An end-of-the-year surprise awaits petrol and diesel vehicle owners in the form of additional car tax charges. This came about after it was revealed that four more UK clean air zones—Oxford, Bristol, Portsmouth, and Newcastle will be added before the end of 2021.
Currently, there are only two clean air zones in the UK as London has a different service for pollutant emissions from diesel-engine vehicles. Bath is a class C zone, while Birmingham is a class D. A class C clean air zone means non-compliant heavy goods vehicles and public transport like taxis, buses, coaches, private hire cars, vans and minibuses will be charged a fee for entering the zone. Bath has exempted cars from paying. Taxis pay £9 a day while the rest will have to shell out £100.
Class D covers the same vehicle types as class C in addition to privately-owned cars and motorcycles (depending on the rules set out by the local authorities). Classes A and B only include public transport and heavy goods vehicles (for class B).
Birmingham’s CAZ started on June 1, 2021, requiring owners of vehicles that do not meet the emissions standards to pay £8 for smaller vehicles like cars, LGVs, and taxis; and £50 for the larger vehicles such as HGVs, coaches, and buses.
Oxford will roll out their Zero Emissions Zone in a few city centre streets in August, charging drivers between £2 and £10 a day, increasing to £4 to £20 in 2025. Discounts will be provided for disabled vehicle owners, as well as residents and businesses within the ZEZ.
The Bristol CAZ may be installed by October 2021 and will only be charging owners of non-compliant Euro 4 and Euro 6 vehicles. As with Bath charges, Bristol drivers will pay £9 per day for entering the CAZ.
The government approved Portsmouth as a Class B zone, which will be launched in November 2021. HGVs, buses, and coaches will pay £50 per day while private hires and taxis will need to pay £10. Vans, motorcycles, and private vehicles will be free of charge.
Newcastle might exempt privately owned vehicles when their CAZ kicks off close to the end of 2021. High-emission taxis and vans will be required to pay £12.50 while buses, coaches, and HGVs should pay £50 per day to enter the city’s Clean Air Zone. Aside from the unapproved bid for the improvement of the Central Motorway and Tyne Bridge, the council is awaiting the government’s go-ahead on their bid to provide a drop-off hub for HGVs so they will not need to enter the CAZ to make their delivery schedules.
The Clean Air Zones are a result of the courts’ orders for some cities to control. The Department of Food, Environment and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the branch of the government that is accountable for the protection of the environment, believes that the toll charges have the greatest impact on the reduction of air pollution.
Is your car exempted?
Trained and experienced emissions specialists at Claims Experts can help you better understand the implications of the Clean Air Zones on your diesel or petrol vehicles. However, it is also important to know which vehicles meet the minimum emissions standards and are exempted from the fines:
CAZ Minimum standard Vehicle type
Euro VI Buses, coaches, HGVs
Euro 6 (diesel) and Euro 4 (petrol) Vans, minibuses, taxis, private hire vehicles, cars
Euro 3 Motorcycles
Each city may have their different standards and charges. It would be best to check the CAZ online service to find out if your vehicle is exempted from paying the fees.
Ultra-low emission, military, and historic vehicles are tax-free. There are also vehicles that are retrofitted with devices that are accredited by the Clean Vehicle Retrofit Accreditation Scheme (CVRAS). These vehicles do not need to pay the CAZ charges, along with some agricultural and disabled tax class vehicles.
If you are exempt from paying the CAZ fees, you are still required to register for the road tax. Otherwise, you will pay penalty fees for non-compliance.
Petrol cars that were first registered in January 2006 or fall under Euro 4 emission standards can enter the CAZ without being charged. Diesel cars that were initially registered in September 2015 will also be exempted from paying road taxes.
You may have been sold a car that is thought to be low emission or zero-emission as there are carmakers that were involved in a diesel emissions scandal for cheating on their emissions results. These automobiles were installed with a defeat device that could alter the actual emissions level while being tested. If your car is one of the emissions scandal vehicles and has not yet been recalled by the car manufacturer, you can be charged daily for the CAZ taxes instead of being exempted.
You can seek the help of an experienced panel of solicitors to get compensated for the damages and inconvenience that the diesel car may have caused you. Contact the diesel emissions experts at https://www.claimexperts.co.uk/diesel-emissions-claims/ to guide you through and help you win your case.