    There are active CAZ and Low Emission Zones (LEZ) around the UK, with more under consultation. The locations of Clean Air Zones in the UK tend to be large and well-connected cities. Currently they include:

    • London
    • Birmingham 
    • Bristol 
    • Oxford 
    • Bath 
    • Bradford 
    • Portsmouth
    • Newcastle 
    • Sheffield 
    • Southampton 
    • Aberdeen 
    • Dundee 
    • Edinburgh 
    • Glasgow

    Note: cities like Southampton and Bath don’t charge private vehicles, only lorries, taxis and other commercial vehicles. 

    Image from Motorway
    LocationSchemeDaily chargeActive
    AberdeenScottish LEZ (similar to CAZ Class D)Penalty of £6024/7
    BathClass C CAZ (vans +)£9 for small vehicles; £100 for large24/7
    BirminghamClass D (cars +)£8 for small vehicles; £50 for large24/7
    BristolClass D (cars +)£9 for small vehicles; £100 for large24/7
    BradfordClass C (vans +)£7 for taxis; £9 for small vehicles; £50 for large24/7
    DundeeScottish LEZ (similar to CAZ Class D)Penalty of £6024/7
    EdinburghScottish LEZ (similar to CAZ Class D)Penalty of £6024/7
    GlasgowScottish LEZ (similar to CAZ Class D)Penalty of £6024/7
    London (ULEZ)Class D (motorcycles/mopeds +)£12.50 for small vehicles. Large vehicles pay a LEZ charge instead.Every day except Christmas
    Oxford (ZEZ)ZEZ £2 for ultra low emission vehicles; £4 for low emission vehicles; and £10 for non-compliant vehicles7am-7pm daily
    Newcastle & GatesheadClass C (vans +)£12.50 for small vehicles; £50 for large24/7
    PortsmouthClass B£10 for taxis; £50 for large vehicles24/7
    SheffieldClass C (vans +)£10 for small vehicles; £50 for large24/7
    SouthamptonClass BNon-charging24/7
    YorkClass ANon-charging24/7
    Clean Air Zones and Low Emission Zones currently in operation around the UK
    Diesel buses were found to be the primary contributor to pollution in York prior to the implementation of the CAZ.

    Where are more CAZ going to start?


    Caerphilly has been considering a central CAZ, with a particular focus on restricting HGVs. More information is expected this year.


    Manchester City Council announced they no longer had plans for a CAZ in January 2024. Instead, Greater Manchester is submitting new proposals for an investment-led Clean Air Plan to the UK government.

    What cities have other schemes to tackle emissions?

    • Basildon opposed a CAZ and instead invested in lower speed limits, new cycling routes, and additional EV charging stations. Read more on Essex Air.
    • Cardiff ruled out a CAZ but is instead looking to introduce a £2 congestion charge for non-residents by 2024 as part of its new ‘transport vision’.
    • Canterbury likely won’t introduce a CAZ, but the city is planning to reduce emissions by adopting strict anti-idling enforcement which would be encouraged at coach parks, on-street parking bays, taxi ranks and at level crossings. The council is working on reducing this, as well as supporting taxis to adopt lower-emission vehicles. 
    • Coventry is opposed to instigating a CAZ. They received £24.5 million in funding to reduce pollution by other means.
    • Derby rejected a CAZ in favour of traffic management in the city centre and on routes that lead in and out of the city.
    • Exeter city council opposed a CAZ. It has an Air Quality Management Area (AQMA) where they have to focus on reducing pollution levels and plans in place to increase cycling and public transport levels in and around this area.
    • Leeds received nearly £7 million in government funding to introduce a CAZ, and were due to start one in early 2020. However, they found that most of the buses and HGVs that drive through the centre of the city were already compliant. In fact, their taxi fleets were also largely compliant. They had already installed a camera system to enable a CAZ. 
    • Leicester was set to implement a CAZ, however the air quality was found to have improved enough in 2020 to meet all targets. 
    • Liverpool opposed a CAZ due to the shortage and cost of new and used compliant vehicles. In the first instance, Liverpool City Council instead wants to focus on improving public transport networks and finding other ways to improve air quality. Read more on Let’s Clear the Air Liverpool.
    • Nottingham City Council cancelled plans for a CAZ when modelling revealed it was not necessary in order to reduce air pollution. Instead, they have used funding to retrofit buses, increase the number of zero-emission taxis, and convert public vehicles such as waste disposal lorries.
    • Sefton has a CAZ under consideration. Sefton Council commissioned an independent report into the impact of a potential CAZ which concluded a charging CAZ is needed. More information can be found at Your Sefton Your Say.
    • St Albans has a CAZ under consideration.
    • Warrington no longer has a CAZ planned, instead they have a five-year pollution reduction plan. 
    • Wokingham has a LEZ under consideration, as part of the council’s Air Quality Action Plan.

    Are there exemptions to CAZ and LEZ charges?

    Certain vehicle categories have been made nationally exempt by the government as part of any CAZ in the UK, and can drive into Clean Air Zones or Low Emission Zones without being charged:

    Nationally-exempt vehicles
    Disabled tax class or disabled passenger tax class
    Some agricultural vehicles
    Registered historic vehicles
    Military vehicles
    Ultra-low emission vehicles
    Vehicles retrofitted under the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS)
    Vehicles that are exempt nationally from CAZ charges. Information from

    Local councils also have the authority to set up exemptions, for example Newcastle and Sheffield both have specific, temporary exemptions for certain commercial vehicles registered to businesses within the zones.

    Selling your car?

    Read about everything you need to know about how to sell your car with more guides here. There’s a lot to learn as Clean Air Zones and emissions standards in the UK change in the run-up to 2035.