What is a clean air zone (CAZ)?

Clean Air Zones or CAZ are a way of tackling air quality in UK cities. Many local councils are exploring, or have implemented, Clean Air Zones to help reduce air pollution in their cities. Typically, these work by charging polluting vehicles that enter a certain area. But with over 25 local councils currently investigating Clean Air Zones, keeping track of each zone can be tough. 

Clean Air Zone grants

There is the Clean Air Fund, introduced in 2018, which provides support to individuals and businesses. For example, it offers local travel discounts, cycling to work schemes or vehicle upgrades. You can access it through your local authority.

However, something that will be of interest to everyone no matter where they live is the Plug-In Car Grant. Introduced in 2011, the Plug-In Car Grant gives buyers up to £5,000 off the sticker price of any plug-in electric car. While this has reduced over time, it still counts for 35% – up to a maximum of £2,500 – off the price of certain new cars. These cars must emit less than 50g CO2/km and be able to travel at least 70 miles with no emissions at all. Plus, the car’s list price, including optional extras, VAT and delivery fees, must cost less than £35,000. There are also grants available for other types of electric vehicles.

Meanwhile the Plug-In Van Grant offers 35% off the purchase price of certain vans. The Government has created two categories of LCV grant bands based on the weight of the vehicle:

  • If the vehicle weight, fully loaded, is below 2.5t the maximum grant is 35% up to £3,000
  • If the vehicle weight, fully loaded, is 2.5t-3.5t the maximum grant is 35% up to £6,000

The vans must also have emissions less than 50g CO2/km, and can travel a zero-emission range of at least 60 miles.

Road to Zero

Since the Government published its Air Quality plan back in 2017, minimising road transport pollution has been high on their agenda. But there have been many other initiatives tackling road pollution going back even further. Collectively these, and future initiatives, have become known as the ‘Road to Zero’. The Road to Zero is made up of legislation changes, initiatives and developments in mobility that help meet the Government’s target of zero-emission road transport by 2050.